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DIPLOMATIC SHORTS

AmCham welcomes new US ambassador to Slovakia

ON JANUARY 16, the US Chamber of Commerce in the Slovak Republic (AmCham) officially welcomed Vincent Obsitnik, the new US ambassador to Slovakia.

ON JANUARY 16, the US Chamber of Commerce in the Slovak Republic (AmCham) officially welcomed Vincent Obsitnik, the new US ambassador to Slovakia.

More than 250 guests from economic, political and diplomatic circles attended the welcome ceremony in Bratislava, the SITA newswire wrote.

During his presentation, the US ambassador outlined the areas he would like to focus on during his mission in Slovakia.

Among the most important pillars of his work in 2008, he named education, supporting the social responsibility of companies, and a so-called "expansion eastward" to focus the embassy's attention on the problems of eastern Slovakia, such as addressing the concern of long-term high unemployment rates, finding jobs for members of the Roma community, and remedying insufficient transport connections with the eestern part of the country.

Better interconnection between the education system and the private sector as well as a more practical application of theoretical knowledge could help reduce the increasing shortage of a qualified labour force in Slovakia, said Obsitnik.

With regards to his extensive experience in the private sector, Obsitnik plans to cooperate closely with member firms of AmCham in Slovakia. AmCham was founded in 1993 in Bratislava as an independent organisation, financed exclusively from member contributions. Its members consist of more than 300 international and Slovak companies, including many of the biggest and most important firms in Slovakia. AmCham member firms currently generate about 20 percent of GDP in Slovakia.

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