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Diplomat urges UofGH students to visit or work in Slovakia

During his presentation to UofGH students recently, the Ambassador of the Slovak Republic Andrej Droba credited his country’s remarkable economic makeover in the last 25 years to a stable economic and political climate within the central European region and the paybacks that come from being a member of the European Union (EU).

“While telling the story of Slovakia, I wanted to tell the story of central Europe and the sweeping changes that came about as a result of a revolution 30 years ago,” said Droba. “Slovakia’s transformation from a communist country with a state-regulated economy to one of the most prosperous markets in the region today has been remarkable.”

The central European country is well-known for its automotive, electronics and information and communications technology sectors. Last year, Slovakia manufactured over 1 million vehicles.

Droba told the fourth-year Business  students at UofGH that Slovakia’s foray into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the European Union in 2004, as well as his country’s educated and hardworking labour force, continue to drive Slovakia’s prosperity.

These elements also present a strong case for why it’s a good idea for Canadians to visit, work, study or invest in the Slovak Republic, he stated.

UofGH instructor Tom McKaig invited the diplomat as part of his European Regional Business Studies class. During the semester, students learn about the socio-cultural issues that are at play for businesses in the EU and the steps that Canadian businesses need to plan in order to do business in the region.

 “The Slovakian ambassador’s presentation fit in neatly with the European Regional Business Studies course because he (Droba) spoke about the time of communism and the remarkable turnaround and prosperity that has come to the Slovak Republic,” said McKaig, well-known author and international trade expert.

 “The main takeaway of his presentation was how the country benefits from being part of the EU, which clearly has been a turnkey for Slovakia’s economy.”

In 2016, Slovakia and other EU members signed the historic Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), a progressive trade agreement that allows a majority of Canadian goods access to EU markets without the weight of tariffs.

“CETA has given Canadians exporters a competitive advantage within the EU,” said McKaig.

Slovakia’s capital Bratislava lies in close proximity to Austria, Hungary and the Czech Republic, making it a prominent tourism and trade hub.

Droba urged students to take advantage of his country’s Youth Mobility Program, which is open annually to 350 Canadians between the ages of 18 to 35 years. Through the initiative, individuals can study or work in the country for up to a year.