BRATISLAVA (Reuters)- Slovakia expects to seal new foreign investment projects of four suppliers for a Kia Motors plant in the coming months, a government investment agency said on Friday. The projects are worth 52.4 million euros .
"We expect the projects to be finalized this summer, or in the autumn at the latest," said Ondrej Zember, a spokesman for the foreign investment agency SARIO.
South Korean car maker Kia is building a new assembly plant in northern Slovakia, with the total investment expected to exceed 1 billion euros.
SARIO has arranged contracts with seven Kia suppliers by the end of May, with a combined investment of 165.2 million euros ($200 million) Zember said.
The automotive industry is the key pillar of the new EU member's economy, and it is now centered around the plant of Germany's Volkswagen.
Slovakia is expected to become the world's top car maker per capita with an annual output over 800,000 vehicles when a new plant of French PSA Peugeot Citroen and the Kia factory start production in 2006 or early 2007.
Foreign investment projects are closely watched by financial markets as inflow of capital from abroad has been one of the key factors fuelling the rise of the Slovak crown in the past few years.