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Funai to spend ¥7 bln on Polish LCD TV factory

Funai the Japanese maker of Emerson consumer electronics, will invest ¥7 billion (€47 million) in a liquid-crystal display television factory in Poland to boost sales in the European market.

Construction of the plant in Nowa Sol, western Poland, will start this month with production expected in the middle of 2007, Funai Electric Co. said in a statement yesterday. The Osaka-based company will buy LCD panels from suppliers including Taiwan's Chi Mei Optoelectronics Corp. and assemble TVs at the factory, it said.

Funai is the seventh non-Polish company to start producing TVs or TV parts in the eastern European country. Poland aims to become the European Union's biggest supplier of flat-screen televisions, accounting for almost 80% by 2010. Funai will make 100,000 LCD TVs a month next year, and double the production in 2008, the company said. The sets will be sold in Poland, neighboring countries and Middle East.

About 1,000 employees will be hired for the factory by 2008, it said. In August, the company said it will cut costs by making the TVs in eastern Europe to counter declining prices and raise profitability. „Making televisions in the region will lower custom duties by about 10%,” Yoshio Nakajima, an executive vice president, said at the time. „It should also enable us to shorten time to market by about a month” and cut inventory risks. (Bloomberg)