Opportunities for International Investors
The influx of foreign direct investment (FDI) into Slovakia showed a continued increasing trend from 2000 to even as late as the second half of 2008 as foreign investors discovered Slovakia and recognised the country as one of the most attractive destinations for investment not only in the growing Eastern European markets but within Europe as a whole.
Although a small country and a “slow-starter” compared to its immediate neighbours - the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland - Slovakia began a comprehensive privatisation programme in the late 1990’s which was largely completed by 2005-6.
As a result, foreign investors from Europe and the US have obtained important stakes in many of the key former state-owned institutions – banks, electricity producers and distributors, the natural gas utility and telecoms to name a few. The effect of this privatisation programme on the development of the Slovak economy is becoming increasingly evident.
Aside from privatisation opportunities, Slovakia also became a key target for greenfield investments in the automotive sector, with PSA Peugeot Citroen having completed the construction of a plant near Trnava, approximately 40 km from Bratislava with an investment of EUR 700 million.
In 2004, the South Korean car manufacturer Kia Hyundai commenced a EUR 1 billion investment in Slovakia to construct a plant in the north of Slovakia. This plant commenced operations at the end of 2006. Another South Korean investor, Samsung, has also invested significantly in to what is known as the “Crystal Valley”. Samsung has invested EUR 320 million in Trnava and over EUR 100 million in Voderady for the assembly of flat screen televisions (Plasma and LCD) sold throughout Europe.
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