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Foreign trade deficit for 2004 nearly doubles year-on-year

SLOVAKIA'S trade balance for 2004 showed a deficit of Sk47 billion (€1.22 billion), which is up Sk22.6 billion on the year, the TASR news wire reported.

According to the foreign trade report for 2004 submitted by Economy Minister Pavol Rusko, and approved by the government on Wednesday, exports rose 11 percent over 2003 to Sk895.2 billion (€23.3 billion) while imports grew 13.8 percent to Sk942.2 billion (€24.52 billion).

Last year, 85.2 percent of exports were to the European Union while 73.6 percent of imports were from the EU.

The Economy Ministry expects foreign demand to rise in the next few years as a result of the acceleration of the world economy driven mainly by US growth, as well as China and India.

Compiled by Beata Balogová from press reports
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