After World War II, Czechoslovakia was established as an independent state, which later became a Communist totalitarian one-party state under the influence of the Soviet Union. The Velvet Revolution of 1989 then ended Communist rule in Czechoslovakia and was soon followed by the Velvet Divorce, or separation of the nation. Following the peaceful partition of Czechoslovakia in 1993, the country was divided into the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic. Today, with a population of over 5.4 million and a territory of about 49,000 square kilometres, Slovakia has achieved both political and economic stability.
The Slovakian economy has successfully undergone the transition from a centrally planned economy to a free-market economy since its establishment and in recent years the investment climate has made impressive progress. Slovakia’s strategic geographic location at the heart of Europe and its membership in NATO, the OECD, the EU, the CEFTA amongst others, means investment here provides access into an extensive market as well as free movement of people. Other advantages of doing business in Slovakia are its developed telecommunications and infrastructure, a skilled and flexible workforce, low labour costs, and stable macroeconomic policies. Today the market is dominated by the automotive, electronics, engineering, tourism and service sectors and maintains an upward trajectory.
However, it is important to be aware of the potential challenges of doing business in Slovakia including a level of corruption, non-transparent public tenders and bureaucracy. It is also necessary to adopt a professional approach with regards to business etiquette here, as Slovaks are warm and hospitable but simultaneously reserved. Corporations also retain a traditionally hierarchical structure therefore decisions will usually be made from the top.
The World Business Culture is home to everything you need to know about doing business successfully in Slovakia.