Slovak Economy Minster Ľudovít Černák told journalists on May 3 that the 1999 trade deficit would probably be around 30 to 35% lower than in 1998.
"The aim of reducing the trade balance deficit by 30-35% for 1999 is realistic," he said. "I expect high-tech and equipment imports to increase with rising investment. I think, though, that our exporters have not had their last word yet."
The 1998 trade deficit was 80.793 billion Slovak crowns ($1.9 billion), which amounted to over 11% of gross domestic product.
The Slovak crown has depreciated sharply over the last year, and devaluation pressure forced the central bank to float the currency in late 1998.
10. May 1999 at 0:00 | From press reports of TASR and SITA