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Summit is business opportunity for Slovakia

BRATISLAVA officials, institutions and businessmen perceive the Bush-Putin summit as an opportunity to make Bratislava more visible, the daily Hospodárske noviny reported.

"No other international event can bring such media interest in Bratislava and Slovakia," said Alexandra Očkayová, director of strategic marketing at the Slovak Tourism Agency.

The Slovak Investment and Trade Development Agency (SARIO) wants to promote Slovakia as a country of reform that is attractive to foreign investors.

Together with Slovak ministries they will organize a discussion forum focussed on the investment environment, tax and pension reforms, and reform of the Labour Code.

The Business Initiative Host Committee wants to inform visitors about the Slovak investment environment. SARIO and the committee would like to organize special trips for international journalists to successful Slovak companies.

Milan Vajda, spokesman for the Bratislava mayor, expects knowledge of Bratislava as a capital to strengthen as a result of the summit.

Despite the expectations, some tourism representatives warn that not all the activities for the foreign media will find the right participants. Journalists who specialize in foreign policy will hardly be likely to write about the sights of Bratislava or Slovakia.

However, they might at least notice that Bratislava is a standard European town. Many foreign journalists still perceive Slovakia as unsafe and dirty.

Compiled by Spectator staff from press reports

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