SLOVAKIA


A small big country in the heart of Europe with beautiful scenery, tourism and hospitable people

Total area: 48,845 sq km
Population:  5.4 million
Government type: Parliamentary democracy
Administrative division: 8 regions (called “kraj”)
Capital + other major cities: Bratislava (424,000) + Kosice (237,000), Presov (95,000)
Currency: Euro (since January 2009)
Languages: Slovak 78.6%), Hungarian 9.4%, Roma 2.3%, Ruthenian 1%
Ethnicity: Slovak 80.7%, Hungarian 8.5%, Roma 2%, other and unspecified 8.8%
Religion: Roman Catholic 62%, Protestant 8%, Greek Catholic 4%, other 3%, none 13%
President: (Ms.) Zuzana Čaputová (since 15 June 2019)
Prime Minister:(Mr.) Peter Pellegrini (since March 2018)
Date of EU accession: 1 May 2004
map


Slovakia is a high-income advanced economy with a very high Human Development Index,a very high standard of living and performs favourably in measurements of civil liberties, press freedom, internet freedom, democratic governance and peacefulness. The country maintains a combination of a market economy with a comprehensive social security system. Although regional income inequality is high, 90% of citizens own their homes. Citizens of Slovakia are provided with universal health care, free education and one of the longest paid parental leaves in the OECD. The country joined the European Union on 1 May 2004 and joined the Eurozone on 1 January 2009. Slovakia is also a member of the Schengen Area, NATO, the United Nations, the OECD, the WTO, CERN, the OSCE, the Council of Europe and the Visegrád Group. As part of Eurozone, Slovak legal tender is the euro, the world's 2nd-most-traded currency. Slovakia is the world's largest per-capita car producer with a total of 1,090,000 cars manufactured in the country in 2018 alone and the 6th largest car producer in the European Union, representing 43% of Slovakia's total industrial output.



KEY FEATURES

  • 4th richest country in the CEE region by GDP per capita (PPS)
  • World’s no. 1 in terms of car production per-capita
  • No. 6 worldwide in adapting to new technologies ; high innovation potential for R&D projects
  • Second CEE country to adopt Euro currency (2009)
  • Proximity to other CEE markets – 350 million potential customers within a radius of 1,000 km (625 miles)

MACROECONOMIC OVERVIEW


Selected economic indicators, Slovakia, 2012 - 2018

    2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
GDP
Real GDP growth
%
1.5
1.4
2.5
3.6
3.2
3.4
3.9
GDP at current prices
%
72.42
73.82
75.56
78.07
81.22
84.85
90.20
Foreign trade
Exports
€ bn
66.47
69.29
69.40
73.23
75.94
82.21
87.72
Imports
€ bn
63.81
66.15
66.65
71.33
73.50
79.58
85.77
Balance
€ bn
2.67
3.14
2.76
1.89
2.44
2.63
1.95
Prices
CPI - average inflation rate
%
3.7
1.5
-0.1
-0.3
-0.1
1.8
1.9
PPI - industry - average
%
2.0
-0.9
-3.4
-2.9
-4.0
2.5
2.5
Employment
Registered unemployment
%
14.0
14.2
13.2
11.5
9.7
8.1
7.5
Average monthly gross wage
805
824
858
883
912
954
1,013
Exchange rates
SKK/USD average
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
SKK/EUR average
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-


Source: Eurostat, International Monetary Fund, NBS, Slovak Statistical Office, 2017-2018


Slovakia has experienced sustained and steady GDP growth since its integration into the European Union in 2004, except for the financial crisis of 2008-2009 and the Eurozone crisis of 2011-2012. In recent years, the Slovak economy has returned to growth, fuelled by the return of internal and European demand. The GDP growth rate is estimated to have reached 3.9% in 2018, driven by higher household spending and a recovery in investment. A favourable outlook for the Eurozone suggests continued strong growth prospects for Slovakia during the next few years, with a forecasted GDP growth of 4.1% and 3.8% in 2019 and 2020, respectively.

 


KEY SECTORS


Building on long-standing tradition and highly skilled labour force, Slovakia’s key industries are Automotive, Electronics, Mechanical engineering, Precision metalworking, Chemical engineering, Information technology, Energy and environmental technologies, Defence and security products, Plastics, R&D, Medical equipment.


Slovakia has a highly qualified labour force of 2.7 million out of its 5.4 million population. The agriculture sector is little developed and represented only 3.3% of the GDP and 2.8% of employment in 2018 although almost two fifth of the land is arable. The main agricultural products in the country are cereals, potatoes, sugar beets and grapes. The mountainous area of Slovakia has vast forests and pastures, which are used for intensive sheep grazing, and it is rich in mineral resources including iron, copper, lead and zinc.


The secondary sector represents 30.97% of the GDP and employs 36.07% of the workforce. Heavy industry sectors - such as metal and steel - are still in a restructuring phase. High value-added industries, like electronics, engineering and petro-chemicals, are installed in the western part of the country. Sectors like automobile and consumer goods are offering attractive opportunities to foreign investors.


The services sector contributes 55.94% of the GDP and employs around 60.8% of the workforce. It is dominated by trade and real estate. The development of tourism may also become important for the Slovak economy in the coming years, as tourism is currently the country's most dynamic sector (2.2 million tourists in 2017). The country’s banking sector is strong and largely owned by foreigners.


The automotive sector plays a major role in the Slovak manufacturing industry. Slovakia is currently the country with the highest car production per capita in the world. The local production of VW, Audi, and Kia and a strong group of 274 automotive component manufacturers represents one third of Slovak exports. In 2015, Slovakia manufactured more than 1,000,000 passenger cars for the first time in its history.


Electronics industry is the second largest industrial sector and generated 8.3% of total exports in 2013. Among top multinationals active in the electrical and electronic industries, Foxconn has a factory in Nitra for Sony LCD TV manufacturing and Samsung in Galanta for computer monitors and television sets.


Chemicals & pharmaceuticals – the chemical sector is the 3rd strongest sector of the Slovak industry and chemicals and pharmaceuticals are responsible for 17% of Slovak exports. Chemical companies with the largest foothold include Slovnaft (the only oil refinery in Slovakia), Continental Matador (rubber and tires), Duslo (industrial fertilizers, rubber chemicals) and Zentiva (pharmaceuticals).




EXPORTS & IMPORTS


Slovakia belongs among the most open economies to international trade in Europe, in fact, Slovakia’ s exports/gdp ratio of 97.3% (2018) is among the highest in the EU and is surpassed only by Luxembourg, Malta and Ireland. Slovakia trades primarily with fellow EU members – 85% of exports and 79% of imports are destined for EU markets.


2017 export and import data:




Main import partners:
Germany - 19.1%
Czech Republic - 16.3%
Austria - 10.3%
Poland - 6.5%
Hungary - 6.4%
South Korea - 4.5%


Main export partners:
Germany - 20.7%
Czech Republic - 11.6%
Poland - 7.7%
France - 6.3%
Italy - 6.1%
UK - 6%


Slovakia external trade - 2015




See references for our track record in Slovakia.



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