7. December 2020

Interview with MAREK KOPANICKÝ

Marek Kopanický is Consultant and Innovation Services Lead at the Investment Projects Department of the Slovak Investment and Trade Development Agency (SARIO).
Mr. Kopanický studied Economic Diplomacy at the University of Economics in Bratislava and International Economic and Political Studies (IEPS) at the Charles University in Prague. He speaks fluently English and German.

1. What are the critical success factors that have the main impact on foreign direct investments for Slovakia?
I believe that the critical success factor lies in the sufficient competitiveness of the Slovak economy. There are several areas where Slovakia dominates, such as the high quality, productivity and loyalty of the labour force, the capability to adopt new technologies brought by foreign investors or the high level of robotization in manufacturing industries. It is also important to highlight that Slovakia still belongs among the most export-oriented and open economies in the EU. And unlike many CEE countries, our country is a Eurozone member already since 2009. Nonetheless, the Slovak government is constantly bringing and undertaking new steps to improve the investment and business environment quality to attract new investment with increasingly higher added-value.

2. What tools does SARIO use to attract direct investments for Slovakia from multinational corporations?
Slovak Investment and Trade Development Agency (SARIO) actively seeks to support FDI inflows through the presentation of the Slovak business and investment environment, its strengths and advantages. Furthermore, we provide potential investors with comprehensive consultancy services, including investment aid and R&D support schemes, site-selection consultancy or various analyses about economic sectors, regional specifications or labour market. At the same time, we work closely also with already established investors, providing them with our continuous support and consultancy regarding legislation updates and other useful data and information.

3. What are the most prospective sectors of the Slovak economy from your point of view?
Given the fact that the automotive industry makes up to 50% of the Slovak industrial production and employs more than 275 000 employees, it is understandable to connect the future of the Slovak economy with automotive-related trends such as e-mobility, hydrogen propulsion systems or autonomous driving.
On top of that, other sectors can benefit from the technological potential and comprehensiveness of the Slovak automotive sector, such as aviation or the space industry. In this regard, SARIO systematically engages in activities aimed at supporting the sector portfolio diversification of the Slovak companies towards promising high-tech areas with significant growth potential.

4. What steps does SARIO undertake within the realm of innovations?
Since 2017, SARIO has been developing its Innovation Services – the matchmaking platform which aims to interconnect the needs of large investors with the competencies of innovative Slovak technology companies. SARIO has already organized 24 tailor-made workshops, which on one side serve as a business development channel for dozens of the Slovak solution providers, on the other are aimed to innovate the technological processes of its major clients.
SARIO Innovation Services focus on:
·         robotization, predictive maintenance or digital factory solutions in the industrial sector;
·         and software automation, cybersecurity, Big Data or AI in the services sector.
SARIO also actively presents technologically advanced and innovative solutions “made in Slovakia” on various fora, an example of which will also be a panel discussion on Smart Logistics during WOF EXPO.

5. What is your opinion about positioning WOF EXPO in the Central and Eastern Europe region?
The positioning of logistics-related EXPO and conference in the vibrant capital of Slovakia, Bratislava, that can be easily accessed from 3 other countries within only 1 hour driving time is undoubtedly a great decision for the 1st edition of such event. Bratislava is not only the main driver of Slovakia’s economic growth. It is a social, cultural and political hub offering a strategic location in the very heart of Europe.
That is why I can only commend an initiative to organize the World of Freight EXPO in Bratislava in September 2021 as an ambitious international event with dozens of top exhibitors and a quality conference agenda full of discussions on various important topics. Hopefully, the pandemic will allow the successful realization of WOF EXPO in the offline world.

Slovak Investment and Trade Development Agency (SARIO) is a governmental agency working under the Ministry of Economy of the Slovak Republic. The mission of the Investment Projects Department is to attract high-added-value investments to Slovakia and to contribute to the regional development of the country. Within its innovation agenda, SARIO aims to interconnect Slovak technology firms with big players in Slovakia as well as abroad.