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Iskra Zaščite Forms Joint Venture with Germany's Weidmüller

Ljubljana, 16 November (STA) - Iskra Zaščite, a Slovenian company specialising in surge protection systems, formed a joint venture with the German industrial corporation Weidmüller. The new company, called Weidmüller & IZ and based in Brežice, will create about 30 jobs.

Signing the joint venture agreement in Ljubljana on Friday Weidmüller Group CEO Peter Köhler described Iskra Zaščite as a key producer of surge protection products in the world. He is convinced the new company will produce innovative and high-quality products.

Otmar Zorn, the owner and boss of Iskra Zaščite, said his firm was "one of the most advanced companies in the field of surge protection products", but it lacked the kind of network that multinationals have.

Labour, Family and Social Affairs Minister Andrej Vizjak, a native of Brežice, said it was the government's firm belief that Slovenia can emerge from the crisis only with new business ventures and new jobs.

"The Slovenian economy needs to open up to foreign companies and connect with them," he said, adding that the promotion of foreign direct investments was one of the government's top priorities.

The joint venture agreement is an upgrade of the existing partnership and the result of a year of analysis that found Brežice to be the best location for the new company.

Iskra Zaščite's revenue of EUR 18.7m is dwarfed by Weidmüller EUR 620m in sales, but the representatives of both companies pointed out today that they would be equal partners.

The company is due to launch production in January 2014. Both partners count on EU grants for the project.

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