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Slovenia Weekly

Foot on the accelerator

17.04.2015

Editorial

Although the crisis is less severe, it is essential that Slovenia keep its foot on the accelerator of reform. Photo: STA
The Slovenian business sector is interested in foreign direct investments, so the Slovenian government has the task of improving the conditions to attract them. In future, the government will continue to prioritise investors who wish to establish a long-term presence here and have good development plans for individual companies, said the Slovenian PM Miro Cerar during the visit of Czech PM Bohuslav Sobotka.

The week was also marked by the agreement to sell Pivovarna Laško brewery, in which the state indirectly held a minority stake, to Heineken. The Dutch “brewer by soul” plans to develop Pivovarna Laško’s existing markets. According to Marc Koster, the executive director for global business development at Heineken, "We bought the brewery in order to ensure its growth and strengthen it."

SMEs have a very important role in Slovenia, as they comprise some 99 per cent of all companies and employ over two thirds of people in the business sector, creating over 60 per cent of added value. The government is trying to create an environment in which entrepreneurs will have more room to breathe, and is preparing measures that that will help fuel SMEs.

Recently, more optimistic economic forecasts have been coming from almost every domestic and international institution. After IMAD predicted growth of 2.4 per cent in its spring forecast at the end of March, and 2 per cent and 2.1 per cent growth for 2016 and 2017, respectively, the Bank of Slovenia and the IMF in its latest report on Tuesday also improved their forecasts.

The government urgently needs to ensure fiscal sustainability with smart structural measures. According to the PM, while we are making an effort to end the crisis, we should not be lulled by current positive trends. “On the contrary, we should put even more effort into encouraging them further. Above all, we should draw additional impetus and optimism from them in order to continue the necessary measures for further economic and social recovery and development,” said the PM. Delia Velculescu, IMF Mission Chief, shares the view that, although the crisis is less severe, it is essential that Slovenia keep its foot on the accelerator of reform.

PM Cerar: There is a lot of room to improve economic relations with the Czech Republic

Following an invitation from Slovenian Prime Minister Mira Cerar, the Czech Prime Minister, Bohuslav Sobotka, began a visit to Slovenia on Tuesday. The prime ministers confirmed the good bilateral cooperation, which the countries plan to strengthen more concretely, particularly on the economy, infrastructure and culture. According to the Slovenian PM, there is still a lot of room to upgrade economic relations, despite the positive economic trends. In the last four years, trade in goods was worth over one billion euros annually, which makes the Czch Republic one of Slovenia’s most important foreign trade partners. more...

Minister Počivalšek in Hannover: Slovenia should become part of developing ‘industry 4.0’ if it is to remain a major investor

This week, the Minister of the Economy, Zdravko Počivalšek, attended one of the world’s leading industrial fair in Hannover, where 15 Slovenian companies are being presented. The minister attended the forum on the new industrial platform, 4.0, where the Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy, Sigmar Gabriel, and the Federal Minister for Education and Research, Johanna Wanka. Minister Počivalšek and high representatives of the German economic ministry discussed industry 4.0, in which the German side had invited Slovenia to participate. more...

PM Cerar: Small and medium-sized company have a very significant role in Slovenia

On Wednesday, Slovenia’s Prime Minister Miro Cerar addressed the participants of the 2nd Conference for Small and Medium-Sized Companies at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia, which was held under the title ‘More Oxygen for the Entrepreneurial Flame’. The PM said he was aware that the government should strive to create an environment where entrepreneurs will be able to breathe more easily, and listed several government policies that will help to fuel SMEs. more...

Social entrepreneurship is a challenge for current economic crisis

On Monday, a discussion on social entrepreneurship took place at Ptuj, which was also attended by the labour minister and the state secretary at the Office of the Prime Minister responsible for social entrepreneurship. According to the labour minister, Anja Kopač Mrak, this does not entail only the employment of the most socially vulnerable people, but signifies above all a different method of doing business and creating added value, which is distributed somewhat differently to traditional companies. The minister said that the adoption of the strategy of development by 2016 and the preparation of measures to encourage this were very significant for developing social entrepreneurship. “The best decision was to move from the office to the field and resolve problems where they occur,” she said. more...

The visit of UNHCR high representative in Slovenia confirms good cooperation

On Tuesday, 14 April, Montserrat Feixas Vihé, the regional representative of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) for Central Europe based in Budapest, visited Slovenia. The high representative was hosted by the interior minister Vesna Györkös Žnidar, and she also met state secretary at the foreign ministry Bogdan Benko. At the working meeting, the interior minister Györkös Žnidar said that Slovenia is aware of the important role of UNHCR in monitoring the situation of migrants, asylum seekers and refugees in individual countries and the region, particularly in areas caught up in war, mass violations of human rights and humanitarian crises. more...

Meeting of foreign ministers at Brdo

On Thursday, 23 April 2015, a meeting of foreign ministers will be held at Brdo, which will be hosted by foreign ministers of the Republic of Slovenia, Karl Erjavec, and the French Republic, Laurent Fabius. The meeting will be attended by foreign ministers of EU members Austria, Croatia, Italy, France and Slovenia, and Serbia, Macedonia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo and Montenegro. It will also be attended by the Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy & Enlargement, Johannes Hahn, while High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, is also expected to attend. Federal Republic of Germany will send a State Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. more...



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