SLOVAKIA is a part of the European Union, and hence close to its most developed members both in terms of location and legislation. For this reason, it has a good opportunity to offer so-called nearshoring, the outsourcing of activities to a supplier in a geographically close locality, the Hospodárske Noviny daily has reported.
Slovakia also has a relatively low language barrier, not only in English, but also in German and other European languages. If a client was looking, for instance, for a supplier offering German language support they would probably experience more problems in what would otherwise be a very attractive outsourcing destination, such as India.
Then there is the domino effect. Positive experience by the first nearshoring clients has attracted more companies. As a result, Slovakia is now on the 'outsourcing map' for firms from Western Europe, as well as the USA, the daily wrote.
On the other hand, Slovakia's relatively small population means that there are correspondingly few people working in each profession. Even though people can re-train, this is generally a lengthy process, especially in areas requiring detailed knowledge. As a result, the labour market can easily be exhausted.
Also, as a result of Slovakia's rapidly growing economy labour costs are growing at a quicker pace than in Western Europe. The country's main advantage for several years - cheap labour - is now decreasing, Hospodárske Noviny concluded.
26. May 2008 at 0:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff from press reports