Consultancy firm survey suggests Visegrad Four find favour with investors

The four countries of the Visegrad Group - the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, feature high in a new survey on their capacity to attract foreign capital. This Annual Attractiveness Survey was compiled by the international consultancy firm Ernst and Young.

Borbala Czako,  photo:
For a look at why foreign capital is finding a home in Central Europe, Radio Budapest spoke to Borbala Czako the director of Ernst and Young Hungary:

"If we compare the countries as a region then Western Europe is still ahead of Central and Eastern Europe. However, Central and Eastern Europe has become more competitive on a year-to-year basis. For example Poland and Hungary attract more foreign direct investment than France, Germany, Belgium, and Spain combined."

What are the chances of the Visegrad Group countries to grow even further?

"The survey says that because these countries are more flexible, there is a diversity of markets, and the countries' knowledge is important, their possibilities are higher and the potential is there. If we compare the countries, it is important to know that Hungary is no. 5 in job creation and no. 4 with regards to its potential for new foreign direct investment. If we compare the Visegrad countries to each other, Poland is probably more attractive than Hungary. It has a higher domestic market, the employment regulations are less strict than in other countries. With regards to skilled labour, Poland is no. 5 and the in the area of cost of land and regulations, it is no. 1, while the Czech Republic is no. 5."

Is cheap labour still an important factor?

"Cheap labour is still a factor but not to the extent it used to be. Attention is now given to industries such as the car industry, for example."

How much of an effect has the countries' membership in the European Union had on this?

"It has definitely made a difference because foreign direct investment generally likes to come to Europe. When you take China, the United States, and the European Union, the EU has a special advantage over the other two countries."