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RKN Global cancels plan to build security printing plant in Slovakia

UAE-based RKN Global has declined a 18-million-euro investment subsidy offered by the Republic of Slovakia for the construction and development of a security printing plant in Banska Bystrica.

Prior to this announcement, RKN Global had taken steps to obtain 71 million euros in private funding in order to build a security printing plant in Banska Bystrica, Slovakia that would employ 1200 people.  Slovakia’s planned contribution of 10 million euros in grants and 8 million euros in tax relief was viewed by RKN Global as an acceptable contribution from the government in exchange for RKN Global’s making a huge investment of 71 million euros.

However, the positive reaction that RKN Global had expected from Slovakians for its planned investment in Banska Bystrica was mitigated by unforeseen opposition unrelated to RKN Global. Political opposition members and the media attacked Prime Minister Fico and his ruling party calling the investment proposition from RKN Global ‘suspicious’. RKN Global believes the hostility was due to the timing of the 20 February 2016 public announcement which preceded national elections and was therefore viewed suspiciously.

According to RKN Global, this political opposition appears also to have manifested itself in attacks on their industrial partners from the Ukraine who are experts at producing secure documents such as passports, biometric ID and bank payment cards.  In addition, Slovakia is about to lead the EU during a period of great uncertainty in light of the United Kingdom’s decision to exit from the EU. This uncertainty would make RKN Global’s investment riskier than it was back in March of this year.

“The current turbulent political atmosphere in Slovakia and in the European Union has made it imprudent for RKN Global to continue its project to build a security printing plant in Banska Bystrica and it has led RKN Global to decline the subsidies—both in grants and in tax relief—offered by the Slovak government,” said RKN Global’s founder, Ronald Noble.

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