The Automotive Industry in Slovakia: Recent Developments and Impact on Growth
Published on Feb. 3, 2008 in Other publications
The Automotive Industry in Slovakia: Recent Developments and Impact on Growth. Commission for Growth and Development. World Bank.
This paper analyzes recent automotive investment in the Slovak Republic and shows how the development of the automotive industry has influenced growth in productivity and output in the broader economy. The study also discusses the motivations for automotive investment, with the country evolving from a relative laggard in reform implementation and foreign direct investment in the late 1990s to one of the region’s top performers and one of the fastest-growing economies. | It is argued that strong reform implementation, together with continued and credible commitment to reforms, were both preconditions for attracting automotive investments and the key factors that enabled these investments to flourish. The reform efforts were made possible by strong political consensus on accelerating EU accession and boosting living standards. Taking into account the specificity of the industry, other aspects related to factor endowments have also played a role. Generous investment incentives appear to have played an important role in swaying foreign investors in selecting the Slovak Republic within the broader region of central Europe. Once investment in automotive production started, it contributed to additional investment by suppliers that has helped generate locally owned suppliers. These, in turn, are beginning to supply car producers in neighboring countries. All told, the full impact of the original automotive investment will be felt only over several years, but even in the early years it has been substantial. With output at the existing three producers set to reach capacity only by 2010, the impact is likely to be more substantial still.