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OECD says Slovakia still trailing developed countries

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) urged Slovakia on March 3 to step up its reform programme, as it still lags far behind the best-performing members in GDP per capita terms.

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) urged Slovakia on March 3 to step up its reform programme, as it still lags far behind the best-performing members in GDP per capita terms.

According to the Paris-based organisation, this is reflected in Slovakia's still low level of labour utilisation and productivity. Releasing its periodical paper “Economic Policy Reforms: Going for Growth” for 2009 on Tuesday, March 3, the OECD stated that reform efforts should go further in such sectors as education and competition.

According to the paper, education levels in Slovakia are below the OECD average. Tertiary education is of a low standard, and that has a negative knock-on effect on the output of the labour market. The OECD advises Slovakia, among other things, to foster the integration of Roma children into the education system and to make tertiary education more attractive by offering 2-3 year occupationally-oriented programmes, the TASR newswire reported.

The OECD said that despite some progress in making economic regulation more competition-friendly, substantial impediments to competition remain, particularly in network industries and in terms of self-employment in creative fields. This, too, tends to limit productivity growth. The so-called rich countries’ club recommends facilitating the entry of new market participants and reform of the public sector in order to reduce the administrative burden on corporations.

It described as ‘worrying’ the barriers to female labour force participation, in which employment rates are very low for mothers. The OECD also noted that labour mobility could be improved through better housing policies. TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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