The Slovenia Times

Pomurje Region: Advantages and Possibilities



sses active in Pomurje. In terms of added value, the manufacturing activity of the region represents its leading economic activity. The four most important sectors within Pomurje's manufacturing industry are textile, food and drink, oil, and chemical. Historically, metal processing and trade have also played a significant role in this region. Looking ahead, the areas of tourism, transport/logistics and construction have great potential for future development. Five business zones Pomurje contains five industrial/business zones, located in the cities of Murska Sobota, Lendava, Gornja Radgona, and Ljutomer, which are spread over 290 hectares of land. These business zones are already equipped with infrastructure facilities, are easily accessible and allow for a speedy start to construction work, as a result of a streamlined building permit process. With a position on the railway corridor linking Lisbon and Kiev, and also a connection to the main route between Budapest and Trieste, Pomurje offers good rail accessibility. In addition, the proximity of the Graz and Ljubljana airports make the region easy to reach by air by well. The telecommunications infrastructure is equipped with fibre optic ring for fast data transfer and digital telephony. 10% corporate tax rate Under EU regulations, Pomurje is allowed to offer extremely generous incentive packages until income in the region approaches income levels in the rest of Europe. That means that companies can be eligible for a 10% corporate tax rate (as opposed to the normal rate of 25% - a rate already quite low for Europe). Direct grants are available to companies making investments in strategic services (customer service, shared service, and logistics and distribution centres), industry, and research and development. The grants can cover up to 40% of the costs of infrastructure and utility connections, building purchase and/or construction and equipment/machinery, as well as the salaries of employees for two years. In addition, the costs for employee training in the new workplaces can also be covered by the grants. For Pomurje, foreign direct investment is not uncommon. Presently, there are over 120 companies with foreign or mixed ownership employing over 1200 people, with a combined annual turnover of nearly 200 million Euros. These companies are active in different fields such as electronics, information technology, construction materials, textiles, logistics, and trade and business support services. Assistance with decision making, site selection and settlement can also be received from the Regional Development Agency Mura, which for years has been actively working to attract and support foreign investors. With such support investors have a better chance of obtaining favourable business conditions that are in line with EU regulations. Prospects There is still a lot to do in the region, but there are exciting prospects for the future - especially in the tourism and food and beverage industries which are becoming more and more connected with local agriculture. The regional development program for the period 2007-2013 is focused on the development of entrepreneurship in the region. Ongoing projects included a Regional Innovation Centre and Technology Park, and also a Centre for the Development of New Material on the Polymer Basis. A new energy strategy is being developed, which plans the introduction of alternative energy sources to help meet the region's energy needs.


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