SARIO at CEE Automotive Forum 2017 in Prague

On 16th - 17th October 2017, the Slovak Investment and Trade Development Agency actively participated at the well-known Central & Eastern European Automotive Forum organized in Prague.

The conference started with the session EUROPEAN TRENDS & CEE REGION - forecasts, policies and investments. On behalf of SARIO, Mr. Robert Šimončič, SARIO CEO, delivered a presentation - Business Friendly Slovakia - showcasing essential elements of the Slovak economy which led to Slovakia being one of the fastest growing economies in Europe.

During the speech Mr.Šimončič emphasized the importance of the automotive industry in Slovakia underlined especially by the recent investment of Jaguar Land Rover. In addition he also stressed that it is the priority of the SARIO agency to attract high added value manufacturers and R&D activities.

The second day of the Forum was specific for SARIO as it presented its own project – Slovakia themed session firmly focused on innovations Good Idea Slovakia – Innovations driving the Industry. The panellists from high esteemed companies operating in Slovakia delivered their presentations and then shared their ideas and experience in a discussion. Mr.Patrick Hessel (C2i), Mr.Martin Kele (Matador Automotive), Mr.Axel Mallener (Brose) and Mr.Róbert Šimončič (SARIO) concluded that Slovakia may no longer be seen as an assembly hall and the brand GOOD IDEA SLOVAKIA stands for excellence and innovation. Mr.Christopher Plant (The Voice of Slovak Business) led the panel.

Slovakia is not only the 3rd most industrialized country in the EU (35% of added value is generated by industrial manufacturing) but also in competition of other OECD members Slovakia records the highest added value growth, which translates in cumulative growth of 43% (compared with the year 2008). This fact resonated as one of the strongest statements in the panel discussion which followed the presentations.

More than 55 speakers and 250 delegates from 14 countries including OEMs, automotive related manufacturers and national agencies representatives prove that the event covered vast majority of topics which currently move the automotive industry. Case studies, Q&A sessions, B2B and networking achieved its goal to draw attention to issues and challenges in the sector and underline the importance of innovation.