Peter Hulenyi is the Ambassador of the Slovak Republic to Israel. In this episode, Peter is sharing with us the bilateral cooperation agreement in joint R&D which signed between Slovak Republic and the State of Israel. Peter is also talking about the economy in Slovakia, the startups scene there, examples of successful collaboration between Israeli & Slovakian companies and what makes this opportunity so unique compare to other agreements between Israel to other European countries. Slovakia ended 2016 with a population of 5.5 million people. The country joined the European Union in 2004 and the Eurozone on 1 January 2009.
“It’s not just about the Slovak market itself. Much more attractive from the point of view of Israelis is that Slovakia could serve as a gateway, as a door that is open for Israeli companies to enter the Euro zone. That’s the biggest asset and added value that Slovakia could offer. It’s a very good location. And that is also our ambition for the future. We would like to attract startups from countries east of Slovakia, to come to Bratislava, and there is an ambition to create from Bratislava something like a Central European Startups Hub. That would be a longer term goal. And we have to look at the region also as a gate for the region, namely, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia. By the way, this region is a market of 65 million citizens, it’s the 4th force largest export in the European union, when we take those 4 countries, and it’s the 15th largest economy in the world. Also the region is a branding of innovation, so in a broader sense we shouldn’t look only in the Slovakia as a small country in the hurt of Europe but as a wide region.”
(Peter Hulenyi, the Ambassador of the Slovak Republic to Israel, about the opportunity for Israeli startups in Slovakia)