ActMedia.eu: Industrial parks contribute more than 30 percent to Cluj GDP

Autor: Claudiu.Padurean din 28 august 2014, Vizualizari: 1 296

Industrial parks can be the engines of economic growth and multilateral development for a whole area - as proven in Cluj County over the past years, according to ActMedia.eu.
Decision-makers at first considered them with circumspection, but Cluj industrial parks - three operating, and one being built - are centres of excellence supporting various industries, generating significant contributions to the budget, and creating many jobs.

In 2000 they were merely a concept; in 2006, the industrial parks boom began with Emerson, an American company, and one year later, they reached a peak when local authorities signed the contract with Nokia - then the world leader in mobile phones production, with more than 45 percent of the global market. Over the five years it operated in the Tetarom 3 Industrial Park of Jucu, Nokia paid 45 million euros to Romania's consolidated state budget. Among other things, Nokia meant 30 percent of Cluj County's GDP, and 1.1 percent of Romania's. Moreover, it created many jobs, and the investment in Jucu was the signal for many important investors to come in the region.

Viorel Gavrea, general manager of Tetarom Company, the administrator of four industrial parks under this brand in Cluj County, told AGERPRES that Nokia opened its factory in Jucu with stunning haste, and the investment meant a lot for both the county and the country.

'It came as a shock for everybody that Nokia had 5,000 employees [in Cluj County] in November 2001. Horizontal development was three-fold that figure, according to theory. So there were about15,000 people working or collaborating to Nokia's business,' Gavrea estimated.

He recalls the beginning of the negotiations with the Finnish company, also concluded amazingly fast - and with a quivering Romanian part.

The recent years' success of the industrial parks in Cluj was preceded by a lot of work, including persuasion. Several county council members were convinced during a visit to Hungary, where they learned that 70 percent of the turnover of a county came from such facilities.

Gavrea also relates about the first big company coming to Cluj, namely Emerson, in 2006, when the spectacular development of industrial parks actually began in the county.

'It's more a technology park than an industrial park there; what they do is absolutely impressive. The value added is huge. As far as I know, they have around 2,500 employees, out of which 1,500 have higher education,' Gavrea details.

He says that the initial hardships and struggle were worth it, and the industrial parks are a real success, being the second in Romania after the Bucharest-Prahova area.

'Yes, they're definitely a success. Just an example: in the beginning, we were unable to find some land; we were asking mayors around Cluj [Cluj-Napoca, the county seat city] and they would answer ‘no'. Seeing the success of industrial parks, now I have big real estate offers, because folks imagine that posting a panel somewhere on 20 hectares and write Tetarom on it solves the problem. Now, with the offers of land we have, we could build five more industrial parks. We expect other big companies to come, but I'm rather afraid of it; it's better having many smaller companies. The fact that Nokia has been here helps, because everybody knows that Nokia wouldn't go somewhere on a hill, but rather to a place with very modern infrastructure,' the manager adds.

Everybody acknowledges this success. Cluj County deputy chairman and acting chairman Istvan Vakar told AGERPRES that the major stake are jobs.

'Absolutely, they [industrial parks] are a success. Tetarom industrial parks are the main engine of economy for Cluj County Council, because in our general administration policy they are job creators. We had the experience - both positive and negative - of Nokia's industrial park, but those investments remained after Nokia left; other companies took over. Other jobs are offered, and while the mirage of Nokia is past, it still attracts investors. Strong investors are coming; jobs are created, including ones in innovative industries, such as Emerson park - the Tetarom 2 industrial park used exclusively by the American company. As recently as last month a factory extension was commissioned; they expect further growth, thus creating jobs and bringing benefits to the city and the county. In the Tetarom 3 park of Jucu we have Bosch, DeLonghi, several other companies, perhaps smaller in terms of economic force and fame, but very important,' Vakar mentioned.

The Tetarom Company currently administrates more than 2.8 million square meters in four industrial parks - land, offices, production premises, logistics facilities - where more than 50 companies operate. After Nokia left, the top current investors in the three operational industrial parks are Emerson (electric motors, a 180 million euros investment and more than 2,000 jobs), DeLonghi (household appliances, 32.5 million euros investment, over 700 jobs), Bosch (automotive parts, 77.4 million euros, 350 jobs), Karl Heinz Dietrich (logistics, 18 million euros, 80 jobs), Transilvania Bank (IT and data center, 10 million euros, 350 jobs).

The Romanian government, the Cluj County Council and Tetarom added 21 million euros in investments to those made by users of industrial parks - 6 million for Tetarom1, one million for Tetarom 2, and 14 million for Tetarom 3.

'Our investments and our clients' amount to 500 million euros,' manager Viorel Gavrea stresses.

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Categoria: About Cluj, today

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