Business Briefs

FWA licences attract five bidders
Central bank reports FDI grows five-fold
EIB to give 34 million euros for motorways
Volume of unpaid taxes jumps on 2000 figure
Pact signed on Gabčíkovo industrial park

FWA licences attract five bidders

The Telecommunications Office said May 4 it had received five bids in a tender for three national fixed-wireless access (FWA) licences, each to be issued at a pre-set price of 70 million crowns ($1.4 million).
The bids, from Callino, GityCOM, Metis, Nextra Wireless and RDT, will be examined and the three winners announced within 15 days.
Earlier it had been expected that current mobile operators Globtel and EuroTel and fixed-line monopoly Slovenské telekomunikácie (ST) would bid for the licences, but none of the three had bid by deadline. Were the three firms to have bid, competitors said, it would have stifled competition on the telecom market, which the state has been keen to open up before complete liberalisation in 2003.
FWA allows high speed, two-way data transfer, including fast Internet access through antennae to fixed lines.

Central bank reports FDI grows five-fold

The central bank said May 2 that the inflow of investments into Slovakia last year hit $1.99 billion, over five times the level of the year before and more than the entire total inflow since Slovakia's independence in 1993.
High-profile investments such as that of U.S. Steel into the Slovak steelworks VSŽ, and Austrian firm Neusiedler's takeover of pulp and paper mill SCP Ružomberok were among the largest investments in 2000, along with the sale of the state telecoms firm, ST, to Germany's Deutsche Telekom for one billion euros.
The government is hoping to top that FDI figure in 2001.

EIB to give 34 million euros for motorways

The European Investment Bank (EIB) will provide a 34 million euro loan to Slovakia for the construction of two four-lane highways near the town of Nová Baňa after Finance Minister Brigita Schmögnerová and EIB Vice-President Wolfgang Roth signed an agreement on the credit May 4.
The project will see the construction of two highway sections, each of eight kilometres in length, better linking Bratislava and central Slovakia's Banská Bystrica.
The loan comes as the EIB made public plans to sign new lending contracts with Slovakia of 300 million euros to be used in transport and environmental protection, as well as credits to complete foreign investment projects.

Volume of unpaid taxes jumps on 2000 figure

Unpaid taxes in Slovakia last year amounted to 64.8 billion crowns, up 10.8 billion crowns from the year before, cabinet was told at its regular sitting May 2.
The government had hoped last year to cut down on tax evasion, a constant headache for successive administrations, and had said that it was making headway in dealing with the problem.
Analysts say that along with this shortfall the state budget also has to contend with an inefficient tax collection programme. State companies are among the largest tax debtors.

Pact signed on Gabčíkovo industrial park

A pact on a new industrial park near the Gabčíkovo hydroelectric dam on the Danube River has been signed by representatives of the Industrial Businesses Association, the IPEC Group developers, financiers CLEA and regional and local politicians.
The park, which will be known as the Danube Industrial Park, will be 150 hectares in size and will use land and sites left over from construction of the dam. It will also use the Danube River for transporting goods.

Compiled by Ed Holt from SITA, TASR and press reports

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