Invest in Slovakia Seminar, Chicago

Tuesday, 08. March 2011

The last seminar from the Invest in Slovakia series organized by the agency SARIO and the Ministry of Economy of the SR in the USA took place in the city of Chicago.


The seminar was opened by Robert Knuepfer, partner at Baker & McKenzie, the company providing its premises for the event.


Similarly as in the previous locations Peter Burian, the Ambassador of the Slovak Republic has briefly introduced the aim of the event and the government representative, this time Martin Chren, the Deputy Minister of Economy of the SR. The Deputy Minister has welcomed the guests also in the name of the Minister of Economy of the SR and delivered a speech emphasizing new trends and reforms contributing to the improvement of the business environment.


Afterwards, Robert Simoncic, CEO of SARIO presented Slovakia and it value proposition for investors. He highlighted the country’s highest GDP performance within the Eurozone and the stability of macroeconomic environment creating sustainable growth for businesses.


The Chicago seminar also included a presentation on the general investment environment in Central and Eastern Europe presented by Ken Ryan, Director of Transactions for CEE at KPMG as well as a presentation by Jake Slegers, Executive Director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Slovakia, who talked about the available network of support services for US investors established in Slovakia. 


During this last seminar, the most contributive elements were presentations by the representatives of two successful US companies in Slovakia - US Steel in Kosice and Johnson Controls, who delivered some extraordinarily strong arguments in favour of Slovakia.


George Babcoke, former President of US Steel in Kosice has talked about US Steel in Eastern Slovakia and Mike Wyson, Vice President for Finances at Johnson Controls presented their operation. Both presenters have briefly introduced the establishment of their companies in Slovakia and the successful economic performances since the beginnings. Besides many convincing arguments, both of them emphasized the highly qualified labor force and its availability despite the fact that both companies are active in different industrial fields. Mike Wysong significantly highlighted Johnson Controls’ satisfaction with employees of university education, who fulfilled company expectations to the highest degree. Johnson Controls strongly recommends Slovakia to other companies for placing not just their operational divisions but also centers with high value added activities. This recommendation of Johnson Controls is based on their own experience when they relocated their global center of services from Mexico to Slovakia, as very efficient choice of that time.