Business in The Slovak Republic
The new democratic situation has led to disintegration of the common state of Czechs and Slovaks and establishment of an independent Slovak Republic. Since 1 January 1993, Slovakia has been a sovereign state that joined the United Nations Organization the same year.
People of Slovakia elected their first President and the country gradually accessed all present important European associations and institutions. The Slovak Republic has been a member of NATO since 2004 and became the coequal member of the European Union in the same year. Slovakia was included into the Schengen Area in 2007 and is the 16th member of the European monetary union, the eurozone, since 2009. Adoption of the Euro in Slovakia meant the conclusion of the integrating process into the European Union. Slovakia is a member state of the European Union, NATO, the United Nations, the OECD and the WTO, among others.
The economy of the Slovak Republic is gradually drawing to the end of a transition period. Several branches of the economy in Slovakia have enjoyed a long and successful tradition. In the past, Slovakia was one of the most advanced parts of the Kingdom of Hungary. Mining, metallurgy, glass manufacturing and the food processing industry were fairly developed then. In the period between the First and the Second World Wars many armament plants were moved here from Czechia. Massive industrialization in Slovakia came in the post-war communist era. Above all heavy industry experienced explosive development. However, the fall of Communism changed the economic situation.
Although Slovakia is a small country, it is now one of the biggest producers of cars in the world, and outputs the greatest number of cars per inhabitant (more than 100 cars per thousand inhabitants) thanks to the German Volkswagen company which bought out the Bratislavské automobilové závody plant in 1989 and constructed a huge factory for the manufacture of different VW cars. Another big investment associated with automotive industry was opened in Trnava (PSA Peugeot Citroën) and in Žilina (KIA). Slovakia is also an important producer of iron and steel and commodities made of this raw material. The metallurgical giant of U.S. Steel, which bought Východoslovenské železiarne in Košice dominates the industry.