News item: English maker of school notebooks abandons plans to invest in Poltár after being told by the SARIO state investment agency that it does not meet conditions for investment stimuli.
By Tomáš Velecký
The mayor of Kechnec, Jozef Konkoly, is an icon in attracting foreign investment, having convinced 12 investors so far to settle in the Kechnec industrial park. But he has been unable to convince government bureaucrats to refund to his municipality the money it spent on preparing industrial land for its investors, for whom 750 people now work. Kechnec no longer has enough money even for its own operations.
In Poltár, Mayor Pavol Galavec lost a British investor due to the indifference of the SARIO state investment agency. The investor had wanted to give work to 200 people in one of Slovakia's poorest regions, but was told it didn't qualify for stimuli.
While such efforts are being frustrated, in Bratislava people are grinning from ear to ear, congratulating themselves on how the unemployment rate is falling. Few people realize that east of Žilina it is not falling, and that the west of the country has no more free labour with which to attract new investment. The east is the future for investors, but if we don't support FDI there, the future won't happen.