BUSINESS FOCUS: Pandemic changes plans of American investors in Slovakia

Slovak-US relations, impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on US companies in Slovakia and the story of the first factory for electric car batteries in Slovakia are among the highlights of the latest Business Focus.

Amazon’s returns centre in Sereď is an example of a successful US project in Slovakia.Amazon’s returns centre in Sereď is an example of a successful US project in Slovakia. (Source: TASR)

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

US Ambassador: Our democracy will come out of this stronger

Rarely does the world change so much within a few months as it has since Bridget Brink first came to Bratislava to serve as the US ambassador to Slovakia. In this interview with The Slovak Spectator, she comments on how governments have responded to the pandemic, the similarity she sees between the Black Lives Matter protests in the US to the For a Decent Slovakia movement, and the threats of corruption and disinformation facing Slovakia.

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Pandemic has changed plans of American investors

While the list of US investments and companies active in Slovakia is not very long, numbering about 90, it include big technological companies like IBM, Dell, AT&T, and the medical company Medline. The Slovak company InoBat and the US company Wildcat Discovery Technologies have also made a joint investment into the R&D of e-car batteries.

“Attracting investments from the electromobility sector is a key prerequisite for the transformation of the automotive industry in Slovakia,” the Slovak Investment and Trade Development Agency (SARIO) told The Slovak Spectator.

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US companies in Slovakia: COVID-19 has created a new normal for us

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted US companies in Slovakia differently, depending on the sector in which they operate. While for the steel company U.S. Steel Košice (USSK) it meant the worsening of an already unfavourable situation devastated by cheap steel import from Asia, the business service centres of IBM and Dell have faced the challenge of securing a full-fledged operation from home office. The Slovak Spectator spoke about the impacts of the coronavirus crisis on their companies and future prospects with Jim Bruno, president of U.S. Steel Košice (USSK); Paul Burt, managing director at IBM International Services Centre; and Silvia Jeleníková, co-site leader at the Dell Bratislava Global Business Centre.

Related articleUS companies in Slovakia: COVID-19 has created a new normal for us Read more 

Quo vadis – Rule of Law Initiative?

When the Rule of Law Initiative started back in 2014, we knew any substantial improvements would require time. Looking back at the previous six years and four different governments offers us an interesting perspective. What has been achieved? Which recommendations made it from paper to reality? What can the business community expect in the near future? To understand the expectations for the future, it is important to look at the past, writes Michal Krčméry, the Director of Government Affairs & Spokesperson, American Chamber of Commerce in Slovakia (AmCham), and coordinator of the Rule of Law Initiative.

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Slovakia is following the trend by producing electric car batteries

The first factory producing electric car batteries in Slovakia will be located in Voderady (Trnava Region). Together with the renowned US company Wildcat Discovery Technologies, the Slovak InoBat Auto firm aims to build a 100 MWh demonstration production line, with plans to upscale to a 10 GWh battery mass production facility that will serve automotive manufacturers in central and eastern Europe.

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Fulbright Program remains with people long after they return home

Completing a scholarship programme offered by the Fulbright Commission brings added value to one’s CV. The personal and cultural experiences benefit the participants, but also their environment, and create a network and contacts that can be used in the future, according to Lýdia Tobiášová, executive director of the J. W. Fulbright Commission in Slovakia.

Related articleFulbright Program remains with people long after they return home Read more 

Restored monument marks fallen US soldiers near Zohor

A commemorative event recognised the restoration of a monument honouring a US airmen downed over Slovakia during WWII on September 19.

“It is the least we can do today to honour the memory of those who laid down their lives in the fight for freedom and justice and supported the liberation of our country from fascism and Nazism,” said Interior Minister Roman Mikulec.

Related articleRestored monument marks fallen US soldiers near Zohor Read more 

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