Government expands definition of “investments of significance”

THE government on June 17 approved an Economy Ministry-sponsored bill expanding the legal definition of “investment of significance” and recommended parliament to pass the bill via fast-tracked proceedings. 

Vazil HudákVazil Hudák (Source: SITA)

The legislation is set to enter into force on the date when it is announced in the Legal Code.The adjustment will make it possible to label investments by companies owned by the state “investments of significance” if they concern the efficient use of large, so far unused plots of land for the construction of strategic parks designed for placing investments in industrial production, services and research and development.

The bill should contribute to "significant economic development for Slovakia", including the creation of new jobs and the establishment of secondary supply relations and indirect jobs, the Economy Ministry informed, as quoted by the TASR newswire.

Nevertheless, one complication is that plots of land in several locations have not been properly settled in terms of ownership.

“The process of uniting fragmented territories, their adjustment, the existence of the legal notion of 'unknown owners', the risk of possible restitution claims, unclear inheritance relationships, errors in records, as well as other aspects represent both legal uncertainty and considerable unwieldiness in the implementation of large-scale national economic activities that are of benefit to the whole of society,” the ministry explained.

The bill will speed up investment processes to the benefit of important investors, including construction permits and territorial planning, new Economy Minister Vazil Hudák said after the cabinet session. Slovakia is attempting to attract large strategic investments, with these investors demanding large plots of land that would also be prepared in terms of logistics. This bill should facilitate the related processes, he added.

“We’ve had cases in the past when large investments slipped past us because unfortunately there are no large plots and big industrial parks in Slovakia,” said Hudák, adding that Poland and the Czech Republic have 100-500 hectare plots prepared for such investments.

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