Slovakia, officially the Slovak Republic, is a small country in Central Europe, which emerged on 1 January 1993 after splitting from Czechoslovakia. It has an area of 49 036 km2 with a population of approximately 5.43 million.
The capital of Slovakia is Bratislava. Additional important economic centres include the cities Žilina, Martin, Nitra, Košice, and Banská Bystrica.
Since 1 May 2004, Slovakia has been a member of the EU. Since 21 December 2007, it has been a member of the Schengen Area. In 2009, Slovakia entered the Euro zone.
Historical German influence because of the immigration of German artisans in the Middle Ages and intensive metal production and trade in what is now the Banská Bystrica region at the time of the Fuggers.
Slovakia has a strong tradition in machine production as well as many qualified and motivated professionals.