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Economy Ministry Proposes Financial Aid to Foreign and Domestic Investors

The Economy Ministry has proposed direct forms of financial aid to foreign and domestic investors in the face of opposition from the Finance Ministry. Finance Minister Ivan Miklos says a draft amendment on financial incentives is not in harmony with the law on public aid or EU regulations, and its effect on the state budget must be calculated. In his view, it could cost the budget between 1 to 1.5 billion crowns (35.7 million crowns).

One MP for the Bratislava region Milan Vaskor, said: "If Slovakia wants to receive foreign investment, it must find ways to support them." The reduction in income tax to 19% is not sufficient since such rates are offered now by several countries in the region such as Hungary, Ukraine, and Russia.

Under a revised version of the National Strategy of Investment Support, the Economy Ministry currently has 28 applications for investment stimuli worth in total 33 billion crowns. The applicants include Slovak company Matador Puchov which plans to invest almost 2.9 billion crowns and create 235 new jobs, using stimuli valued at 7.8 million crowns. Another Slovak company, Ecco Slovakia has asked for 48 million crowns in stimuli for an investment worth 679 million that should create 600 new jobs.

Among interested foreign investors are Swiss-German glass company Glas Trosch AG which plans to invest 7.5 billion crowns, and Korean car maker Hyundai for an investment of $400 million.

(NewsBase 18.viii.03)

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