Slovakia is officially the 16th country to join the European Union and adopt the euro as their form of currency, leaving investors to wonder when an exchange traded fund (ETF) for this growing country will arrive?
Banks in Slovakia did business nimbly on New Year’s for the special event of issuing euros to citizens. Alex Schuller and Karel Janicek for Associated Press reports that with the addition of Slovakia, the euro currency will be used by 330 million people with an annual gross domestic product of more than $5.6 trillion.
The decision to join the EU is a wise one, especially as the world economy is at a crossroads. Slovakia is adapting as some citizens in the EU such as Denmark and Sweden are rethinking their countries’ refusal to sign up.
Slovakia has been transitioning from a centrally planned economy to a modern market one in recent years. Major privatizations are nearly complete, the banking sector is almost entirely in foreign hands and the government has helped facilitate a foreign investment boom with business-friendly policies, according to the CIA World Factbook.
All is not lost for investors who want access to Slovakia. You can get investment access through Austria’s ETF, at least. Slovakia’s skilled workforce, and flat tax rate may lead this country to their own ETF soon.
- iShares MSCI Austria (EWO): down 63.2% in 2008