Taiwan’s AU Optronics Corp is close to reaching an agreement with Slovakia on building a factory for LCD panels in the European Union country, a Slovak source close to the deal told Reuters on Thursday.
The source said the world’s third-biggest maker of LCD panels plans to invest €200 million ($265 million). “The project is agreed. Final details are being negotiated now,” the source said, adding the talks had to determine the size and form of state incentives.
The new factory should create 3,000 jobs, the source said, which would help ease the pain of the global financial crisis in the euro zone’s new member country which has lost thousands of jobs due to weakening demand for its products in its main European markets.
A spokesman for the economy ministry, which negotiates foreign direct investment deals, declined to comment. The spokesman, Branislav Zvara, said the ministry was in talks on several FDI projects but declined to name any of the prospective investors.
Slovakia’s electronics industry currently centres on the factories of South Korea’s Samsung Electronics and Japan’s Sony.
Samsung makes LCD screens, DVD recorders and blue-ray players in the central European country. Its two plants employ around 5,000 people in total in western Slovakia. Sony also has its newest LCD TV plant in western Slovakia, employing 2,300 workers.
An AU Optronics investment would come at a time when Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico’s government is facing rising unemployment as the global downturn curbed demand for Slovak exports. (Reuters)