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Knowledge Economy (Monitor 2005)

Zdroj: Slovak Spectator
Survey ranks Slovakia as 12th best investment spot in Europe
(Slovak Spectator – July 1, 2005) Slovakia was the 12th most attractive invesment destination in Europe in 2004, according to an Ernst & Young survey of 672 managers worldwide, the Hospodárske noviny daily reported. The new EU member was also the sixth most frequently mentioned European country for prospective future investments. As regards the attractiveness of the tax system, Slovakia shares the third position with Poland and Switzerland. Based on the direct foreign investments factor, Slovakia is in fifth place as regards its share of the automotive industry (behind France, the Czech Republic, Poland and the UK).
Zdroj: Slovak Spectator
Slovakia and Czech Republic regional FDI success stories
(Slovak Spectator – June 29, 2005) Slovakia and the Czech Republic have become regional leaders in attracting foreign investments to their countries. The volume of the investments since the Velvet Revolution in 1989 is much higher per capita than in Hungary or Poland. However, in the late nineties Slovakia was still lagging considerably behind, the daily SME reported. In the first quarter of 2005 Slovakia attracted Sk1.106 billion (€28.826 million) worth of foreign direct investment (FDI), while Slovak firms invested Sk30 million abroad, said the Slovak Statistics Office.
Zdroj: Slovak Spectator
Slovakia 40th in economic competitiveness
(Slovak Spectator – May 13, 2005) Slovakia ranked 40th out of 60 states in a recent chart that compared competitiveness of economies. The chart was prepared by the Institute for Management Development (IDM). Thus, despite its reforms in the labour market, flat tax system, and tough budgetary policy, Slovakia's position in terms of competitiveness is worse than that of comparable states such as Estonia, the Czech Republic and Hungary. "The favourable tax system is not decisive for the increasing of the competitiveness of the economy although the expense effectiveness of doing business has a strong influence on investment decisions of firms," said Martin Knapko, an analyst with the Bratislava based F A Hayek Foundation, which provided the IDM with Slovak data.
Zdroj: Slovak Spectator
Jobless rate still very high
(Slovak Spectator – May 9, 2005) The unemployment rate in Slovakia fell to 15.9 percent in March, down from the 16.1 percent recorded for February, according to figures published by the EU's statistical agency Eurostat, the SITA news agency wrote. Slovakia has the second highest unemployment rate in the EU, with only Poland posting a higher level - 18.1 percent.
Zdroj: Slovak Spectator
2004: Slovakia received Sk27 billion in FDIs
(Slovak Spectator – April 26, 2005) During 2004, Slovakia received foreign direct investments (FDIs) of Sk27.044 billion (€690 million). Slovak companies invested just Sk1.1 billion (€30 million) abroad, the TASR news agency reported. Compared to 2003 there was a decrease in FDIs of Sk8.7 billion (€220 million). The majority of the foreign investments (Sk21.996 billion) came into the business sphere, while Sk5.05 billion (€120 million) went to the banking sector. According to the information released by the Slovak Statistics Office, the biggest investors in Slovakia last year were Hungary (Sk6.191 billion), Austria (Sk6.122 billion) and the Czech Republic (Sk4.43 billion). More than 80 percent of the direct investments were destined for the industrial sector, almost 73 percent of which went to the Bratislava region.
Zdroj: Slovak Spectator
Innovation park in Vajnory
(Slovak Spectator – April 22, 2005) An Austrian investor is planning to build a Central European Park for Innovative Technologies (CEPIT) in Bratislava. The park, covering an area of 630,000 square metres, will be built in the Bratislava district of Vajnory and should employ several thousands of people. Michael Müller, from Austria, wants to invest €40 million (Sk1.6 billion), the SME daily reported. CEPIT will house a big development and research centre, particularly for suppliers of large automotive concerns. According to the daily, the park will also include a specialized school for 1,500 students that would later work in the companies based at CEPIT.
Zdroj: Slovak Spectator
European Commission: Slovak economy will grow fast
(Slovak Spectator – April 6, 2005) The European Commission expects economic growth of around five percent in Slovakia in 2005 and 2006. Prospects are not as favourable for the 12 countries using the common currency - the euro. The Commission now estimates that economic growth in the Eurozone will be 1.6 percent this year, down from the 2 percent originally expected. Slovakia's economic growth should continue to be driven by household consumption, which is positively influenced by real income growth and a decrease in inflation. In 2004, household expenditures rose by 7.5 percent. This year's growth in household consumption is expected to slow to 4 percent, and in 2006, it is expected to be 3 percent. The European Commission expects Slovakia's foreign trade balance to remain negative…
Zdroj: Slovak Spectator
Slovakia turns in mixed results on Lisbon goals
(Slovak Spectator – March 21, 2005) In Meeting the goals of the European Union's (EU) Lisbon strategy, Slovakia is one of the best in the EU in clearing administrative hurdles for business activity but among the worst in liberalizing its research and development and telecoms sectors, the news agency TASR reported. A report published by the London-based Centre for European Reform (CER) released on March 17 shows Slovakia evaluated with a mark “C”. The top performer in meeting the Lisbon goals, launched in 2000 to make the EU the world's most competitive economy by 2010, is Sweden, while Italy is the worst. Among the goals set by the Lisbon strategy for the EU are three-percent annual GDP growth and 20 million new jobs. A three-percent increase in spending on science and research and development.

Zdroj: Slovak Spectator
World Bank: Slovakia is a role model
(Slovak Spectator – March 14, 2005) The World Bank says that Slovakia's experience with reform could be used as an example for other countries to follow. The comments came from World Bank Vice President for Central and Eastern Europe Shigeo Katsu at a meeting with Slovak Finance Minister Ivan Mikloš on March 4. The two officials agreed that the relationship between the two entities is evolving into a partnership. Areas that offer scope for cooperation between include e-government projects and the innovative uses of venture capital, the SITA news agency reported.

Zdroj: Slovak Spectator
Slovakia’s economic growth strongest of Visegrad 4
(Slovak Spectator – March 11, 2005) FOR the third year in a row, Slovakia's economic growth was the strongest of all the Visegrad 4 (V4) states. The country's gross domestic product grew by 5.5 percent in 2004, while neighbouring Poland recorded 5.4 percent and Hungary and the Czech Republic 4 percent. According to the Hospodárske noviny business daily, economic growth in Slovaka is the fastest in the last seven years. The economic growth was supported by a 3.5 percent growth in domestic consumption. The growth was also reflected in higher wages as real wages grew by 2.5 percent in 2004 and the average Slovak wage reached Sk15,825 (€420). Companies in Slovakia also enjoyed the booming economy. According to the Slovak Statistics Office, non-financial sector companies registered a 24.3 percent profit growth on 2003.

Zdroj: Slovak Spectator
Purchasing power, regional disparities up
(Slovak Spectator – March 7, 2005) Although purchasing power per capita is growing in Slovakia, regional disparities are getting larger, according to a poll carried out by the GfK institute, the SITA news agency reported. The survey shows that the average Slovak can spend Sk120,000 (€3,160) per year. The sum includes net income from working activities and social benefits, such as unemployment and maternity leave. Slovakia's wealthiest area is Bratislava, followed by Považie, which includes Žilina, and Košice. Purchasing power is lowest in the Orava region, Southern Central Slovakia and in remote districts in the East. People in Kežmarok, Krupina, Vranov nad Topľou and Košice - okolie districts are reported as having the lowest average purchasing power.

Zdroj: TREND
University Looks to Help Companies and not only Wait for them
(TREND – February 24, 2005) Two years ago a new idea was born at the Slovak Technical University (STU) in Bratislava. By October of this year a business incubator focused on the transfer of innovation technologies and know-how from the university into business practice will become fully operational. Last year, the University received a Phare grant of 1.45 mil EUR (55.10 bil. SK) for this project, i.e. two thirds of the total budget. It will provide premises and services to students, graduates, postgraduates and also to scientists and pedagogues who have innovative ideas but are short of money. The incubator should help to transform their ideas into companies specializing in nanotechnologies, biotechnologies, energy, the environment, software development and environmental technologies.
Zdroj: Slovak Spectator
Slovakia 36th in 2005 economic freedom index
(Slovak Spectator – February 11, 2005) Slovakia ranked 36th out of 155 countries in the 2005 Index of Economic Freedom (IEF), compiled annually by the Heritage Foundation (HF) and the Wall Street Journal. The IEF authors think that over the last ten years Slovakia has made great progress towards a free economy. Removing bureaucratic barriers and improving investment opportunities are key factors. In 1998, Slovakia came only 77th in the IEF chart, TASR news agency wrote. Slovakia's 19-percent flat tax rate is a "massive opportunity for the development the economy" said one of the authors
Zdroj: Slovak Spectator
More investment for Eastern Slovakia
(Slovak Spectator – February 7, 2005) French multinational company Valeo Security Systems (VSS) announced that it would invest millions of euros in Eastern Slovakia over the next few years. VSS officials signed a memorandum with Economy Minister Pavol Rusko, acting on behalf of the government, to invest €16.4 million in constructing a plant in the Košce Pereš industrial park, the TASR news agency reported. The VSS investment should create up to 700 jobs within three years, said Rusko. VSS plans to supply vehicle security systems for Slovakia's fast-developing automotive industry. It will work with French carmaker PSA's factories in Trnava and with South Korean Kia Motors in Žilina. VSS chose to invest in Slovakia because of its favourable geographical position and high number of qualified personnel.

Zdroj: Slovak Spectator
World Bank report praises Slovakia
(Slovak Spectator – February 7, 2005) The latest report from the World Bank says that of the eight former communist countries that joined the EU in 2004, Slovakia is leading the field in economic reform. The World Bank also noted, however, that the country needs to continue implementing the reforms, according to the daily SME. The report says that Slovakia's gross domestic product (GDP) growth was 5.4 percent for the third quarter in 2004, unemployment was at 17.5 percent, inflation at 6.4 percent and foreign direct investments as a proportion of GDP reached 3.3 percent. Slovakia needs to keep working to improve its business environment and transport infrastructure.
Zdroj: TREND
The Slovak Lisbon Strategy – Everybody Wants the same but in a Different Way
(TREND – February 3, 2005) Culture is “an umbrella term that covers aesthetics, ethics, sociology and economics.” The Ministry of Culture stressed this in its comments to the draft Strategy for Slovakia’s Competitiveness to 2010. The Ministry of Construction objected that the draft’s creators headed by advisor to the Minister of Finance, Martin Bruncko seemed to have forgotten about agriculture and the Minister of Environment objected to the lack of emphasis on environmental issues in the document. The Club of Families with Many Children (Klub mnohodetnych rodin) also contributed to the commenting process – in their opinion the Strategy does not address issues related to families with many children. If everything is a priority, nothing will be a priority.
Zdroj: Slovak Spectator
Slovakia has 2nd highest EU jobless rate
(Slovak Spectator – January 10, 2005) The number of jobless in Slovakia is decreasing very slowly, with an unemployment rate of 17.3 percent for November, according to the European statistical office Eurostat. The only EU country with a higher rate is Poland, with a jobless total exceeding 18 percent. Eurostat uses the same methodology in each of the EU countries, which makes such comparisons valid. Ireland, Luxembourg and Austria are the EU countries with the lowest numbers of jobless, with unemployment at less than 5 percent.
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