The competitiveness of the Slovak economy has moderately improved since last year. However, the country continues to lag behind its neighbours within the Visegrad Group (comprising the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia). According to the latest World Competitiveness Yearbook, compiled by Swiss business school IMD, Slovakia ranks 48th out of the 59 ranked countries. Last year, Slovakia was one spot lower, the SITA newswire wrote on May 17.
Matúš Pošvanc, head of the F.A. Hayek Foundation, which cooperates on providing data for the chart, says that behind this slight improvement are low labour costs, higher exports to Germany, and the government's approach to consolidation of the public finances. Compared with its neighbours, Slovakia is far behind the Czech Republic in the business environment ranking. The Czech Republic is 30th, making it the most successful former communist country on the chart. Poland is 34th and Hungary 47th. On the other hand, only Slovakia among the four improved its position from last year.
Among the biggest challenges to the growth of competitive strength in the coming period will be the continuing reform of the judiciary, improving the flexibility of the labour market, and the elimination of waste in the public sector. According to Pošvanc, these topics are not new and the current government has identified them too. Hong Kong and the US are this year's competitiveness leaders; followed by Singapore and Sweden. By comparison, Venezuela brought up the rear of the chart as last year, with Croatia second from bottom.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
18. May 2011 at 14:00