Capital faces competition

BRATISLAVA's share of foreign investment is decreasing. Investors are discovering the benefits of central and eastern Slovakia, and want to establish their manufacturing plants in smaller towns and even villages.

In the first half of the year, approximately Sk15 billion (€360 million) poured into new Slovak companies. Although Bratislava still attracts the lion's share at 75 percent, the percentage is far below previous years, the daily SME reported.

In 2003, Bratislava captured 84.3 percent of foreign direct investment. In 2002 it swallowed 91.5 percent.

The shift does not surprise Martin Barto, an analyst at the Slovenská sporiteĺňa bank. According to Barto, foreign investors can establish a modest headquarters in Bratislava but take their manufacturing base to the central or eastern regions, where real estate and labour is cheaper.

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