One of the largest industrial investments this year, worth more than 650 million crowns (over 24M €) is under construction in western Bohemia. Panattoni Park Stříbro has attracted an investment by Steelcase Inc. the world leader in providing high performance workplace solutions. Panattoni will provide the company with 27 000 m2 of floor space, the size of four football pitches; this is more than five times the average for a single contract on the Czech market. The new built-to-suit facility should be ready by autumn. About 300 people will find jobs in the factory.
"Recent arrivals of several new large investors confirm that the Czech economy is recovering. We need new vacancies that put people, who lost their job during the recession, back to work. I can see several new major projects on the horizon and I´m happy to stress that our government will create favourable condition for such projects as we have clearly stated that the influx of new investments is our government´s priority," says Jan Mládek, Minister of Industry and Trade.
Panattoni Park Stříbro has thus attracted a second large investor in a short time - about a month ago a major German automotive supplier announced that it would create several hundred new jobs in the park. "Panattoni Park Stříbro is one of our most successful industrial parks not just in the Czech Republic," confirms Pavel Sovička, Managing Director Panattoni Europe Czech Republic.
Panattoni along with the Czech Accolade Group recently secured new land adjacent to the current industrial park to make room for an expansion of the zone. "We offer investor perfectly prepared land where they can start producing within six to eight months after signing the contract," explains Milan Kratina, Partner of the Accolade Group, the reasons behind the popularity of the zone. He adds that thanks to the two latest investments, the current park will practically double its size expanding by 60 000m2.
Governor: excellent news for the region
"The number of investors expressing their intent to invest in the Plzensky region is rapidly increasing and the influx of new businesses or expansions of existing ones are already well reflected in the creation of new jobs - unemployment in our region has declined for two consecutive months says Václav Šlajs, Governor Pilsen Region. "Tachov is the districts with the highest number of people out of work within our region, so the successful development of the industrial park near Stříbro is excellent news for the region," adds Šlajs .
Miroslav Nenutil, senator for Tachov and Cheb concurs: "The biggest problem facing Stříbro right now is the high unemployment rate. As mayor of the city I have in the past helped to establish the industrial zone, nowadays we are helping to attract new investor for it. It is a long-time effort and it has already resulted in the creation of hundred new jobs which is helping the Tachov district really a lot," says Miroslav Nenutil.
"We are pleased that the world market leader in office furniture manufacture decided to invest in the Czech Republic. The investment by Steelcase presents a great opportunity for Czech suppliers in furniture industry," states Ondřej Votruba, acting CEO of CzechInvest, the Investment and Business Development Agency of the Czech Republic.
"The Czech Republic has always been a very attractive country for new investors thanks to our skilled labour force or a solid infrastructure. We are now witnessing renewed interest in investing here as the European economy struggles to grow again and healthy companies prepare themselves for an anticipated upturn in the market," says Klara Fritsch, Corporate Solutions Coordinator Panattoni Europe Czech Republic.
Steelcase is the world's largest manufacturer of office furniture. The company is also present on the Czech market since 1993. Its new plant in the Czech Republic will produce furniture for the European market. It will also be one of just five Steelcase facilities in the EMEA region. Globally Steelcase employs around 10,400 workers. Last year, the company reported global sales of almost 55 billion crowns (3 bn. US dollars). The company invests heavily into research and development with R&D spending totalling an equivalent of two billion crowns (over 100 million US dollars) in the last three years.
Panattoni Europe operates 14 industrial parks in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. About a year ago, the company together with its partner Accolade Group announced large expansion expanding its portfolio of industrial parks by five new sites in strategic locations such as Mlada Boleslav, Kvasiny - Rychnov nad Kneznou, Cheb, or Slovakian Krasno nad Kysucou. Besides enlarging its Stribro Panattoni D5 Logistics Park, Panattoni built or leased premises in several sites in Eastern Bohemia, Central Bohemia and elsewhere in the last year only. Once investor´s plans are completed, the planned projects will create several thousand new jobs in the production phase as well as during the construction of the industrial parks.