Businesses in Slovakia expect a positive development of the economy, a survey recently conducted by the Slovak Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SOPK) among businesses and published on January 23 suggests. They also predict that their own economic results will be better than a year ago, while foreseeing an improvement of results in the upcoming years, the SITA newswire wrote.
Although they expect that the business environment to improve in 2018 against the previous year, they do not highly evaluate the government’s economic policy and their communication with business sector institutions.
As for the expected development of the Slovak economy, the challenge will mainly be support for science, research and education, SOPK chairman Peter Mihók said at the Chamber’s 21st annual conference on January 23.
Independent Slovakia has shown itself to be practically viable in all fields in the 25 years of its existence, Mihók said in his opening speech, as quoted by the TASR newswire. However, this and the next few years will mainly be about the sustainability of positive developments. This will require significant changes in the education sector in terms of preparing future qualified workers, as well as in the field of science and research, he stressed.
Deputy PM comments on business environemnt, drawing structural funds
This topic is key, the Deputy Prime Minister for Investments and Informatisation, Peter Pellegrini, opined. It would be desirable if individual business alliances and associations united under one roof; which would be instrumental in discussions on improving the business environment, he said.
First, it will be necessary to specify the fields of research worth our support, he added.
“We cannot afford to finance everyone and everything,” Pellegrini pointed out, as quoted by SITA.
The deputy PM dedicated a major part of his speech to structural funds and how they are drawn, describing them as one of the significant development factors for Slovakia.
Measures passed to reduce red tape
Several measures that simplified paperwork when filing applications for subsidies were put into practice last year. Reducing red tape, filing applications in electronic form and scrapping supplements are specific measures that have been implemented within the “Once and Enough” initiative. The authorities will use available registers and businesspeople can dedicate their spare time to preparing higher quality projects, according to Pellegrini. All businesspeople in Slovakia have already set up electronic mailboxes, so they can file their applications comfortably from their own offices.
In September 2017, the government approved an Action Plan to Increase Transparency and Simplify the Implementation of EU Funds, prepared in cooperation with an initiative called Let’s Stop Corruption. The action plan is another step forwards, in response to deficiencies found in calls for scientific-research projects and their evaluation process. A total of 38 measures have been proposed in 26 fields, stated Pellegrini.
An important contribution to the debate on the future of the Slovak economy should be the document Economic Policy Strategy until 2030, currently being elaborated by the Economy Ministry. The document to be drafted this year should determine the strategic heading of Slovakia in the coming years, Economy Minister Peter Žiga said, as cited by SITA.