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Study on the competitiveness of Slovak districts    
(PDF format, 450 pages, 5.13 MB)

Competitive Regions 21 is a pilot project whose main goal is to identify competitive advantages and disadvantages of the business environment in different regions of the Slovak Republic and to formulate suitable strategies for the regional economic development. The core of the project is a complex comparative model of the Slovak regions with elements used by renowned institutions worldwide for measuring competitiveness.

The evaluation of regional business environment is made feasible by the combined use of publicly available statistical data and exclusive information obtained from the Survey of entrepreneurs’ and municipality representatives’ opinions. The Results and outputs of the project will be implemented by the municipailities for
an easier and more qualified formulation of their development strategies that would result in the improvement of conditions for viable business in individual regions, higher economic growth and the growth of the living standard. Entrepreneurs and investors will be given comprehensive information about opportunities and threats in the regions that is often hard to obtain or costly. Finally, the results may also be utilized both by the central government and municipalities to improve the targeting of their development policies to help regions.

Competitive Regions 21 (450 pages, 5.13 MB)

The analysis of competitive advantages and disadvantages of the regions in Slovakia brings in–depth evaluation of regional business environment through BAS’s own Regional Business Environment Index. During its preparation, publicly available statistical data were used in combination with the information gathered from its own extensive survey among entrepreneurs from all 79 districts of Slovakia. Data collection took place late in 2009 and in 2010. The analysis will offer to the reader a comparison of competitive advantages and barriers to business development in each individual district. Included are recommendations for individual districts on where local authorities and the central government should channel their activities to contribute to the regional development and to balance the disparities within and among the regions. The overall assessment summarizes major recommendations whose implementation could be beneficial not only to a specific region, but also to entire Slovakia.

The publication is organized into six chapters, which will gradually guide the reader through individual parts of the analysis. Each chapter can be read independently, without the knowledge of theories, concepts or structures used in the previous chapters.

Individual chapters:

Chapter 1: Key results (22 pages, 472 kB)
Chapter 1 summarizes the main results of the analysis in a clear tabular and graphical form. Its introduction discusses the history and structure of the Regional Business Environment Index, the conceptual framework and economic fundamentals underlying the creation of the index. The next part offers a brief summary of RBEI for individual districts, providing graphs, tables and descriptions. Because the index consists of a number of smaller components – four subindexes, where each subindex consists of two pillars, the subsequent part of the first chapter features these elements as well. The chapter first introduces the four subindexes, each accompanied by a map of SR’s districts with the given subindex and an appropriate table, then it provides a table containing all the previously mentioned data, and finally it displays maps of the districts of SR for each of the pillars with a description of the conditions in individual regions.

Chapter 2: Analyses and Recommendations (68 pages, 955 kB)
Chapter 2 attempts to gain a more in–depth understanding of the results of the analysis, which not only summarize the findings, but mainly serve as a set of recommendations. It begins with the top ten barriers to business identified by the survey respondents. Next, it discusses these barriers in more detail, introducing an intensity map for each barrier, and offers suggestions
for their elimination. The second part of the chapter outlines general recommendations to the Slovak Republic for solving key problems to improve business conditions and reduce regional disparities. The most space has been deservedly devoted to the development strategies for all 79 districts. The strategies briefly summarize the local features of each district with their causes and give recommendations on how to overcome the most sensitive problems. The last part of the chapter offers insight into the structure of the business sector, dividing economy into six sectors and displaying each of them on a map which shows representation of the given sector in each district and lists the 20 largest companies in Slovakia. Representation of sectors in individual districts is calculated based on the number of employees working in firms with at least three employees.

Chapter 3: Methodology (20 pages, 378 kB)
Chapter 3 describes the methodology of the creation of RBEI. It begins with a detailed explanation of all the fundamentals on which the index is built. Then it presents a mathematical apparatus that transforms raw data gathered from surveys and statistical data obtained from institutions into indicators entering the index. The chapter concludes with an overview of all indicators, together with their detailed explanations, sources and significance within the overall index. The chapter is supplemented with graphs and tables that provide a specific view on some index properties such as consistency of responses to the survey or precision of mathematical relations in question.

Chapter 4: District Profiles (168 pages, 2.14 MB)
Chapter 4 is the most extensive. A double–page spread gives a profile of each individual district, consisting of basic statistics about the district, assessment of the district based on the total RBEI score, subindex score and pillars score, the structure of the business sector, lists five largest employers with the number of employees, the greatest competitive advantages and disadvantages and provides an overview of all the indicators entering the index. This overview can help to readily identify the strengths and weaknesses of the district in question.

Chapter 5: District Characteristics (88 pages, 834 kB)
Chapter 5 focuses exclusively on the current state of business in districts with no direct correlation with the index created. Like the previous chapter, this one, too, offers a profile of each district. It consists of a text description of local business conditions and a detailed presentation of the five largest employers. The text description consists of a general geographical situation, economic development and the development of the infrastructure. Economic data and number of employees for the last available year are listed for each employer including their area of business, the most important lines of business and additional information to complete the picture of the services or goods offered by the employer. Thus, both the reader and the potential investor may gain an overview of the most important events in the services and industry sectors for each region.

Chapter 6: Indicators (64 pages, 648 kB)
Chapter 6 features charts of all indicators. With the opposite approach to that in Chapter 4, where each district is accompanied by a review of all indicators with the scores achieved, this chapter lists all districts with the scores achieved for each indicator, sorted by the district with the highest value through to the district with the lowest value. Thus, for instance, the reader can easily identify the district with the highest level of corruption among private enterprises, or one with the most dynamic labor market.

Economic activity (subindex)
Technology and infrastructure (subindex)
Education and human resources (subindex)
Public administration and legislation (subindex)
Structure of the business sector
Regional Business Environment Index
Investment map of Slovak districts
Study on the competitiveness of Slovak districts


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