Germany's Siemens AG is likely to begin building a new automotive parts plant in the Czech Republic by the end of 2001, reports Dow Jones.

Czech media reported the new investment on Monday, although Plezn mayor Jeri Sneberger said the plans have not been finalised. But he confirmed that Siemens was showing interest in taking up to seven hectares of land in and around the city's industrial zone.

Sneberger added that the plant, which would produce parts for a number of car manufacturers including BMW and Mercedes Benz, could employ up to 1,000 people.

Siemens spokeswoman Sabina Metzner confirmed there are plans for the company to invest "three million koruna" in a new site in Plzen. She would not comment further.

Siemens would have to purchase some private land in the coming months, said Sneberger, and Plzen City Council would need to approve the plan.

If given the go-ahead, the new plant would be situated close to other major foreign investment projects of recent years including a Porsche car parts factory and a Panasonic television assembly plant.


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