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South Korean cable manufacturer to open Albania plant

TIRANA, Feb. 14 – South Korean cable manufacturer Yura has been offered state-owned land to build a factory in return for investment of around €13 million and creating an initial 600 jobs, in the first Albania investment of a company that is already present in the region.

Yura Corporation, which already operates plants in Serbia producing cables for the automotive industry, mainly South Korean brands, has been offered a 4.9 hectare area just outside Fier, the country’s third largest city, to build its first Albania plant, in an initial €6.5 million investment which the company plans to double to €13 million in order to increase jobs to 1,100, says the Albanian finance ministry.

The Fier county, the country’s second largest, heavily relies on oil extraction and agriculture, the two largest employers in a region of some 300,000 residents.

“After also studying other regional countries, we picked Albania to invest because of its qualified labor force, competitive costs, geographical position, incentives and support by the Albanian Investment Development Agency,” Yura representative Lukas Nam is quoted as saying in a statement.

The Albanian government says Yura plans to open two new plants in Albania and create a total of 4,000 jobs.

The South Korean manufacturer already operates three plants in Serbia, the region’s largest economy, where it employs up to 7,000 people.

In a bid to attract foreign direct investment, the Albanian government offers state-owned land for free and a series of tax incentives to create much-needed employment at a time when more and more young men and women are considering leaving the country.

German manufacturer of cabling systems Forscher has also been operating a plant just outside the Albanian capital, Tirana, since mid-2015.

Nexans Autoelectric, another German company, has also unveiled plans to develop cabling systems for leading car manufacturers in Korça, southeastern Albania.

Albania has been encouraging students to attend vocational training education to meet labor market needs at a time when universities are producing too many lawyers and social science experts that often end up doing call center jobs.

The country offers one of the region’s lowest labor costs with minimum wage at €210.

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