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Slovak Republic

Flag of Slovakia

Slovak Republic country brief

Key engagement

Australia and the Slovak Republic (also known as Slovakia) established diplomatic relations upon the foundation of the Slovak Republic in 1993.

Australia and the Slovak Republic cooperate closely in international peace and security forums

Outlook

A comprehensive and ambitious Australia-EU FTA will boost business and trade opportunities between Australia and the Slovak Republic.

Bilateral relations

Australia and the Slovak Republic have warm and friendly relations. The Slovak Republic maintains an Embassy in Canberra and has Honorary Consulates in Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth.

Foreign relations

Human rights are central to Slovak foreign policy. The Slovak Republic became a member of the United Nations (UN) in 1993. Under the Slovak Republic’s initiative, the UN Human Rights Committee adopted in 2011 “The Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child”. The Slovak Republic held the Presidency of the UN General Assembly from 2017 to 2018.

The Slovak Republic is a member of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the World Trade Organisation, and the Schengan Zone. It is also a member of the Visegrad Four (with Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary), which aims to promote closer cooperation between these four central European countries to further their European integration. All four countries joined the European Union in May 2004.

The Slovak Republic’s security is centred around NATO. The Slovak Republic joined NATO in 2004. Slovak and Australian soldiers were stationed together in Uruzgan Province, Afghanistan, during the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) that ran from 2001-2014.

Fast facts

Slovak visitors to Australia (Year ended June 2020)
3,600
Australian resident returns from the Slovak Republic (Year ended June 2020)
3,100
Resident Australian population born in the Slovak Republic (2016 census)
4,427
Australian residents of Slovak descent (2016 census)
11,367
Slovak working holidaymakers (Year ended June 2020)
135
Slovak students in Australia (2019)
957

High level engagement

May 2015 – Then Slovak Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Mr Miroslav Lajčák, visited Australia with a small business mission.

June 2013 – Then Governor-General, Her Excellency the Honourable Quentin Bryce AC CVO visited the Slovak Republic and met with then President of the Slovak republic, His Excellency Dr Ivan Gašparovič.

Agreements and Arrangements with Slovak Republic

Texts of bilateral agreements are available at the Australian Treaties Database.

Political Overview

The Slovak Republic was established on 1 January 1993 after Czechoslovakia split into two independent states — the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic.

Legislative power is held in a unicameral parliament (the National Council) in which Deputies (MPs) are elected for four-year terms. The Head of Government is the Prime Minister, who is appointed by the President who serves as Head of State.

Public diplomacy

The Australian Embassy in Vienna supports a number of activities throughout the year to promote Australian culture, business credentials, and present Australia as an active supporter of the rules-based global trading system. In June 2019, the Embassy hosted a mini-retrospective of Australian feature films in Bratislava, drawing on a two-month ‘Film Continent Australia’ festival in neighbouring Vienna. The film festival highlighted Australia’s cultural diversity and promoted Australia's excellence in film, including Indigenous film. The Embassy also takes advantage of visits to the Slovak Republic and other opportunities to engage with senior government representatives, businesses, universities and the alumni community.

Australian Embassy in Vienna is responsible for the Slovak Republic

Economic diplomacy

Two-way trade between Australia and the Slovak Republic was valued at $528 million in 2019. Trade was weighed heavily in the Slovak Republic’s favour with total exports to Australia valued at $478 million versus $50 million of exports from Australia.

Major merchandise imports from the Slovak Republic to Australia included passenger motor vehicles, heating and cooling equipment and parts, and pumps, and vehicle parts and accessories.

Major merchandise exports to the Slovak Republic from Australia included electrical circuits equipment, leather, measuring and analysing instruments, and medical instruments.

Australia continues to seek opportunities to promote Australian business and raise awareness of potential benefits of increased trade between Australia and Europe, including the Slovak Republic. This work has intensified since the launch of the Australia-EU FTA negotiations in June 2018.

Business

Australian companies with business interests in the Slovak Republic include Howe Leather (leather upholstery), Macquarie Group (infrastructure), Prospech (mining) and QBE (insurance).

Austrade’s office in Prague is responsible for the Slovak Republic

Travel

See Smartraveller for Information on travelling to Slovakia.

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