BUSINESS FOCUS: German business in Slovakia goes beyond automotive

Slovak-German relations, the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on German companies in Slovakia and Slovak startups in Germany are among the highlights of the latest Business Focus.

(Source: Courtesy of Volkswagen Slovakia)

In July 2020, The Slovak Spectator published its Business Focus on Germany. Here is your overview of stories from the focus issue:

Pandemic has shown us how important it is to keep borders open in the long run

When Joachim Bleicker first came to Bratislava four years ago to serve as the ambassador of Germany, Slovakia was just taking over the rotating presidency of the EU Council for the first time. The Slovak Spectator spoke to Ambassador Bleicker on July 1, the day Germany took over the presidency. In the interview, he looks back on the case of the abducted Vietnamese citizen, what the coronavirus pandemic teaches us about the far-right, why Slovaks were more obedient than Germans when anti-coronavirus measures were put in place, why we need open borders in Europe and more.

Related articlePandemic has shown us how important it is to keep borders open in the long run Read more 

Pandemic increased interest in Slovakia as a business destination

The COVID-19 pandemic closed not only schools, borders and restaurants in Slovakia, but also brought car factories’ production lines, their suppliers and other factories to a standstill. Even though they have already resumed operation, they will need months, if not years, to fully recover from the impacts of the coronavirus. Nevertheless, even the corona cloud has a silver lining; the pandemic may instigate a new wave of foreign investments.

“From an increasing number of inquiries from Germany, we know that interest in Slovakia as a business destination has in fact increased,” Peter Kompalla, executive director at the German-Slovak Chamber of Commerce (AHK Slowakei), told The Slovak Spectator.

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The novel virus has brought new solutions for customers as well as a switch to online communication

Halted production, reduced capacities, changes in shipment types, more home office and online communication with clients, but also new solutions for clients as well as campaigns to keep employees motivated: This is what the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to companies with German capital in Slovakia.

The Slovak Spectator surveyed Deutsche Telekom IT Solutions Slovakia, Schaeffler Skalica Volkswagen Slovakia, DHL Express (Slovakia), VSE Holding group and Slovak Telekom on the impacts the coronavirus crisis has had on them and what further development they expect.

Related articleThe novel virus has brought new solutions for customers as well as a switch to online communication Read more 

German business in Slovakia goes beyond automotive

Germany's presence in Slovakia’s industry and business goes far beyond the automotive industry when more than 600 companies in Slovakia have German shareholders, with notable names in the food-making, ICT, freight-forwarding and energy sector, among others, according to the Slovak-German Chamber of Commerce's data.

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Slovak startups eye Germany when scaling up their businesses

The Slovak startup scene is small, but many startups are on the verge of internationalisation. Germany, which is not only the biggest European economy, but also excels with its advanced digital ecosystem and a strong industrial base focusing on generating innovations, is the logical choice of startups eager to expand abroad and scale up their businesses.

The Slovak-German Chamber of Commerce (AHK Slowakei) took three Slovak startups to present its ideas to potential partners in Germany during the Start.up Germany Tour last year.

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Turning kurzarbeit into a permanent labour market instrument

Slovakia has learned a new word during the COVID-19 pandemic – kurzarbeit, or short-time work. The government has introduced this scheme known from Germany and Austria as a temporary instrument to help companies hit by the coronavirus crisis to keep their labour force and assist them in restarting their operation after the demand for their products resumes. Now, it is working to make it permanent.

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The simplification of taxes in Slovakia is an imperative

“It is imperative to simplify the tax code, to make the legislation predictable and compliant with the legislation standards – all parties involved shall be able to give their opinion on planned changes,” said Roman Kontelík, a top representative of the tax consulting, accounting and auditing company Auditorea, which operates in Slovakia, Austria and the Czech Republic. The Slovak Spectator interviewed him and Ulrich Paugger about tax changes to be brought by the Igor Matovič government, the package of business-environment-boosting measures prepared by Economy Minister Richard Sulík as well as what impacts the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the tax advisory and auditing sector in Slovakia.

Related articleThe simplification of taxes in Slovakia is an imperative Read more 

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