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Slovakia’s international competitiveness falls

Slovakia sank nine places in the international competitiveness ladder over the past year based on the Global Competitiveness Report 2010-11 published by the World Economic Forum, the TASR newswire reported.

Slovakia sank nine places in the international competitiveness ladder over the past year based on the Global Competitiveness Report 2010-11 published by the World Economic Forum, the TASR newswire reported.

Slovakia stands at 69th out of 142 countries and had the worst result among the Visegrad Four countries (Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia), recording a decline in competitiveness on the index for the fifth year in a row. However, this year's drop is not as precipitous as last year, when it dropped 13 places to reach its historical nadir. The other Visegrad Four countries have been sustaining their positions or have improved: the Czech Republic is 38th, Poland 41st and Hungary 48th, TASR wrote.

Economy Minister Juraj Miškov ascribes Slovakia's descent as part of the legacy left by the previous government of Robert Fico (2006-2010).

“When I calculate the decline by 9 [in 2011] and 13 positions [in 2010] together, [I can say] that the decline in competitiveness was caused by Fico’s government,” said Miškov. “This is a signal for me that we have to be even more pro-reform ... inevitably, Slovakia needs changes.”

Robert Kičina from the Slovak Business Alliance (PAS) commented that the country’s position reflects that Slovakia has already used up the potential of the reforms carried out seven years ago; adding that new reforms had not been introduced at the time when the ranking was prepared or their effect was not yet visible.

“Pessimism and uncertainty prevail in the business environment,” he said.

Kičina labelled inefficient public administration bodies, a low innovation rate in the economy, below-average quality of infrastructure, and an education system that is falling behind, along with too much bureaucracy and corruption as the main barriers to Slovakia’s improved competitiveness.

Source: TASR

Compiled by Jana Liptáková from press reports
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