A well-known chain of pharmacies launched a pilot project to run medical vending machines in Slovakia last year. Although Slovakia has not had such machines in the past, they are not uncommon abroad.
Against a backdrop of global uncertainty fuelled by Brexit, a US-China trade war, and a weakening German economy, Central and Eastern Europe has proven itself economically resilient in the face of a challenging year. Led by Hungary, Poland, and Romania – all of which reported more than 4% GDPs growth – many emerging European countries have comfortably outshone the sluggish economies of Western Europe. It is, therefore, unsurprising that foreign investors flocked to the region in 2019 in search of healthy returns.
Slovakia is essentially a global superpower in the per-capita production of cars, producing more new cars per capita than any other country in the world. According to statistical data from 2018, four global car manufacturers located in Slovakia – Volkswagen Slovakia, Kia Motors Slovakia, PSA Group Slovakia, and Jaguar Land Rover – produced more than a million cars. The Slovak Automotive Industry Association reports that over 1.08 million cars were manufactured in Slovakia in 2018. It will be interesting to see whether this number will be surpassed given the recent challenges and potential slowdown in the automotive industry.
In the 26 years since its launch in 1993 by Marek Prochazka as a Prague banking and finance boutique, PRK Partners has added offices in Bratislava and Ostrava and grown into one of the largest and most successful law firms in the Czech and Slovak Republics. That growth, the firm’s partners maintain, is a by-product of the firm’s traditions of flexibility, professionalism, and innovation, rather than the result of a predetermined plan.
In Slovakia, a new amendment to Act No. 152/1995 Coll. on foodstuffs has been adopted, introducing new rules on how supermarkets ought to promote grocery products. According to the newly-adopted legislation, supermarkets and other sellers who promote grocery products are required to ensure that at least 50% of these promoted products are of Slovak origin. The new rules apply to online as well as classical forms of marketing.
The Slovak system for the support of renewable energy sources has been marked in recent years by a lack of transparency and strategic vision. Even though the Slovak Republic undertook to increase its share of energy from renewable sources to 14% by 2020, in fact in recent years the share of renewables in energy consumption has actually decreased. “Allegedly for technical reasons, virtually no renewable electricity sources have been connected to electricity distribution networks since 2014.”
Maros Pogany is the Head of Legal at KIA Motors in Slovakia – a position he has held for the past nine years. Before joining KIA in 2004, he spent over three and a half years as a litigator in private practice and one year as a lawyer with the Matador Automotive Group. He is a 1999 graduate of the Law Faculty at the Pavol Jozef Safarik University in Kosice, Slovakia, and in 2017 he obtained an MBA from the DTI University in Dubnica nad Vahom, Slovakia.
In its December session the Slovak parliament will decide whether to adopt a sectoral tax in the form of a 2.5% levy on net quarterly turnover of retail chains (the “retail chains levy”). The official purpose of the bill under consideration is to reach the strategic goal of food self-sufficiency, to finance the creation of mechanisms supporting Slovakia’s agricultural production and food industry, and to weaken the allegedly dominant position of large retail chains as regards their profits. The annual yield of the new tax is estimated at approximately EUR 150 million – a figure on which the Ministry of Finance relied in calculating its state budget for 2019.
The Slovak Republic’s favorable environment for investors and entrepreneurship has sometimes been obscured by law enforcement issues. The country’s Act No. 307/2016 Coll. on Electronic Debt Collection (the “Act”), which became effective in the Slovak legal system on February 1, 2017, was designed to improve law enforcement, speed up debt collection for creditors, and optimize expenses related to the procedure. The Act provided for simplified court proceedings held by electronic means with less administration and a reduced burden of proof, leading to an electronic payment order issuance, providing a quicker alternative to standard payment order judicial proceedings.