Slovak economy is revving up - the Return of the Tatra Tiger

According to the Financial times:


There are some persistent misconceptions about Slovakia and Czech republic that need to be addressed:

The region these countries inhabit is central europe, not eastern europe, this is correctly recognised by the german press. The term Mitteleuropa existed before world war 2, and describes the bulk of the former austrohungarian empire, and today the countries: Germany, Poland, Czech republic, Slovakia, tiny Slovenia, and parts of Croatia, Austria, and Switzerland. The term eastern europe is applied wrongly to any country that was conquered by Stalin's Soviet union (including most of Austria) after the war. This level of ignorance about geography by some editors in the anglosaxon press is worrying, they tend to confuse the historical term "eastern block" with the geographical term eastern europe. It makes one sound fairly uneducated to confuse the two, especially given that Moscow is geographically in europe...

Slovakia's former centre-left government kept the vast bulk of the economic reforms that have made Slovakia such a success. The problem was not economic policy, but a very corrupt parties being included in the former coalition (the nationalists) and Vladimir Meciar's HZDS which is now facing oblivion. I believe that the nationalistic leanings of Robert Fico, the former PM, and his burning ambition to be PM lef him to a bad choice of partners.

Slovakia is a very open economy, and a very small country (5 million) but you know, small is beautiful :) , both of which mean that its economy is affected alot by the gyrations of the global economy, big highs and big lows. This is less true of Poland for example because it is a huge country. As a result the former tiny-bit-left-off-centre government threw in the kitchen sink to stabilise the economy when the big gyrations of last year where affecting stability disproportionally. That was a good idea given that growth was bound to come back to more normal levels as it has. This was not mismanagement. Generally the economic consensus of Slovakia is far to the "right" of those in Austria for example...

the rest of the article about the likely positive future of Slovakia into a path of convergence and prosperity is fairly accurate. Although the recently aired idea of stepping onto the accelerator maniacally to become a Singapore of europe is overdone. Singapore is a city state and really is the place rich asians stash their wealth legal or laundered... If the giant chinese economy next door didn't exist, neither would Singapore... Its a parasitic state and not many of them are sustainable or desired in this world.. The world does not need more places where one can launder drug-money...

"Slovakia is reclaiming the new tiger among central and eastern European markets after a boom in industrial output and car manufacturing boosted its economy.

Industrial output rose by 30 per cent on year-on-year basis, with the chemical industry rising by 50 per cent and the carmaking sector gaining 63.7 per cent. Electronics production did even better, rising by 85.3 per cent in May, mainly thanks to Sony and Samsung factories based in the country.

The Slovak economy, dependent mainly on exports, was once already called the “Tatra Tiger” after its GDP rose over 10 per cent in 2007 and outperformed its regional rivals.

Yet the economic crisis hit the country hard and joining the euro in 2009 also had costs. Unemployment rose as Slovak workers suddenly became more expensive than those from Poland and Hungary.
The government of the day intervened to ease the The budget deficit was as high as 6.8 per cent of GDP.

But now Slovakia has a chance to regain that promising status and attract more investors. The economy grew by 4.8 per cent year-on-year in the first quarter - the fastest growth among all EU members. GDP was $115.3bn in 2009 and is expected to rise by 3.2 per cent this year.

Slovakia is now ahead with important economic reforms, which are expected to contribute to the recovery and further economic growth.

The country’s new centre-right government, led by Iveta Radicova, was appointed on Friday. Its first task will be a decision on the €750bn European safety net designed to help debt-strapped countries."


  1. this blog is excellent. keep it up

  2. Thank you for your kind words

    Please identify any areas of interest re Slovakia you would like discussed.

  3. You seem highly misinformed my friend. Firstly, Singapore is nowhere near China, unless you consider 6 hours by flight near then Sudan, Saudi Arabia and Dubai are all ‘near’ Slovakia which is obviously not the case. Secondly, Singapore has diversified its economy and attained remarkable economic growth over 40 years, from a third world country to one of the richest countries in the world. Singapore has one of the world’s lowest corruptions (lower than most countries in the EU) and money laundering of any kind is never tolerated. Thirdly, let me ask you, which state isn’t ‘parasitic’ in the globalised world we live in? Unless you are still living in the communist era, every country has to rely on one another. I call it symbiotic, not parasitic. Since Slovakia’s membership in the EU, many have argued that Slovakia like other small states are ‘parasitic’ as well. But so what? Slovakia is a small country with a small population. If it means that it has to rely on another country to improve, why not? It’s a mutual benefit.
    Instead of insulting the hard work and faith of millions of people in Singapore, without any concrete objective proof, I suggest you write an article about how Slovakia can learn from the triumphs of other countries. My girlfriend is from Slovakia and it is a beautiful country nestled within Europe. There is a lot of scope for Slovakia to diversify and strengthen its economy.