Slovakia Economic Analysis

.. for a relatively large proportion of goods production (Embassy of the Slovak Republic). Overall, state-owned companies are still dominant in industry (Embassy of the Slovak Republic). Slovakia can increase its productivity the most by applying improved technology and processes to industry (Embassy of the Slovak Republic). However, foreign investment is required to continue modernizing industry and retraining workers (Slovakia.Org, Slovak Economy). Manufacturing is one of the key sectors in the Slovak Republic (Slovak.Org, Slovak Economy). Exports of manufactured products are responsible for almost one-fourth of total production (Embassy of the Slovak Republic). Manufactured goods range from assembly lines and consumer goods to large investment operations such as plant construction (Embassy of the Slovak Republic). Top manufacturers produce steel, petroleum products, machinery, chemical products, ceramics, processed food, and textiles (Embassy of the Slovak Republic). The fuel sector involves activities including coal mining, purchasing, transportation, and distribution of natural gas, crude oil, and gas recovery (Embassy of the Slovak Republic).

The power sector includes generating electricity, distribution and sales of heat, and construction and assembly works (Embassy of the Slovak Republic). The Slovak Republics principal mineral resources are lead, copper, manganese, zinc, iron, and lignite (Slovakia.Org, Slovak Economy). Mining was unable to compete in the market economy after Communism fell in Czechoslovakia in 1989 (Slovakia.Org, Slovak Economy). Representing one-seventh of the total production in Slovakia, the metallurgical industry produces nearly five million tons of crude steel annually which is processed primarily into plates, strips, ingots, and seamless and non-seamless tubes (Embassy of the Slovak Republic). Because supply exceeds domestic consumption, one-third of metallurgical goods are exported (Embassy of the Slovak Republic).

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The chemical industry represents nearly 18% of the total industrial output in the Slovak Republic (Embassy of the Slovak Republic). Most plants are located in the capital of Bratislava (Embassy of the Slovak Republic). Many projects have been proposed, in conjunction with foreign companies, that involve organic and inorganic chemistry, plastic production and processing, the production of chemical fibers, and painting materials (Embassy of the Slovak Republic). The clothing industry is focused on brand clothing with the use of new materials (Embassy of the Slovak Republic). The production of footwear is concentrated on luxury footwear for men and women as well as sports footwear (Embassy of the Slovak Republic).

The most important crops in the Slovak Republic are wheat, maize, potatoes, barley, and sugar beet production (Embassy of the Slovak Republic). Livestock including cattle, pigs, sheep, and poultry is also important in agriculture (Slovakia.Org, Slovak Economy). Viticulture, the cultivation of grapes, is practiced on some mountain slopes in Slovakia (Slovakia.Org, Slovak Economy). A small amount of tobacco is also grown in the Vah River valley (Slovakia.Org Slovak Economy). Much of the landscape in Slovakia is made up of rugged mountains in the northern and central regions, however, one-third of the land in Slovakia is cultivated (Slovakia.Org, Slovak Economy). Despite steady growth in economic results since 1993, substantial growth in agriculture cannot take place because of the soil, topographical characteristics, and the need for technology and updated machinery (Abizadeh, p.

172). Large construction companies play a key role in industry (Embassy of the Slovak Republic). The production of building materials has increased in recent years as Slovakia converts to a market economy (Embassy of the Slovak Republic). Future developments in the industry will highly depend on the amount of investment that is needed for further construction and reconstruction activities (Embassy of the Slovak Republic). Foreign Trade International trade is an important and essential part of Slovak economic growth (Abizadeh, p.

173). The total volume of foreign trade in Slovakia increased by 16% in 1998. Economic growth in the future will depend on the countrys export performance (Embassy of the Slovak Republic). Slovakias primary exports include consumer goods, machine and machine equipment, industrial products, chemicals, raw materials, natural fuel, and foodstuffs (Embassy of the Slovak Republic). Exports increased by almost 16% in 1998 (Embassy of the Slovak Republic). Leading imports in Slovakia increased by 16.4% in 1998, which included machine and machine equipment, natural fuels, consumer goods, chemicals, industrial products, foodstuffs, and raw material (Embassy of the Slovak Republic). Foreign trade with European Union countries increased 35.4% in 1998 as compared to 1997 (Embassy of the Slovak Republic). The European Union is the Slovak Republics main trading partner, which accounted for 52.9% of foreign trade in 1998 (Embassy of the Slovak Republic). An Association Agreement was made between the European Union and the Slovak Republic in 1993 which has had substantial implications for foreign investment and trade in Slovakia (Embassy of the Slovak Republic).

The Slovak Republic applied to the European Union in 1995 (Embassy of the Slovak Republic). Accession to the European Union is now the main economic and political objective of the Slovak Republic (Slovak Web). Slovakia and the World Trade Organization The former Czechoslovakia became part of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade in 1947 (World Trade Organization). After its independence, the Slovak Republic became a member of the World Trade Organization on January 1, 1995 when the GATT was replaced by the WTO as a permanent international organization (World Trade Organization). One of the main principles of Slovakias foreign trade policy is to continue the liberalization of exports and imports (Embassy of the Slovak Republic). This principle is best applied by using market mechanisms to promote exports while protecting domestic producers and consumers (Embassy of the Slovak Republic).

The WTO provides the framework for Slovakia to apply the use of market mechanisms to promote free and fair trade among domestic and foreign companies, all in conformity within international law (Embassy of the Slovak Republic). Unlike the GATT, the WTO deals with tangible as well as intangible goods. This is important to the Slovak Republic because of the increase in services during recent years. References Abizadeh, Sohrab. The Return of Mitteleuropa. Commack, New York: Nova Science Publishers, Inc., 1998. Embassy of the Slovak Republic, Business and Economy, Washington, D.C., December 1999.

(Located in the World Wide Web at http://slovakemb.com). National Bank of Slovakia, Selected Macro-economic Indicators, Bratislava, Slovak Republic. (Located in the World Wide Web at http://www.nbs.sk). Slovakia.Org, Slovak Economy. (Located in the World Wide Web at http://www.slovakia.org). Slovakia.Org, 20th Century.

(Located in the World Wide Web at http://www.slovakia.org). SlovakWeb, The Slovak Republic and Its Economic Development, 1999, (Located in the World Wide Web at http://www.slovakweb.com). The World Bank Group, Slovak Republic at a Glance. (Located in the World Wide Web at http://www.worldbank.org). Tradeport, Slovakia Economic Trends and Outlook, September 1999.

(Located in the World Wide Web at http://www.tradeport.com). World Trade Organization, About the WTO, Geneva, Switzerland, March 2000. (Located in the World Wide Web at http://www.wo.org). Economics Essays.

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