The town of Košice has a historic industrial tradition, apart from the metallurgical industry there are developed engineering, construction, food, printing and textile industries. Established companies are active in wholesale, distribution of goods and services - catering, accommodation and also the financial and banking industries.
The city of Košice is the most economically powerful and is the natural centre not only of eastern Slovakia, but also in the cross-border region (covering parts of Hungary, Ukraine and Poland). This also encourages domestic and foreign investment that goes to the city itself or the nearby area, as well as the development of small and medium-sized enterprises. In terms of significance and size, it ranks in Slovakia immediately behind the capital (Bratislava). It is home to national, regional and financial institutions, universities, research and development institutes, cultural and sports facilities and consulates.
The city continues to offer many business opportunities (large numbers of unemployed, housing estates lacking services) and enjoys a favourable geographical and strategic location with respect to the Schengen border; the city has an economically active population with diverse levels of education and qualifications. Investors and prospective employers also have a lower labour costs than Bratislava and lower living costs. The young generation is more in line with global trends, both in terms of foreign languages and IT, than the older generation.
The city of Košice is known internationally for its regular events. The best-known event is the International Peace Marathon, the oldest marathon in Europe and the second-oldest in the world.