Pahor lends ear to small business representatives
In what was the first president's meeting of its kind, president of Chamber of Trade Crafts and Small Business (OZS) Branko Meh said that Pahor's attention was very important and praised the president for opening the doors for small businesses on foreign markets.
OZS director Danijel Lamperger added that small entrepreneurs were the foundation of the economy, and pointed to their social responsibility, which reflected in the co-funding of important projects in local environments.
Small business representatives also presented to Pahor the main challenges they face in doing business, with builder Srečko Skubic pointing to the burning problem of proper staff shortage.
Skubic said that it was hard to employ even Bosnian workers, who are largely "skipping" Slovenia for better earnings in other EU countries. Problems also occur because of lengthy procedures to obtain work permits, he added.
Matjaž Cajhen, who owns a toolmaking firm, pointed to the complicated administrative procedures, and regretted that entrepreneurs had to deal with matters unrelated to production.
David Pizzoni of Veltra, a maker of cooling and heating systems, also lamented the lack of proper workforce, partly blaming it on the school system. He believes more emphasis should be put on technical professions.
Hairdresser Veronika Grešak meanwhile pointed to undeclared work, which represents unfair competition to sole proprietors such as her. She also criticised the complicated legislation, saying that "even fashion trends are easier to follow".
Pahor said that Slovenia had failed to take advantage of opportunities to modernise and simplify its business environment and reach a new social pact.
Among main challenges, the president pointed to the need to make the labour market more flexible, and added that the mentality should also be changed. "I think this is something that is not impossible to achieve."