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Calsonic Kansei to build car-parts factory in Romania

Calsonic Kansei, a Japanese auto-parts affiliate of Nissan Motor Co., plans to spend €120 million ($158 million) to build a plant in Romania, Deputy Prime Minister Bogdan Pascu said.

Calsonic Kansei Corp. aims to complete construction of the plant in five years in the southern city of Ploiesti, 60 kilometers (37 miles) from the capital Bucharest, Pascu said yesterday in a statement, after meeting executives from the Japanese company. A skilled labor force, production costs lower than in other countries in the region and tax breaks for investments exceeding €75 million were among reasons that persuaded Tokyo-based Calsonic Kansei to choose Romania, he said.

The factory is the latest in a series of direct investments by international companies seeking to take advantage of the east European country's entry in the European Union, due January 1, when Romanian-made products exported in countries within the trading bloc will be exempt from customs duties. Calsonic Kansei will make parts in the plant for Romanian sale and for export, Pascu said. Carmakers such as France's Renault SA, which owns the biggest car plant in Romania, also attracted auto-parts makers to the country of 22 million inhabitants.

President Traian Basescu on November 11 predicted Romania will get a record €10 billion in foreign direct investments next year after joining the EU. Direct investments this year are expected to top €8 billion. Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Corp. are among companies interested in buying Automobile Craiova SA, the second-biggest carmaker in Romania. The government bought the manufacturer back from Korea's Daewoo Motor Co. and plans to put it up for sale in December. (Bloomberg)