ECONOMY

Japan’s Calsonic Kansei plans big investment in car parts plant in Romania

BUCHAREST (Reuters) – Japanese car parts maker Calsonic Kansei will invest 100 million euros to build a plant in Romania, a senior government official told Reuters this week. Foreign investors’ interest in Romania, which hopes to join the European Union next year, has been growing rapidly in recent months with many eyeing the country’s booming car industry clustered around France’s Renault unit Dacia. «Calsonic from Japan will announce next month that it will build a factory near the city of Ploiesti worth 100 million euros. They have decided and bought the land there,» said an official close to negotiations who declined to be named. Calsonic Kansei, partly owned by Japan’s second-largest car maker Nissan Motor, supplies parts such as exhaust or air-conditioning systems to the world’s major car producers including Renault. The official did not give more details but said that Romania was in talks with three other major car part suppliers, one from the United States, which were also considering projects worth 100 million euros each in the EU candidate. «Right now we are in discussions with three major suppliers for the automotive industry and we hope that they will take a decision by autumn in favor of Romania,» the official said. «Investments are around 100 million euros each. The firms are also suppliers for Renault, but not exclusively,» he said. The Black Sea state of 22 million people expects foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows to reach a record 6.2 billion euros this year, up from 5.2 billion in 2005, excluding proceeds from banking privatization. Strong FDI inflows are key to cover Romania’s ballooning current account deficit, which stood around 9 percent of GDP last year.