Slovakia 'losing its advantage' among the Visegrad 4

An analysis by the National Bank of Slovakia (NBS) suggests that other Visegrad 4 member countries are catching up with group leader Slovakia, the Hospodárske Noviny financial daily reported in its March 19 edition.

An analysis by the National Bank of Slovakia (NBS) suggests that other Visegrad 4 member countries are catching up with group leader Slovakia, the Hospodárske Noviny financial daily reported in its March 19 edition.

The main reasons given are the strong euro, the relatively high labour price and three years without major reforms in the Slovak economy. However, the central bank’s experts say that despite this, Slovakia's competitiveness continues to be good, the daily reported.

The strong conversion exchange rate of Sk30.1260 to one euro increased nominal wages for Slovaks but meant that compared to Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary, Slovakia now has the highest labour costs. Analysts say it is necessary to pay attention to the relationship between the wage level and labour productivity. Slovakia still enjoys a good position in terms of the EU average but its advantage shrank slightly at the beginning of this year, due to weakening exchange rates.

Slovakia still ranks highly on international business environment charts but is in fact stagnating after the years earlier this decade when it was regularly listed among top reformers in the sphere of business environment and competitiveness. Businesspeople and foreign institutions regard law enforcement, bureaucracy and the flexibility of the labour market in Slovakia negatively, suggests the Hospodárske Noviny report. HN

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

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