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Slovakia’s reputation among foreign investors slips

Scores of foreign investors active in Slovakia say that the country is being badly affected by the crisis. According to a survey carried out by seven foreign chambers of commerce in Slovakia, a majority of the 187 European companies polled said they expect economic development in 2013 to worsen compared to last year. The survey also showed that recent reforms of the tax and labour laws have significantly decreased the attractiveness of Slovakia, the German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SNOPK) wrote in a press release.

Scores of foreign investors active in Slovakia say that the country is being badly affected by the crisis. According to a survey carried out by seven foreign chambers of commerce in Slovakia, a majority of the 187 European companies polled said they expect economic development in 2013 to worsen compared to last year. The survey also showed that recent reforms of the tax and labour laws have significantly decreased the attractiveness of Slovakia, the German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SNOPK) wrote in a press release.

Only about 11 percent of responding companies consider the current economic situation in the country to be good, while an even lower number of investors expects any improvement in the next year. On the other hand, the expectations of foreign investors towards their own firms are more optimistic. Up to 31 percent of companies are counting on better businesses this year, while only 23 percent of them expect a worse situation. About every fourth company would like to increase its investments as well as its number of employees, according to the survey.

“The survey shows that the difficult sales situation on world markets is also reflected in the perspectives of growth of foreign investors in this country,” said the head of the SNOPK and of Siemens in Bratislava, Vladimír Slezák, as quoted in the press release. “Though many companies decreased their expectations compared to the previous year, they will not have a significant impact on employment. Nearly 80 percent would like to maintain or increase their labour forces.”

The positives of Slovakia are its EU membership, a willing and productive labour force working for relatively low wages, and the accessibility and quality of local suppliers. On the other hand, investors criticised the abolition of the flat tax and the increase in the corporate taxes.

Source: German Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports
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