BUSINESS FOCUS - CZECH REPUBLIC

A common path to success

THE CONSTRUCTION outfit Skanska, based in the Czech Republic, believes Slovakia is a country of opportunity, which is why this year it decided to establish its own daughter company, Skanska SK, this side of the border.
Focusing on infrastructure construction and the production of building materials, the company is number one in the Czech market, with an annual turnover in the tens of billion dollars. The company is confident that its Slovak subsidiary will become just as successful.

THE CONSTRUCTION outfit Skanska, based in the Czech Republic, believes Slovakia is a country of opportunity, which is why this year it decided to establish its own daughter company, Skanska SK, this side of the border.

Focusing on infrastructure construction and the production of building materials, the company is number one in the Czech market, with an annual turnover in the tens of billion dollars. The company is confident that its Slovak subsidiary will become just as successful.

"We would be glad to get our company to the top of the construction ladder in Slovakia. Among other things, we are currently building a tunnel near the Bratislava Zoo and are part of a consortium creating a new railway corridor between Bratislava and Trnava," Daniel Bel, the executive director of Skanska SK told The Slovak Spectator.

An important acquisition for Skanska over the last year was a 76.3 percent stake in Banské stavby (Mining Constructions), a Slovak company that is centred on infrastructure projects.

Bel doesn't think EU accession will bring significant growth to the construction sector in Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Investors started to use EU funds for construction even before joining the EU.

"However, we expect a mild revival in apartment building, thanks to the higher availability of bank loans," he said.

Bel suggested that the shared history of the two countries could help predict business development in Slovakia, sometimes imitating processes that have taken place in the Czech Republic.

"We can assume that what happened in the Czech Republic will happen in Slovakia too. Economic conditions here are better now. Slovakia has become a very interesting market," Bel concluded.

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