The most recent survey by Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SOPK) has found that businesses envisage 2009 as a year which will see domestic sales falling and exports stagnating, said SOPK Chairman Peter Mihók.
“This is why the Chamber will be looking for links and markets abroad for both its members and non-members via 60 foreign missions in 2009 – especially within the European Union,” he said.
The survey also revealed that half of those polled view the business environment as favourable and the other half as unfavourable, while more than half described the business environment as stagnant but stable. They also complained about the lack of trust displayed by banks, consumers and between businesses themselves, the TASR newswire wrote.
Consumers are said to be cautious during shopping, reluctant to take on debt, and are going shopping in Poland, the Czech Republic, Austria and Hungary, where the local currency against the euro and VAT are more favourable. Slovak businesses are affected by these shopping forays by Slovaks.
Mihók said, “SOPK would like to have the government take more efficient measures in favour of Slovak exporters, and there should be a new financial scheme drawn up to promote SMEs.” Although entrepreneurs’ familiarity with using EU funds has improved, there is little interest in tapping them during the time of crisis because the funds must be matched with domestic investment. The survey also showed that entrepreneurs view the EU funds-granting process as non-transparent. Between 2007 and 2013, Slovakia can draw a total of €13.28 billion in EU funds earmarked for the country. 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.
9. Mar 2009 at 14:00