Exporting to Slovakia
GDP growth for the Slovak economy was at 4.1% in 2018 (IMF, 2019), following 4 years of economic expansion. In 2018, unemployment rates stood at 6.6% , continuing a downward trend since 2014 (IMF, 2018).
An improving business environment
The Slovak Prime Minister recently outlined a package of measures to improve the predictability and stability of the business environment. Plans to tackle labour shortages include supporting labour mobility and attracting Slovaks living abroad to move back home. The government also aims to attract research and development investment to Slovakia by offering incentives to overseas companies.
Strong UK links
Slovakia wants to maintain close trade relations with the UK. English is widely accepted as a business language and over 100 UK owned companies operate in Slovakia. Tesco is Slovakia’s top retailer and one of the main employers in the country. Other major UK investors include JLR, GlaxoSmithKline, Shell, CP Holdings, Wood Group, Arlington, Tate and Lyle, BAE Systems, and Allen and Overy.
Opportunities for exporters
There are opportunities for UK companies across a broad range of industries. Our trade advisers in Slovakia have identified particular opportunities for UK businesses in the following sectors.
A hub of automotive production
There are more vehicles produced per capita in Slovakia than anywhere else in the world (OICA, 2019), and the sheer level of activity in the country’s automotive industry is creating a number of openings for UK companies who specialise in the sector.
Supply chain opportunities
Opened in 2018, Jaguar Land Rover’s state-of-the-art manufacturing plant in Nitra has further strengthened the automotive industry in Slovakia. It has opportunities for UK suppliers to provide stampings, pressings, fasteners, fixings, plastic mouldings, design, engineering services and testing.
There are opportunities for UK companies to take part in projects to reform public sector services and policy making, especially in the consulting, ICT and services sectors.
Demand for medical supplies
There are opportunities for UK businesses in pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, supplies and laboratory equipment, and online health services.
Openings for innovators in fintech
Slovak banks and insurers are looking for innovative solutions in areas such as customer experience, instant payments, insurance and regulation technology solutions, anti-money laundering software and open banking projects. They are also open to the latest innovations in investment technologies, risk management and green technology.
Opportunities to provide specialist financial services
A range of openings exists for UK companies to provide specialist products and services. Firms whose expertise lies in bank stress testing, UK-settled capital markets products (especially insurance and mutual funds), financial education, and green financing consultancy and products are of particular interest in Slovakia.
Transforming the banking sector
There’s a growing demand in Slovakia for UK expertise in financial services, particularly in relation to the transformation and modernisation of banking systems.