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Heidelberg opens training center in Kabul, Afghanistan

Press release from the issuing company

January 26, 2004 -- Heidelberg opened a training center for printers and prepress operators in Kabul, Afghanistan, this week. The company is offering training courses in an approximately 300 square meter facility comprising a mechanical workshop with welding station, turning lathes and workbenches and an area for training on various printing presses and finishing machines. Courses for prepress are also available. The basic courses generally last for six months and have places for up to 16 participants per year. Heidelberg is the first manufacturer in the print media industry to offer products and solutions through its own local organization in Afghanistan. The Kabul training center is located in the grounds of Heidelberg's Afghanistan sales office, which was established in April of last year. The company currently consists of two staff and is coordinated by Heidelberg's Eastern Europe sales company in Vienna. The company's mission in Afghanistan is to support post-war reconstruction in the country and build sales of printing machinery (for the time being mainly used) and consumables, as well as training and services. The first orders for presses have already been received. After 23 years of war, Afghanistan's print media industry is for the most part in a rudimentary state. Some of the country's 60 or so printshops have not yet resumed printing operations. With the current period of reconstruction comes a heightened need for printed information, especially school books, which up to now have almost exclusively been imported. The market also requires skilled personnel and good quality machinery if the value-added chain for the production of printed products is to be kept within the country.