Thursday, December 3, 2009

EU clears training aid for Ford Romania

BRUSSELS, Dec 2 (Reuters) - Ford Motor Co (F.N) received approval from European Union competition regulators on Wednesday for up to 57 million euros ($85.9 million) in state aid to train thousands of workers at a plant in Romania. The U.S. carmaker acquired the plant in September last year, aiming to produce 300,000 cars a year at full capacity. It has estimated the cost of its training programme at 185 million euros, of which it will finance about 128 million.

"The proposed aid supports an ambitious training project expected to produce positive effects for the employees of the Craiova plant, for regional development," European Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said in a statement.

Ford will have to repay the aid in instalments and report annually to the Romanian authorities and the European Commission on the training scheme. Many car parts companies have set up operations in Romania in recent years, drawn by cheap labour, a flat 16 percent tax on profits and the presence of Renault's (RENA.PA) Dacia plant.

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