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Slovakia falls in WEF competitiveness rankings

Slovakia has placed 41st among 131 countries according to the competitiveness of its economy, dropping two places after four years of climbing, the Global Competitiveness Report 2007-2008 published by the World Economic Forum (WEF) revealed on October 31.

"Slovakia's biggest competitive disadvantage, according to the WEF, is its high pay-roll tax burden," said Robert Kičina, executive director of the Slovak Business Alliance, which is the WEF's official partner on behalf of Slovakia. A poor level of efficiency in public spending, a high public finances deficit, the state of transport infrastructure, agriculture policy spending and an undeveloped capital market were the factors that led to Slovakia’s lower ranking.

Among Slovakia's major competitive advantages were the openness of its economy to foreign investors bringing new technologies, a lack of barriers on imports and exports, flexibility in wage bargaining, and a high correlation between salaries and labour productivity, according to the WEF.

Slovakia's partners in the Visegrad Four grouping have also lost ground, with the Czech Republic falling two places to 33rd place, Hungary tumbling six places to 47th, and Poland winding up in 51st place. TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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