The FINANCIAL — IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is providing an €8 million loan to US-based Key Safety Systems (KSS) to build a plant for airbag cushions in FYR Macedonia, creating up to 1000 jobs by 2017.
KSS designs and manufactures safety-critical automotive components and systems, including inflators, airbags, steering wheels, and seat belts. The new factory, in the western town of Kicevo, will supply KSS’ European airbag production program, based in Romania.
“The new KSS investment in Macedonia is well aligned with our commitment to serve our global customers by providing them with best-in-class quality, cost, and technology,” said Ralph Caspari, President of KSS’ Passive Safety European Division. “We are pleased to partner with IFC on this vertical integration project.”
This transaction is a part of IFC’s strategy in FYR Macedonia to improve the value chains in the automotive sector and attract new investors to the field, according to IFC.
“IFC supports the development of the automotive sector in FYR Macedonia and the creation of new skilled jobs in the country,” said Thomas Lubeck, IFC Regional Manager for the Western Balkans. “Attracting foreign investors that invest in export-oriented projects, such as KSS, will greatly benefit the local economy.”
FYR Macedonia became a shareholder and member of IFC in 1993. Since then, IFC’s investment in FYR Macedonia has totaled $401.8 million, including $181.7 million mobilized from partners, in 21 projects across a variety of sectors. In addition, IFC has supported trade flows of $48.5 million through its trade finance program. IFC is also working to improve the investment climate, develop private sector firms, and increase private sector participation in infrastructure development. Under the new World Bank Group’s 2015-18 Country Partnership Framework, IFC will provide up to $100 million in financing.