Funai Plans $22 Million LCD Facility In Poland

New factory will manufacture 2.4 million LCD televisions per year.

WARSAW, Poland (AP) – Poland’s government and Japan’s Funai Electric Co. Ltd signed a letter of intent Thursday to construct a $22 million LCD factory to make some 2.4 million televisions per year for the European market.

A full agreement on the plant in western Poland is to be signed later this year, Deputy Economy Minister Andrezj Kaczmarek said, after signing the letter with Funai’s visiting vice president, Yoshio Nakajima.

Funai, which is starting construction immediately, plans to open production in mid-2007 at the plant in Nowa Sol, a town in a special economic zone about 50 miles from the German border, Nakajima said.

“We know that the market in Poland is growing rapidly, and we decided to increase our presence on European territory,” Nakajima said, stressing that Poland’s central position within Europe had contributed to the company’s choice for the plant’s location.

Initially, the plant will initially employ some 500 people, to grow to 1,000 people, and will also lead to another 700 jobs in supplier plants when the factory reaches full production capacity in 2008.

Funai is the latest in a string of television makers to set up factories in Poland, which has European Union’s highest unemployment rate of 15.1 percent and craves foreign investment.

One in three TV units produced in the European Union is made in Poland, Economy Minister Piotr Wozniak said.

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