IBM not to open call centre in Slovenia
The multinational has in recent years opened a series of call centres for communication with customers in Eastern Europe. It has also considered Slovenia as a potential location, but has now opted for Croatia.
IBM's decision was announced by the government earlier this week in its response to a deputy question by Andrej Čuš, a member of the opposition Democratic Party (SDS).
According to the release, IBM officials made a first contact with the government over the potential investment in October 2015 with the potential number of jobs it would bring ranging between 50 and 1,000.
IBM's initiative was not presented in the form of a business or investment plan which would made it possible for the government to assess direct or indirect benefits for the country.
Based on the initiative, the SPIRIT investment promotion agency drew up calculations taking into account potential access to incentives for youth employment under existing or planned measures and public calls with a focus on eastern Slovenia as a potential location.
"The government would like to emphasize that tax obligations in Slovenia cannot be subject to partial agreements whatsoever...something that was explained to IBM as well as other interested enterprises through years which place tax exemptions as their key negotiating position."
Based on the information received about the terms Slovenia can offer under its exiting legislation, IBM made an assessment in accordance with its internal rules, deciding against expanding in Slovenia, without explaining its decision.
According to reports in the dailies Delo and Večer, the multinational decided to open a call centre in Croatia instead.
Saturday's edition of Delo quotes Branko Žibret of AT Kearney as saying that Slovenia should draw up a strategy about what kind of investment it wanted and set up a system to attract investment.
The consultancy firm AT Kearney has conducted an analysis of foreign direct investment in the country, which showed an increase in inbound FDI in recent years.
However, the increase is mainly on account of privatisation rather than greenfield investment, which would bring new jobs.
The analysis also showed the most important factors for investors are the size of the market, labour costs, transparent legislation, rate of corruption, security and efficiency of administrative procedures.
On the other hand, less vital are the quality of telecommunications, electricity and transport infrastructure and access to real estate.