03. 01. 2018 14:46
The majority of Slovaks harbour memories of the Velvet Revolution where citizens jangled their keys on the main squares of towns and cities. Those outside the country with business in mind, however, may remember the fall of the Iron Curtain for the path it paved towards previously closed markets which were once ignored by the west; one of those being Slovakia. This was penned by Róbert Turza, economic writer for the Hospodárske Noviny business daily in an article published on Wednesday, where he noted that the country did not only become a surplus merchant, but also a lure for investors.
Strategic businesses went through privatisation in the early years, while large foreign players appeared on the Slovak market, lured by a cheap workforce of high quality, while being supplemented by a convenient location and good infrastructure.
As an example, Volkswagen Group was the first major investor which appeared in Slovakia in 1991, establishing a production hall in Bratislava, where a mere 112 employees managed the production of the first Volkswagen Passat. Fast-forward to 2018 and Volkswagen is now Slovakia's biggest employer with 12,300 staff.
On December 28, Economy Minister Peter Žiga (Smer-SD) told TASR that investments being prepared for 2018 could create more than 30,000 new jobs. "We have 76 projects in the amount of €4 billion. According to information from investors, this should apply to 31,000 new jobs," said Žiga. However, he added that the country is still competing over some of those with neighbouring countries.