Foreign investors happy with staff, unhappy with labour costs
While they are happy with the skilled staff, their main grievance are the labour costs, shows a survey unveiled in Ljubljana on Wednesday.
Carried out by the SPIRIT agency and the Centre of International Relations at the Ljubljana Faculty of Social Sciences, the survey suggests that foreign investors choose Slovenia because of potential for development and innovation as well as for the skilled staff.
Co-author Andreja Jaklič of the International Relations Centre noted that the quality of staff and their competences were highlighted as the main advantage by the respondents.
However, like their global competition, they are facing trouble in attracting suitable workers. Almost two-thirds of the respondents or nine percentage points more than the year before complained about the problem.
On the other hand, payroll taxes and labour-related contributions, the rigid labour legislation and labour costs in general are the biggest issues for foreign investors in the country. Moreover, they are not completely happy with the efficacy of the judiciary, corporate income tax and payment discipline.
Companies in foreign ownership would like their employees to be more creative and innovative, communicative and effective in relations.
On the other hand, they are satisfied with the employees' intercultural cooperation, language skills and digital literacy.
The survey suggests that foreign investors are more inclined to invest in R&D than Slovenian companies, with a quarter of them having their own R&D department.
More than half of these companies expect to expand their workforce by up to 30% this year and 4% by more than 30%. Less than 10% will cut jobs.
In addition, almost 40% of foreign companies will expand their activities, the most since 2013, and 70% expect sales to grow this year.
The share of respondents who believe that Slovenia's position as an FDI destination has improved over the past eight years stood at 15%, up significantly from the year before.
To further improve the environment, they propose regular updates to investor registers and better communication. They would also like the public administration to be more responsive and concentrated in terms of responsibilities.
The survey, carried out by Jaklič, Iris Koleša and Matija Rojec, included 868 companies, of which 238 responded to the questionnaire.