World / China-CEE meetings

Slovakia sees China as significant business partner

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-11-11 21:37

BRATISLAVA - Slovakia, as an export-oriented country, sees China as one of the most interested markets, Slovak Economy Ministry State Secretary Rastislav Chovanec has said.

"China, which is a partner of today's fair, is a significant business partner of Slovakia. Export expansion is very important for the Slovak economy," stated Chovanec at the annual Slovak Matchmaking Fair 2015 in Bratislava which kicked off on Tuesday.

Chovanec stressed that Slovakia lags behind all other Visegrad Four countries, namely the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, in commercial activities with China.

"That's why we are trying to organize event like this to prompt Slovak companies match with some Chinese ones to enhance the export and cooperation between the two countries," said Chovanec.

Chinese Ambassador to Slovakia Lin Lin pointed out that now Slovakia and China becomes the 4th largest trade partner among the 16 CEE countries, China has sent nearly 30 representatives of several enterprises to support this event.

"They should focus on discovering new possibilities of trade and potential for mutual cooperation. Slovakia has an excellent know-how in automobile and machinery industry ... I also hope Slovak enterprises will not only get financial support through this cooperation but can also find access to Chinese market which I believe is more important," added Lin.

According to Slovak Foreign and European Affairs State Secretary Igor Slobodnik, Slovakia needs to diversify not only the export's structure but also the orientation to other territories, including Asia.

"China is an ever more challenging market and it expects the same from its partners in Slovakia," emphasised Slobodnik.

Slovak Commerce and Industry Chamber (SOPK) chairman Peter Mihok stressed the present weak trade record when the share of Slovak export to China comprises around 2 percent, while the share of Chinese exports to Slovakia hovers around 6 percent of Slovakia's total imports.

"Slovakia is at the bottom of the V4 when it comes to export to China and Chinese investments in Slovakia. We haven't carried out any large investment compared to the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland. We have a large latitude to change that," expressed Mihok.

Slovak Investment and Trade Development Agency (SARIO) head Robert Simoncic pointed out that Slovakia has much to offer to China.

"We can accelerate the mutual business. We have a lot of unrealised potential like business exchange, joint ventures, joint developments or research and development field," said Simoncic.

Daniel Kollar, CEO of CSOB bank, said the Slovak market is limited, in the past five years they help lots of Slovaka companies to invest in China.

"Slovakia has a very long history of industry production, therefore many companies are willing and ready to go to Asia, especially to China to do business," he added.

The Slovak Matchmaking Fair 2015 is organised by SARIO and CSOB bank, which attended by more than 500 companies from more than 24 countries.

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