The Slovenia Times

Business chamber hands out awards


The awards were given out by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GZS) to managers of companies ranging in size from large to micro and hailing from a diverse line-up of sectors.

Among the winners honoured at a ceremony addressed by President Borut Pahor were executive of electric motor producer Domel Jožica Rejec and the general manager of automotive drive components maker GKN Driveline Slovenija Andrej Poklič.

Also taking home the award were chairman of metal products for rail cars Alen Šink, general manager of foundry OMCO Feniks Slovenija Borut Triplat and CEO of tourism company Postojnska jama Marjan Batagelj, director of overload protection maker Hermi Miran Rauter and general manager of business software maker Saop Sonja Šinigoj.

The most prestigious managerial award in the country is given out to managers who have overseen successful development of their companies over a sustained period and have reported outstanding earnings in the past year as well as those who have contributed to promoting excellence, competitiveness, development and broader social change.

Since it was first conferred in 1969 a total of 347 managers have won the award.

The winners were hailed by GZS president Marjan Mačkošek as representing the cream of the crop in business in the past year. The companies represented are diverse in terms of their size and line of business, he said ahead of the ceremony.

General manager of the business chamber Samo Hribar Milič added that Slovenian companies had turned a page after the crisis and were achieving a new level of value added, hiring and vision.

"In such a situation it was not hard to identify excellent companies, the champions of Slovenian business," said Hribar Milič.

In his address at the ceremony, President Pahor said Slovenia should learn from the positive examples set by the award winners.

He said the managers honoured today were united in having a winning mentality and shunning naive thinking that things are good as they are. "They are the pillars of the robustness which will prove essential in the future."

In this vein, the president warned against a repeat of the mistakes which led to the 2008 financial crisis, especially a mentality that everything is in order and that changes are not needed.

There needs to be a willingness to make structural changes, he argued, highlighting that the current reliance on cheap money could spurn a new financial crisis.

Slovenia needs to ask itself what it has learnt from the last crisis and how it can prepare for a new one, which he thinks is inevitable due to a lack of stronger regulation to curtail the moral improprieties that caused the first crisis.

The financial balloon is growing again as money from quantitative easing makes its way again into stocks. This is all happening in the background of the current refugee crisis in Europe, said Pahor.

According to him, the challenge is even greater because Europe has seen a rise in political forces inclined to loosening EU integration, even though projects such as the euro and Schengen show that a closer-knit bloc is better at facing domestic and global problems.

For Slovenia the priority must be laying the foundation for robust economic recovery, he said, adding that greater prosperity will do the most to bolster security.


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