At the Innovation Day event, successful innovative Slovak companies are presented to foreign ambassadors and ambassadors directly in the companies. In the picture, State Secretary Ingrid Brocková at Matador’s headquarters on 20 September 2021. (Photo: MZVEZ SR/Pavol Matejka)
Bilateral Economic Diplomacy
Slovak economic diplomacy helped the private business sector, especially small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as state institutions. Several business missions abroad were carried out. In Bratislava, two intergovernmental commissions were held in the area of economy – Slovak-Serbian and Slovak-Russian. Events with the US, Iceland and Ireland in the pharmaceutical field and biotechnology were beneficial to the start-up environment. The promotion of cooperation in science and research played an increasingly important role. Agreements were signed with Ukraine and memoranda of understanding with Montenegro and South Korea. The Slovak economic potential was presented at important trade fairs, e.g., at the defence industry fair “DEFEA” in Athens, at the technology fair “Collision,” at the urban innovations fair “Smart City Expo World Congress” in Barcelona, at the biotechnology fair “USA BIO Digital,” as well as at the industrial development fair “Innoprom“” in Ekaterinburg. Slovak winegrowers managed to win significant awards in Japan and Chile.
Multilateral Economic Diplomacy
The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) commemorated its 60th anniversary. Slovakia was an active member, contributing to the adoption of two strategic documents – a declaration on the pandemic crisis and a strategy for relations with third parties. October 2021 brought substantial progress on the reform of the international taxation system, based on a proposal by the so-called OECD/G20 Inclusive Framework (IF), which includes Slovakia. The aim is to introduce common tax rules for companies to pay a fair share of tax, regardless of where they operate and generate profits. National and private sector representatives participated in regional cooperation activities with Western Balkan countries and the Eastern Partnership under the Central European Initiative (CEI) Action Plan 2021-2023.
Activities to Support Entrepreneurs
In 2021, the Ministry’s Business Centre processed 1,100 and the representative offices processed 1,800 requests from the business community.
In 2021, the sum of EUR 202,000 was allocated under the project scheme to support economic diplomacy. 26 of the 29 activities were successfully implemented.
15 issues of the newsletter on business opportunities abroad and 12 issues of the report “Trends and News from the Economic World” were published.
To further bring economic diplomacy closer to the business environment, an interactive communication platform called “Export Forum” with pro-export information and services for entrepreneurs was created in 2021. In September 2021, 251 representatives of Slovak companies and associations took part in its pilot meeting in Bratislava. 382 consultations between the public administration and the business community in the format of “G2B” were held. Another contribution by the Ministry to increase the involvement of small and mediumsized enterprises as well as scientific and educational institutions in the foreign activities of Slovakia was the cycle of professional events “From Regions to the World“ organised in cooperation with higher territorial units. In June 2021, 74 subjects participated in the first one in the self-governing region of Trnava.