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Business in review

Tourism law takes effect. A revised law to support tourism development passed by parliament in October becomes effective on December 1, simplifying the process to create local and regional tourism organisations and allowing non-neighbouring municipalities to work together and qualify for state funding. The head of the Slovak Tourist Board calls the modified law the best news for the tourism sector in the past 20 years and believes it will attract more visitors to Slovakia.

Tourism law takes effect. A revised law to support tourism development passed by parliament in October becomes effective on December 1, simplifying the process to create local and regional tourism organisations and allowing non-neighbouring municipalities to work together and qualify for state funding. The head of the Slovak Tourist Board calls the modified law the best news for the tourism sector in the past 20 years and believes it will attract more visitors to Slovakia.

Volkswagen is top Slovak firm. Volkswagen Slovakia’s 2010 revenue of €4.04 billion makes it the 18th largest company in the central European region according to the CEE Top 500 list compiled by the firm Coface. The automaker’s revenue took first place in Slovakia, surpassing last year’s number one, Samsung Electronics Slovakia, which dropped to third position behind oil refiner Slovnaft.

Online bookstore grows fast. Martinus.sk, an online bookstore, captures 16th place in Europe in the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 EMEA, which lists the 500 fastest growing high-tech companies in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Martinus.sk ranks 161st in the overall list, slightly behind another Slovak company, Sygic, which produces GPS navigation systems and took 156th place. Martinus.sk recorded 967-percent growth in revenue over the past five years.

ČSA halts most flights from Slovakia. Czech Airlines (ČSA) ends its regular flights from Bratislava, Žilina and Poprad while maintaining its flights to and from Košice. The airline company cites a poor economic outlook and low ticket sales; the decision came just six months after the airline launched new routes from Bratislava.

Slovakia loses ground in tax ranking. According to the most recent report prepared by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), part of the World Bank, and the PwC consultancy firm, only 54 of 183 countries examined for the Paying Taxes report have a worse tax environment than Slovakia, with the country falling by seven positions from its previous ranking.

Mochovce installs pressure vessel. Slovenské Elektrárne (SE), a subsidiary of the Italian energy group Enel, completes installation of a reactor pressure vessel in the fourth unit of its nuclear power station in Mochovce on schedule as part of its €2.8 billion project to build the third and fourth units at its nuclear power station in Mochovce. Electricity generated at the third and fourth units should be phased in at the end of 2012 and 2013, respectively.

Parliament adopts budget for 2012. Legislators from the ruling parties, with some help from the opposition Smer party, approve a 2012 state budget with a projected deficit of €3.675 billion or 4.6 percent of gross domestic product, an increase from the originally planned deficit of 3.8 percent of GDP. Revenue is estimated at €13.625 billion, expenditure at €17.23 billion given projected economic growth of 1.7 percent for 2012.

Third quarter GDP growth of 3 percent. The Statistics Office reports that Slovakia’s gross domestic product grew by 3 percent year-on-year in the third quarter of 2011, following 3.4 -percent growth during the first quarter and a 3.5-percent growth during the second quarter. GDP growth was boosted by a 6.8-percent year-on-year increase in exports of goods and services and was slowed by a 4.4-percent fall in domestic demand.


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