The business environment in Slovakia deteriorated slightly in the final quarter of 2007, according to the Business Environment Index (IPP), which has fallen for the sixth time in a row, it was reported on February 26.
According to a regular survey carried out by the Slovak Business Alliance (PAS), the Index now stands at 120.9 points, which represents a fall of 0.94 percent compared to 3Q07. The biggest fall - 5.83 percent - was recorded in the category of labour legislation, which fell to 99.7 points. This was mainly due to the Labour Code amendment that came into force on September 1, 2007 and that has created barriers for businesses and for a free labour market, the PAS project manager Matej Tunega told the TASR.
The indicator for legislation on obligatory payments to the state fell by 4.9 percent to 143.4 points. This was the result of the Social Insurance Act, which increased company costs and lowered the net salaries of people earning more than three times the average salary, while not introducing any extra obligations for the state. Interference in the private second pillar of the pension system has created further concerns, and made an already complicated system even more of a headache.
The third-largest decrease came in the category of tax, fees and investment legislation, which dropped by 4.17 percent to 143.7 points. According to PAS, this fall was caused mainly by the introduction of an electricity, coal and natural-gas consumer tax for entrepreneurs. Conversely, the indicator for transport and telecommunications infrastructure increased by 2.19 percent, and now stands at 160.7 points. An increase was also registered in the category of cross-border trade regulations, which improved by 1.77 percent to stand at 154.4 points. This increase was mainly caused by the Act on the Euro, which should significantly help with the process of adopting the common European currency, and further increase international trade. The indicator for reliability and trading-partner financial discipline rose by 0.34 percent to 136.3 points.
The original IPP index calculation was made on July 1, 2001, with the reference index value put at 100 points. Respondents evaluated changes in the business environment for the first time in the third quarter of the same year. PSS has carried out 26 evaluations so far. TASR
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.