Samsonite not first time Slovakia bitten by Asian competition

THE DECISION by Samsonite, the US producer of bags and suitcases, to move its operation from Slovakia to China last week was not the first and will certainly not be the last occasion on which a factory ups stakes for cheaper labour in Asia.

High production costs were also the main reason why Treksport, a Slovak firm producing sports clothes and accessories, moved its production of sleeping bags and backpacks to China several years ago. Before the move, Treksport's production costs made the final price of these products so high that they were uncompetitive, the Hospodárske noviny daily wrote.

Marek Harviš from Treksport said that the company started producing small backpacks in Asia in 2003, and one year later moved its production of large backpacks there as well. The firm's workforce in Slovakia has since fallen from more than 100 to several dozen.

Compiled by Marta Ďurianová from press reports
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