Free-trade agreement might boost Slovak economy

THE TRANSATLANTIC Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the European Union and the United States will bring many positives for a small and open economy like Slovakia’s, said Business Alliance of Slovakia (PAS) Director Robert Kičina at a press conference when discussing the results of a survey among entrepreneurs.

THE TRANSATLANTIC Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the European Union and the United States will bring many positives for a small and open economy like Slovakia’s, said Business Alliance of Slovakia (PAS) Director Robert Kičina at a press conference when discussing the results of a survey among entrepreneurs.

“If transatlantic trade is fully liberalised, it is expected that Slovakia’s GDP could increase by 3.96 - 4.22 percent annually,” said Kičina, adding that sales of companies could go up by 2.57 percent and exports and imports by 3 percent, according to the TASR newswire.

These figures stand for €1,743 per one household while 27,600 new jobs could be created, Kičina added.

PAS in co-operation with the US Embassy in Slovakia carried out a survey among entrepreneurs aimed at identifying opportunities and possible disadvantages related to the treaty. More than half of the 453 entrepreneurs who took part in the survey said that the treaty will bring new business opportunities and will help to revive Slovakia’s economy.

“According to entrepreneurs, the most significant contribution of the TTIP will be an increase in the number of business partners, an intensification of foreign trade and a more simple transfer of know-how and technologies,” Kičina told TASR.

Nevertheless, Slovak entrepreneurs most frequently fear more intense competition on the market, which according to them might trim their revenues or even threaten the viability of part of their businesses. Thus PAS recommends improving the business environment, according to the SITA newswire.

Trade relations between the US and the EU are one of the most significant in the world as they contribute almost half of the total global economic production and support more than 13 million jobs on both sides of the Atlantic, US Ambassador to Slovakia Theodore Sedgwick wrote in his opening piece for the May 31 study that PAS prepared in cooperation with the US Embassy in Bratislava.

“I hope that the mutual trade will soon extend since we are in times when the future of our economies depend on it,” Sedgwick wrote, explaining that since 2013 representatives of both negotiation teams have held five negotiations over the TTIP while these talks are aimed at the removal of not only tariff but also non-tariff obstacles, which will undoubtedly contribute to the faster growth of GDP and global exports from the US and EU.

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Source: TASR