Slovakia: Country and Foreign Investment
Slovakia is situated in central Europe, bordered by five countries – Hungary, Ukraine, Poland, Austria and the Czech Republic. It has an area of 48,845 sq km and is landlocked. The population of Slovakia is estimated to be 5.48m. The official language is Slovak.
The current President is Ivan Gasparovic, who took office on June 15, 2004.
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.
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.
Until December 2012, businesses in Slovakia benefitted from a flat corporate income tax rate of 19%, including on capital gains. However, in an effort to cut the budget deficit, the rate was increased to 23% from January 1, 2013. Income from dividends is exempt from corporate income tax; there is no capital tax, payroll tax or local tax. Grants and concessions are available to foreign residents and investors in the form of tax relief, financial grants, training and the creation of new jobs. The Slovak government can also assist with the acquisition of real estate for business use at values lower than market value.