The Slovenia Times

Austrian firms in Slovenia still unhappy about taxes


The tax system remains one of the main problems, according to a survey by Advantage Austria, a portal of the Austrian Federal Chamber of Commerce.

The official representation of the Austrian economy in Slovenia, Advantage Austria Ljubljana, has nevertheless established several positive shifts in this year's survey.

"The Slovenian economy is growing. Austrian companies feel this in their operation, and they expect an additional improvement in 2016," director Peter Hasslacher told the press in Ljubljana on Tuesday.

Around 15% of the respondents assessed the economic situation in Slovenia as good, which is the option no respondent picked in last year's survey.

The share of those who think that the situation is satisfactory increased from 30% to 45%, while the share of respondents who see the situation as bad decreased from 60% to 40%.

The share of respondents who believe that next year will be better increased by 10 points to 35%. Around half of the respondents believe that 2016 will be the same as this year and 15% believe it will be worse.

"It seems that Slovenia is gaining new momentum," Hasslacher said, while adding that the situation was somewhat different when it came to Slovenia's attractiveness to foreign investment. It neither improved nor worsened, he noted.

Only 4% of the respondents assessed Slovenia's attractiveness as high, while the share of those who think it is average increased from 35% to 40%.

Among the positive things, Hasslacher pointed to the interest of Austrian companies in investing in Slovenia increasing. While large Austrian companies are already present on the Slovenian market, now is the time for SMEs, he added.

Austrian companies are satisfied with the level of education, quality and motivation of workforce in Slovenia, while they see biggest problems in taxation of income, flexibility of labour legislation, fight against crime and corruption, efficiency of public administration and transparency of public procurement.

The tax system has been recognised as the most critical area based on the last year's and this year's surveys, according to Hasslacher.

Austrian companies are the biggest source of foreign direct investment in Slovenia with a total of EUR 5bn in investments. Around 700 companies in majority Austrian ownership are currently operating here, employing between 15,000 and 20,000 people.


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