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back to index backEUROtalk February,  2005


EU Newcomers enjoying booming economies

Newcomers to the European Union saw substantial economic growth in 2004. Eurostat reports that Slovakia posted a 5.3-percent growth rate, while the gross domestic product (GDP) surged 4.8 percent in Poland, 3.7 percent in Hungary, and 3.6 percent in the Czech Republic. In contrast, Germany's economy grew by 1.3 percent, while France recorded a growth rate of 1.9 percent.

A boost in foreign investment, cheap labor, and low corporate taxes are responsible for their booming economies. Among the companies moving into the area to take advantage of low manufacturing wages are PSA Peugeot Citroen and Kia Motors Corp., both of which are building plants in Slovakia.

Companies are also relocating to pay less taxes. While Germany and France impose corporate taxes of more than 30 percent, the tax rate is just 28 percent in the Czech Republic, 19 percent in Slovakia, 19 percent in Poland, and 16 percent in Hungary.

Deutsche Bank's Global Market Research senior economist Jens Nystedt notes, "Foreign investment inflow is driven by EU membership and the high quality of human capital, and these factors will continue to remain supportive in the medium term."

Source: Globality - GAI


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