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ECONOMIC BRIEFS

Cabinet passes plan to attract investors

The Slovak government approved a strategic plan for attracting more foreign direct investment (FDI) into the country, the government said in a communiqué on March 9.

"The government has set the stimulation of the inflow of foreign investment as one of the primary aims of its work," the communiqué said.

The statement included few concrete details on incentives but said the government would "improve the import duty process...(and) simplify and expedite the granting of construction permits." It added that it had determined the criteria for "tax breaks on corporate income taxes, the value added tax, import duties and others." The statement did not elaborate.

Under the cabinet of former Prime Minister Vladimír Mečiar, who was voted out of power last October, investors shied away from Slovakia because of the perception of high political instability. By the end of 1998, cumulative FDI in Slovakia since the end of communism was only a little over $1.0 billion. In per capita terms, the Czech Republic has received around four times as much.

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