The Slovenia Times

Foreign investors see no significant improvement in business environment


Although a well-trained work force remains the main reason why companies invest in Slovenia, investors are unhappy with high taxes, the cost of labour and late payments.

The survey conducted by the International Relations Research Centre of the Ljubljana Faculty of Social Sciences included 226 foreign-owned companies based in Slovenia.

Apart from the well-trained work force, investors favour Slovenia for its proximity to the markets of the EU and southeast Europe, Andreja Jaklič of the Faculty of Social Sciences told the press on Tuesday.

The main downsides to investing in Slovenia remain unchanged compared to previous surveys: labour costs, late payments, shortage of qualified staff, and inefficiency of the judicial system.

Jaklič said that no major changes had been detected as regards investment hindrances since the survey was first conducted in 2008.

Several problems have continued to grow during this time, according to foreign investors. These include transport infrastructure and execution of contracts. Insolvency proceedings and corruption are also becoming increasingly problematic.

"We have noticed that the slow pace of change, especially in terms of infrastructure and the respect for the rule of law, is one of the biggest issues," said Jaklič.

The latest survey also shows that investors are having a hard time finding the work force they need, and are unhappy with the functioning of the Financial Administration and of the state administration.

More than a half of the investors have problems finding appropriately trained employees, including mechanical engineers, metal works, electric engineers and IT experts, said Jaklič.

Foreign investors believe that the weakest points of Slovenian workforce are the lack of technical knowledge, poor communication skills, foreign language skills, management skills and sales techniques.

Last year, most of the foreign investors did not change the headcount, while their revenues increased slightly. Their plans for 2016 are similar.

More than 50% of investors believe the situation remained unchanged in 2015, while some 42% said the situation worsened. This is still better than the 70% that perceived the situation as worsening in the 2014 survey.

The SPIRIT agency for the promotion of FDI intends to focus on helping foreign investors in the initial stages of their projects in Slovenia, and on promoting the country at various investment and business conferences abroad, Matej Skočir of the agency told the press.


More from Nekategorizirano