The Slovak economy remains strong. Thanks to sustained economic growth, almost 4% on average in the last two decades, living standards have converged towards the OECD average. The economy has benefitted from strong integration into global value chains, but the gains from this integration are likely to decline in the future. Foreign direct investment has focused mainly on downstream activities, which, although generating high productivity growth in the past, have low value added. Faced with rapid wage increases, technological change and labour shortages, Slovakia needs to upgrade the skills of its workers to protect their longer-term employability and foster productivity gains. While poverty and inequality are low overall, the majority of Slovakia’s Roma, about 8% of the population, face extreme social exclusion, with very low employment, widespread poverty and low life expectancy. Providing better living standards and economic opportunities to the Roma will require well-coordinated efforts across social, housing, education and employment policies.
SPECIAL FEATURES: SOCIAL INTEGRATION OF ROMA; GLOBAL VALUE CHAINS