Slovakia: Country and Foreign Investment
Economy and Currency
Slovakia has been an EU member state since May 1, 2004 and adopted the Euro (EUR) as its currency in January 2009. The so-called "Tetra Tiger" economy between 2002 and 2005 saw a sustained growth and exceeded expectations until 2008. GDP reached 3.3% in 2011 after recording growth of 4.2% in 2010, preceeded by a contraction of 4.9% in 2009. However, long-term unemployment remains high and the country’s financial deficit reached 4.9% of GDP in 2011. The currency is the Euro (EUR), which Slovakia adopted in January 2009.
Tourism now employs 44% of the population and the country has a growing and successful automotive industry, with recent large investments by Volkswagen, Peugeot and Kia. Electronics, mechanical and chemical engineering and IT are also significant industries in the country. Though declining in terms of the number of people employed, agriculture is still very important, with the production of cereal crops and sugar beet and the breeding of livestock; 3.5% of the population are employed in agriculture.
In August 2011, the registered unemployment rate in Slovakia was 13.2%, up from 12.5% the previous year. The unemployment rate is still one of the highest in the EU.