The Slovenia Times

Foreign investors praise Slovenia but note room for improvement


The Slovenia Business Bridge investment and business conference began with a breakfast that featured Dragan Šolak of United Group, Andrzej Bartos of Innova Capital, Gert Waltenbauer of KGAL GmpH & Co. KG., and Elsewedy Electric boss Ahmed El Sewedy.

Šolak, whose company owns telecoms provider Telemach, spoke of good synergies in the region, while he lamented what he sees as a prejudiced attitude to foreign investors in Slovenia.

When I come to London I'm a businessman, while in Slovenia I'm a tycoon, the Serbian businessman said.

Bartos, who entered Slovenia through prefabricated building components maker Trimo, argued Slovenia still has a lot of unused export potential, but as Slovenian companies are not that well know yet abroad foreign investors are important.

Waltenbauer, whose company invested in insurer Zavarovalnica Triglav, described Slovenia as an excellent springboard for the rest of the region, having the euro as well as an educated workforce.

Bartos on the other hand argued Slovenia had problems attracting foreign talent, while it at the same time faced brain drain. He misses good international schools and quality marketing and management staff, although there is a lot of engineering skills and a very good command of foreign languages.

Sewedy, who invested in electricity meter producer Iskraemeco, pointed to media speculation that the Egyptian owner would sell the company and export knowledge. This caused fear among workers, but none of this happened in the end, he stressed.

The participants of the debate called for investor-friendly tax policies, while Šolak also urged a continuation of privatisation.

Also on hand was US Ambassador Brent Hartley, who said Slovenians were afraid of quick changes that could make them lose the quality of life, education and healthy environment they are enjoying now. He however feels they should be more confident and sometimes think outside of the box.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Miro Cerar addressed the afternoon segment of the conference entitled Ready for the Future.

He described Slovenia as good investment destination, arguing this is underlined by the economic growth and decrease in unemployed which the country has been experiencing. Cerar also highlighted Slovenia as a leader in digital transformation.


More from Nekategorizirano