BUSINESS FOCUS - ASIA 1

SARIO's China hints

SLOVAK firms in China should concentrate on individual provinces, which have strong authorities in establishing economic relations, the Slovak Investments and Trade Development Agency (SARIO) recommended Slovak businessmen after its representatives visited the Asian country with Economy Minister Pavol Rusko in May this year.

SLOVAK firms in China should concentrate on individual provinces, which have strong authorities in establishing economic relations, the Slovak Investments and Trade Development Agency (SARIO) recommended Slovak businessmen after its representatives visited the Asian country with Economy Minister Pavol Rusko in May this year.

"We want to actively support and simplify contacts among business sectors of both parts [of the world] and significantly intensify business cooperation between the Slovak Republic and China," said Roman Kuruc, the general director of SARIO, during his stay in China.

After the visit, Rusko told the press that Slovakia could become one of China's strategic partners and participate in the reforestation of the country. He said that the Delta Line company had already signed a contract for reforestation amounting to $250 million (€205 million). State forestry companies, for example Lesy SR, Vojenské Lesy, and Majetky SR, will be involved in this contract as well.

Rusko believes that Slovakia could win other contracts in China in the future. "It will be possible to acquire similar, 20-year contracts with two other Chinese provinces worth $9 billion (€7.4 billion)," said Rusko.

A Slovak engineering company that develops jet engines, Považské strojárne letecké motory, will deliver prototypes of jet engines for the Chinese L-15 training jet project. Milan Mackovich, a member on the company's board, told SITA that this contract amounts to tens of millions of crowns.

Rusko said that the Economy Ministry also wants to support cooperation with the management of the Chinese Caohjing technological park. This should help with the construction of a technological park in eastern Slovakia, chiefly through contacts with international companies operating in the Chinese park.

Chinese and Slovak counterparts agreed on some common activities, such as expositions, seminars, and presentations aimed at developing bilateral investment activities. According to SARIO, China is interested in intensifying cooperation, but emphasises that Slovak firms must address the individual provinces of the country.

"In light of [the country's] reforms, the provinces are highly independent in decision processes," said SARIO.

After the visit to China, Chinese businessmen from the town of Qingdao arrived in Slovakia and, in the beginning of July, Slovakia expects the visit of other Chinese entrepreneurs who oversee the construction of apartments and relaxation centres.

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