September 2017 \ Interviews \ COUNTRY FOCUS: SLOVAK REPUBLIC
“We are an attractive investment destination in Central Europe”

H.E. Mr Zigmund Bertok, Ambassador of the Slovak Republic in India, speaks to India Empire’s Editor and Publisher Sayantan Chakravarty at the Embassy in New Delhi...

Coming to Indian culture, it is very popular in Slovakia. We have a number of institutions working towards furthering Indo-Slovak friendship. They regularly organize concerts. They act as discussion forums. Yoga classes are held across Slovakia and you could see the number of practitioners who came out on the International Yoga Day at 20 different places. Many from Slovakia come to India to learn and practice yoga and ayurveda. We are looking at introducing Slovakian novels in Hindi in the Indian market. Students’ exchange and academics is important. There is a growing trend of Indians going to Slovakia to take up courses, especially in sciences and technology, at our instructions where the medium is English. Overall, we have 40 universities, which is quite a large number for a nation of 5.5 million. We have universities specializing in transport, agriculture and technical subjects. There are courses in Slovakian Law as well as European Law which is an interesting field for Indians.

Speaking of people-to-people contact, high-level delegations are important. In the last few years what kind of delegations have come here and gone from India to Slovakia?

Last year we had a high-level delegation that was in Amritsar for the Heart of Asia conference. Minister of State for External Affairs General V.K. Singh was in Slovakia in May last year at a global conference on security. At the invitation of India’s Foreign Minister, our Foreign Minister will be here by the end of August 2017 in the capacity of President-elect of the UN General Assembly. In September, a political delegation will be led by our State Secretary and it will meet up with top levels of MEA. Another delegation will be in Bengaluru in the last week of September when we formally open our Consulate there. These will provide perfect opportunities for people-to-people contacts.