Since 2000, Slovakia has been experiencing a sustained and steady GDP growth rate, notably induced by its integration into the European Union in May 2004. The taxation system is well-adapted to the needs of trade and the workforce is highly qualified. The country also benefits from an advantageous geographical location, being located at the crossroads of Central Europe. The budgetary deficit is in constant decrease, mainly due to the major structural reforms set in place in the preparation process to its integration into the eurozone.
However, the Slovak economy has been affected by the financial crisis of 2008-2009, followed by the crisis in the eurozone in 2011 and 2012. As a member of the eurozone since 2009, Slovakia suffered an overall slowing down of the economy. After having registered growth of 2% in 2012 (which nonetheless still remains one of the highest growth rates among the Central European countries) it reached only 1% in 2013. This growth should reach 2.3% in 2014, a nice results compare to most of the EU 27 members.
The Slovak economy is also negatively affected by weak domestic demand, with its construction sector in crisis and a continued decrease in consumer spending. Inflation decease to 1.7% in 2013 (after 3.7% in 2012) and unemployment continues to surge despite positive economic growth, reaching 14% in 2013 after 13.5% in 2012. The country's debt has reached 55.3% of GDP in 2013. Indeed, much of the Slovak foreign debt (over 45% in 2013) depends on the eurozone, with only exports driving growth. They should remain dynamic in 2014, but will evolve in proportion with the economic dynamism of its European partners.
|Main Indicators||2011||2012||2013||2014||2015 (e)|
|GDP (billions USD)||95.97||91.40||95.81e||100.11||103.21|
|GDP (Constant Prices, Annual % Change)||3.0||1.8||0.9||2.4||2.7|
|GDP per Capita (USD)||17,797||16,912||17e||18,480e||19,029|
|General Government Balance (in % of GDP)||-5.1||-4.2||-2.2||-2.3||-1.5|
|General Government Gross Debt (in % of GDP)||43.6||52.7||55.4e||55.7e||55.7|
|Inflation Rate (%)||4.1||3.7||1.5e||0.1||1.3|
|Unemployment Rate (% of the Labor Force)||13.7||14.0||14.2||13.9||13.2|
|Current Account (billions USD)||-3.61||2.04||2.06||1.91e||2.31|
|Current Account (in % of GDP)||-3.8||2.2||2.1||1.9e||2.2|
Source: IMF - World Economic Outlook Database , Last Available Data
Note: (e) Estimated Data
The agriculture sector is not much developed in Slovakia and represented only 3% of the GDP in 2013. 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 low importance of the agricultural sector also reflects the secondary and tertiary character of the Slovak economy.
The secondary sector represents more than a third of the GDP (35%). The heavy industry sector such as metal and steel are still in a restructuring phase. High value-added industries such as electronics, engineering and petro-chemicals are installed in the western part of the country. Some sectors, like the automobile and consumer goods, offer attractive investment opportunities to foreign investors.
The services sector represents 62% of the GDP. It is dominated by trade and real estate. The development of tourism can also become an important sector for the Slovak economy in the next following years. It is currently the most dynamic sectors of the Slovak economy.
|Breakdown of Economic Activity By Sector||Agriculture||Industry||Services|
|Employment By Sector (in % of Total Employment)||3.2||37.5||59.2|
|Value Added (in % of GDP)||4.0||33.2||62.7|
|Value Added (Annual % Change)||19.5||-3.5||2.9|
Source: World Bank - Last Available Data.
|Euro (EUR) - Average Annual Exchange Rate For 1 USD||0.72||0.76||0.72||0.78||0.76|
Source: CIA - The world factbook - Last Available Data.
The Economic freedom index measure ten components of economic freedom, grouped into four broad categories or pillars of economic freedom: Rule of Law (property rights, freedom from corruption); Limited Government (fiscal freedom, government spending); Regulatory Efficiency (business freedom, labor freedom, monetary freedom); and Open Markets (trade freedom, investment freedom, financial freedom). Each of the freedoms within these four broad categories is individually scored on a scale of 0 to 100. A country’s overall economic freedom score is a simple average of its scores on the 10 individual freedoms.
The business rankings model measures the quality or attractiveness of the business environment in the 82 countries covered by The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Country Forecast reports. It examines ten separate criteria or categories, covering the political environment, the macroeconomic environment, market opportunities, policy towards free enterprise and competition, policy towards foreign investment, foreign trade and exchange controls, taxes, financing, the labour market and infrastructure.
Slovakia's strong industrial tradition, tax incentives, a still inexpensive and skilled workforce, its rapidly developing infrastructure boosted by an influx of EU funds and a fragile but real growth make the country a place of predilection for trade. Since 2009, the economic growth of Slovakia has been driven by its exports which are remained high since 2011. The share of foreign trade in the GDP of the country is also remaining very important with 90% in 2013, making Slovakia the most open country of the EU.
Slovak trade balance is in deficit, mainly because of energy imports from Russia and the substantial imports of machinery and electrical and electronic equipment used in the automotive and energy sectors. Nevertheless, the dynamism of the tertiary sector is expected to eventually improve this situation. The country represents a platform of re exportation for the European automotive industry (the Slovakian production in this sector represents 40% of the GDP). The European crisis has accentuated the country's exposure since more than a third of its exports depend on the euro zone.
The country main suppliers are Germany (18% in 2013), the Czech Republic, Russia, Hungary and Poland.
Its three main customers are Germany (20% in 2013), the Czech Republic and Poland.
The consumption slowdown in the Euro Zone, in particular in countries like Germany, should impact on companies investments and results.
|Foreign Trade Indicators||2009||2010||2011||2012||2013|
|Imports of Goods (million USD)||55,650||65,029||79,842||77,398||81,853|
|Exports of Goods (million USD)||56,082||64,664||79,830||81,497||86,329|
|Imports of Services (million USD)||7,940||6,773||7,089||6,696||7,172|
|Exports of Services (million USD)||6,263||5,812||6,592||7,149||7,440|
|Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change)||-19.1||14.7||9.7||2.6||3.8|
|Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change)||-17.0||15.7||12.0||9.3||5.2|
|Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP)||69.0||77.9||86.2||88.1||88.4|
|Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP)||67.6||76.5||85.3||91.8||93.0|
|Trade Balance (million USD)||1,347||1,057||1,339||4,648||5,680|
|Trade Balance (Including Service) (million USD)||-355||47||806||4,993||5,859|
|Foreign Trade (in % of GDP)||136.7||154.4||171.5||179.9||181.4|
Source: WTO - World Trade Organization ; World Bank , Last Available Data
(% of Exports)
|See More Countries||44.8%|
(% of Imports)
|See More Countries||46.9%|
Source: Comtrade, Last Available Data
|- bn USD of products exported in 2013|
|Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally...Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons, incl. station wagons and racing cars (excl. motor vehicles of heading 8702)||17.0%|
|Television receivers, whether or not incorporating...Television receivers, whether or not incorporating radio-broadcast receivers or sound or video recording or reproducing apparatus; video monitors and video projectors||8.1%|
|Transmission apparatus for radio-telephony,...Transmission apparatus for radio-telephony, radio-telegraphy, radio-broadcasting or television, whether or not incorporating reception apparatus or sound recording or reproducing apparatus; television cameras; still image video cameras and other video camera recorders; digital cameras||5.0%|
|Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals (excl. crude); preparations containing >= 70% by weight of petroleum oils or of oils obtained from bituminous minerals, these oils being the basic constituents of the preparations, n.e.s.; waste oils containing mainly petroleum or bituminous minerals||4.6%|
|Parts and accessories for tractors, motor vehicles...Parts and accessories for tractors, motor vehicles for the transport of ten or more persons, motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons, motor vehicles for the transport of goods and special purpose motor vehicles of heading 8701 to 8705, n.e.s.||4.2%|
|See More Products||61.2%|
|- bn USD of products imported in 2013|
|Parts and accessories for tractors, motor vehicles...Parts and accessories for tractors, motor vehicles for the transport of ten or more persons, motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons, motor vehicles for the transport of goods and special purpose motor vehicles of heading 8701 to 8705, n.e.s.||9.0%|
|Transmission apparatus for radio-telephony,...Transmission apparatus for radio-telephony, radio-telegraphy, radio-broadcasting or television, whether or not incorporating reception apparatus or sound recording or reproducing apparatus; television cameras; still image video cameras and other video camera recorders; digital cameras||6.0%|
|Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals, crude||5.6%|
|Petroleum gas and other gaseous hydrocarbonsPetroleum gas and other gaseous hydrocarbons||4.3%|
|Liquid crystal devices not constituting articles...Liquid crystal devices not constituting articles provided for more specifically in other heading; lasers (excl. laser diodes); other optical appliances and instruments not elsewhere specified in chapter 90||2.3%|
|See More Products||72.8%|
Source: Comtrade, Last Available Data
|- bn USD of services exported in 2011|
|Personal travelPersonal travel||30.45%|
|Health-related expenditureHealth-related expenditure||0.53%|
|Education-related expenditureEducation-related expenditure||0.33%|
|Business travelBusiness travel||6.35%|
|Expenditure by seasonal and...Expenditure by seasonal and border workers||0.90%|
|Road transportRoad transport||4.87%|
|Rail transportRail transport||0.93%|
|Air transportAir transport||0.76%|
|Inland waterway transportInland waterway transport||0.19%|
|Sea transportSea transport||0.01%|
|Miscellaneous business,...Miscellaneous business, professional, and technical services||13.78%|
|Legal, accounting, management...Legal, accounting, management consulting, and public relations||4.84%|
|Accounting, auditing,...Accounting, auditing, bookkeeping, and tax consulting services||2.63%|
|Business and management...Business and management consulting and public relations services||1.54%|
|Legal servicesLegal services||0.67%|
|Other business servicesOther business services||2.40%|
|Research and developmentResearch and development||2.17%|
|Advertising, market research,...Advertising, market research, and public opinion polling||1.51%|
|Architectural, engineering,...Architectural, engineering, and other technical services||1.18%|
|Agricultural, mining, and...Agricultural, mining, and on-site processing services||0.99%|
|Waste treatment and...Waste treatment and depollution||0.12%|
|Services between related...Services between related enterprises, n.i.e.||0.67%|
|Merchanting and other trade-related...Merchanting and other trade-related services||0.59%|
|Other trade-related servicesOther trade-related services||0.39%|
|Operational leasing servicesOperational leasing services||0.58%|
|Computer servicesComputer services||8.27%|
|Information servicesInformation services||0.42%|
|Other information provision...Other information provision services||0.39%|
|News agency servicesNews agency services||0.03%|
|Construction in the compiling...Construction in the compiling economy||2.99%|
|Construction abroadConstruction abroad||1.16%|
|Telecommunications servicesTelecommunications services||1.03%|
|Postal and courier servicesPostal and courier services||0.67%|
|Other personal, cultural, and...Other personal, cultural, and recreational services||1.00%|
|Education servicesEducation services||0.19%|
|Health servicesHealth services||0.18%|
|Audiovisual and related servicesAudiovisual and related services||0.29%|
|Embassies and consulatesEmbassies and consulates||0.16%|
|Other direct insuranceOther direct insurance||0.30%|
|Life insurance and pension fundingLife insurance and pension funding||0.06%|
|Auxiliary servicesAuxiliary services||0.01%|
|- bn USD of services imported in 2011|
|Personal travelPersonal travel||26.54%|
|Education-related expenditureEducation-related expenditure||1.41%|
|Health-related expenditureHealth-related expenditure||0.16%|
|Business travelBusiness travel||4.39%|
|Expenditure by seasonal and...Expenditure by seasonal and border workers||0.55%|
|Rail transportRail transport||5.09%|
|Road transportRoad transport||4.43%|
|Air transportAir transport||3.46%|
|Inland waterway transportInland waterway transport||1.22%|
|Sea transportSea transport||0.82%|
|Miscellaneous business,...Miscellaneous business, professional, and technical services||10.81%|
|Architectural, engineering,...Architectural, engineering, and other technical services||3.86%|
|Legal, accounting, management...Legal, accounting, management consulting, and public relations||3.06%|
|Business and management...Business and management consulting and public relations services||1.86%|
|Legal servicesLegal services||0.88%|
|Accounting, auditing,...Accounting, auditing, bookkeeping, and tax consulting services||0.32%|
|Other business servicesOther business services||1.85%|
|Advertising, market research,...Advertising, market research, and public opinion polling||1.06%|
|Services between related...Services between related enterprises, n.i.e.||0.44%|
|Research and developmentResearch and development||0.31%|
|Agricultural, mining, and...Agricultural, mining, and on-site processing services||0.23%|
|Waste treatment and...Waste treatment and depollution||0.04%|
|Merchanting and other trade-related...Merchanting and other trade-related services||2.82%|
|Other trade-related servicesOther trade-related services||2.82%|
|Operational leasing servicesOperational leasing services||0.49%|
|Construction in the compiling...Construction in the compiling economy||6.76%|
|Construction abroadConstruction abroad||0.85%|
|Life insurance and pension fundingLife insurance and pension funding||2.25%|
|Other direct insuranceOther direct insurance||0.44%|
|Auxiliary servicesAuxiliary services||0.12%|
|Freight insuranceFreight insurance||0.10%|
|Computer servicesComputer services||2.73%|
|Information servicesInformation services||0.71%|
|Other information provision...Other information provision services||0.67%|
|News agency servicesNews agency services||0.04%|
|Telecommunications servicesTelecommunications services||2.10%|
|Postal and courier servicesPostal and courier services||0.45%|
|Other personal, cultural, and...Other personal, cultural, and recreational services||2.00%|
|Education servicesEducation services||0.88%|
|Health servicesHealth services||0.16%|
|Audiovisual and related servicesAudiovisual and related services||0.14%|
|Embassies and consulatesEmbassies and consulates||0.12%|
|Franchises and similar rightsFranchises and similar rights||0.09%|
Source: Comtrade, Last Available Data
The world rankings, published annually, measures the violations of press freedom worldwide. It reflects the degree of freedom enjoyed by journalists, the media and digital citizens of each country and the means used by states to respect and uphold this freedom. Finally, a note and a position are assigned to each country. To compile this index, Reporters Without Borders (RWB) prepared a questionnaire sent to partner organizations,150 RWB correspondents, journalists, researchers, jurists and activists of human rights, including the main criteria - 44 in total - to assess the situation of press freedom in a given country. It includes every kind of direct attacks against journalists and digital citizens (murders, imprisonment, assault, threats, etc.) or against the media (censorship, confiscation, searches and harassment etc.).
The Indicator of Political Freedom provides an annual evaluation of the state of freedom in a country as experienced by individuals. The survey measures freedom according to two broad categories: political rights and civil liberties. The ratings process is based on a checklist of 10 political rights questions (on Electoral Process, Political Pluralism and Participation, Functioning of Government) and 15 civil liberties questions (on Freedom of Expression, Belief, Associational and Organizational Rights, Rule of Law, Personal Autonomy and Individual Rights). Scores are awarded to each of these questions on a scale of 0 to 4, where a score of 0 represents the smallest degree and 4 the greatest degree of rights or liberties present. The total score awarded to the political rights and civil liberties checklist determines the political rights and civil liberties rating. Each rating of 1 through 7, with 1 representing the highest and 7 the lowest level of freedom, corresponds to a range of total scores.
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