Danish Widex to relocate production to Estonia

25.06.2013, 18:27

Denmark's Widex, a family-owned maker of hearing aids with production facilities in Denmark and Belgium, is moving some of its production activities to Estonia. How many jobs that will mean is not clear at the moment. Danish media speak of everything up to hundreds of potential jobs for Estonia, writes news2biz ESTONIA.

"We have avoided making any definite statements as to how many jobs will be involved, but we are looking at activities relating to assembly and refurbishment where the degree of manual labour is rather high which is the rationale for moving production to Estonia from Denmark," says Anders Westermann, executive VP of Widex, to news2biz.

According to Westermann, Widex is already now being supplied by Estonia's Tondi Elektroonika, one of the only companies involved in the hearing aids business in Estonia.

"We are also in the process of setting up a business of our own in Estonia. This involves rented premises on the verge of Tallinn. These premises can be increased according to demand," says Westermann. "We have considered Estonia very carefully as an investment target in a process that involves factors such as EU membership, distance, wages, bureaucracy and also – in this case – Estonian culture."

Q: So what you do is you list the factors to be considered and you grade them and then you go for the destination with the highest score?

"Exactly."

Q: Estonia is a small country and one of the limiting factors is the lack of labour available. What role did that play for you?

"Of course, this was considered, but the jobs that we are thinking of moving are not skilled jobs. We will hire and train people – these could be jobs that could be filled by those made redundant, e.g., in the textile industry."

Q: Have you had negotiations with the Estonian government as for financial incentives?

Meanwhile Widex is closing parts of its plant in Helsinge north of Copenhagen, making 70 people redundant. According to Westermann, parts of the functions from Helsinge will be moved to Widex' other facility at Vassingerød and other parts to Estonia.