CASE STUDY KARLOVO
Development and Marketing of Summary
Agrotechnica Industrial Park in Karlovo
The municipality of Karlovo s partnership with the city of Winchester , Virginia , began in Phase IV of the Bulgarian Resource Cities Program in 2003. Karlovo was involved in the Local Economic Development and Marketing of Bulgarian Municipalities Project. The partners focus has been economic development to create employment opportunities and additional income for Karlovo and its residents.
A series of meetings between representatives of the municipality of Karlovo and Agrotech nica Corporation s management in 2003 and 2004 resulted in a decision to develop and market an industrial park. One of the important projects that Karlovo developed with the partners from Winchester was the identification and planning of steps necessary for the development of the park. This project was a three-way partnership between Karlovo, Winchester , and Agrotechnica Corporation a private company that owns the land and buildings to be included in the park.
The project had the following goals:
To formulate a business development plan for the industrial park.
To implement a marketing campaign.
To recruit investors and develop a new business development plan as well as a program for retaining existing businesses.
To meet the requirements of the ICMA Economic Development Certification Program.
Karlovo and Winchester prepared a business develop ment plan in the spring of 2004, and the vacant buildings are presently being marketed in Bulgaria and throughout Europe . The results that the partners hope to achieve include:
Selling at least 9 of the proposed 13 lots and buildings to new investors who agree to start new business activities.
Creating 700 jobs. Problem Statement
Agrotechnica Corporation was established in 1939 as a military equipment repair plant. After World War II, the company began manufacturing farm tractors. Until 1989, the company was growing fast and became the largest manufacturer of agricultural equipment in the country. During this period, the company was exporting primarily to the member countries of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (COMECON).
The socioeconomic changes of 1990 resulted in a dramatic shift in the company s develop ment. Agrotechnica Corporation lost its international markets. Production output plummeted, and by 2003 the company had 330 employees, compared to 7,000 in 1990. Many of the production buildings are now vacant and remain unused.
Karlovo has long enjoyed a thriving economy as a manufacturing center, but the manu facturing industry has declined to the degree that Karlovo and other municipalities have experienced a loss of jobs and community income. The partnership focused on the issue of job development and was looking for new ways of creating employment opportunities when the possibility of a partnership became available. Project Description
Project implementation began with the formulation of an action plan by Karlovo, Winchester , and Agrotechnica for the development of the Agrotechnica Industrial Park .
The plan was comprised of three basic elements:
Identification of lots and buildings that would be marketed
Implementation of a marketing campaign to recruit investors
Preparation of an overall economic development plan to meet ICMA certification requirements.
Initial meetings were held with the Agrotechnica Corporation owners, the municipality, and Winchester in August 2003 to establish a partnership for the joint implementation of the project. The purpose of these early meetings was to determine the interest of the parties in forming a partnership and to discuss the rights and liabilities of each partner.
Project implementation involved a number of steps. The first step was to determine the division of responsibilities between the municipality and Agrotechnica Corporation.
Preliminary information that the partners developed included a drawing of existing facilities as well as identification of industrial park boundaries and clarification of the respective buildings and sizes of individual plots. A complete inventory of lots and buildings, including detailed technical specifications, was also prepared.
As part of this effort and the overall marketing program, Karlovo and Winchester prepared a marketing profile and a Web site for the industrial park. The partners also developed printed and electronic presentations and are using them at investment forums and for presentation to foreign investors.
Additional activities included the preparation of the community profile, new business development plan, existing business retention plan, and workforce development plan. Implementation Timeline
August 2003: Meetings with company owners, Karlovo, and Winchester to establish the partnership and develop an action plan.
November 2003: Development of the lot and building inventory.
February 2004: Creation of a marketing profile for the industrial park and a business profile of the municipality.
March 2004: Preparation of presentations.
April 2004: Web site development.
April 2004: Promotion of the industrial park at the Hanover trade fair.
May 2004: Submission of ICMA certification materials, including the marketing plan, new business plan, existing business plan, building and land inventories, and a workforce development plan. Solutions Overview
The partners have formulated the i ndustrial park development plan and have created an inventory of lots that lists lot sizes and technical specifications of buildings. A marketing profile of the industrial park and business profile of the municipality have been developed. The industrial park information is also available on www.invest.bg.
The partners have developed promotional materials and presentations. The industrial park presentations were used at international shows and provided to foreign investors. Three industrial park lots have been sold, and the new companies expect to create 30 50 jobs. The p resentations of the industrial park materials have also generated interest among foreign investors from Italy , Greece , and Germany . Benefits
The industrial park development plan is now in place. It provides an inventory of lots and buildings, including technical specifications. The marketing strategy is available, and Karlovo has published 500 brochures, promotional materials (folders), and 100 CDs. The marketing Web site of Karlovo is available in Bulgarian and English, and contains information on lots and buildings available in the industrial park.
The industrial park has been presented at significant international events such as the Hanover trade fair and at two presentations organized in European countries ( Poland and Belarus ). Three lots in the park have been sold, and the first 50 new jobs will be created in 2004. Another 150 new jobs are expected in 2005, and 200 new jobs in each subsequent year.
The business attraction plan, plan for retaining existing businesses, and workforce development plan were created and are being implemented. Conclusion
The partners successfully formulated a development plan for the Agrotechnica Industrial Park and developed a marketing strategy for recruiting investors in the park. The marketing strategy resulted in closing the first three deals for lots in the park. The municipality will continue its active promotional policy, targeting the sale of lots and buildings, in addition to the recruitment of new industries and job creation.
The partnership with Winchester has helped Karlovo develop marketing materials, a new business attraction strategy, program for retaining existing businesses, and workforce develop ment goals. The successful sale of the properties to investors is the first phase of new employment opportunities in Karlovo.