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KIA plant could create 12,000 new jobs

THE CONSTRUCTION of a plant for Korean carmaker Hyundai/KIA near Žilina is continuing in spite of various difficulties, and the original production-launch date of December 2006 is realistic.

This is the opinion of both Premier Mikuláš Dzurinda and KIA Chairman Mong-Koo Chung, who met for a working dinner on September 28.

Dzurinda told journalists after the talks that Chung had informed him that the number of companies wanting to supply the Žilina plant has grown. "In all, as many as 12,000 people could find jobs directly or indirectly related to car production in the area," said Dzurinda, according to the TASR news wire.

Chung informed Dzurinda that KIA Motors Slovakia currently employs around 500 people. Approximately 300 of these are preparing to go to South Korea, where they will undergo expert training. Dzurinda emphasized at the meeting that if the production of KIA cars is launched successfully, the government will be interested in developing KIA research facilities in Slovakia.

Dzurinda referred to the problems with purchasing the land for the KIA site and infrastructure with many landowners refusing to sell their land for the price originally offered by the government.

Dzurinda said Chung knows very well that such big investments do not always go smoothly.

"Mr. Chung knew even before our meeting that we have made an important decision, and that we have been trying our best to handle the problems with the land on which the plant will be located," said Dzurinda.

The government recently agreed to pay all the landowners an increased offer of Sk350 (€9) per square metre, which was originally made only to the landowners who had held out for a higher price than the one originally offered.

Chung visited Slovakia to check on the progress of the project.

"It [Chung's visit] is designed to state principal frameworks and global objectives. Everything else is a matter for KIA Motors Slovakia managers and our ministries," said Dzurinda.

Compiled by Beata Balogová from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

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