Development pact to help face potential new crisis
The meeting, held as part of a a two-day Manager Congress, heard Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek say that the state's role was to see to a competitive, predictable and stable business environment.
The head of the Manager Association, Aleksander Zalaznik, said that everyone must work together to want to win: "We should wish having the best companies in the world, the highest pay in the world, just like athletes want winning."
The Manager Association presented an initiative for a development agreement early this year, proposing increasing the employment rate, investment in education and science, speeding up technological and sustainable transition, reforming tax policy and establishing an effective justice system.
All these should make it possible to raise wages and the value added.
Lidija Jerkič, the head of the ZZZS trade union association, said that the agreement was achievable. "Employers and managers are not the enemy of the working class, we are trying to work together to the best of our abilities," she said.
She noted the significance of education. "It is one of the challenges that we must all dedicate much attention to together."
Minister Počivalšek agreed. "For me the key thing is to provide enough qualified labour force for our economy," he said.
Apart from appropriate education, he believes it is necessary to form a suitable attitude to the import of labour force, because he does not think the economy can function without it in the future.
Labour Minister Ksenija Klampfer spoke about the government's proposals to keep older people active in the labour market longer, considering the average retirement age in the country is 58 or 59 years.
Despite the slowdown in the global economy, a survey among Manager Association members showed that 60% were not sensing a looming crisis yet.
The Slovenian economy is in a very good shape and ready for a potential slowdown or a new crisis, said Milan Dragić, managing director for South-East Europe at Bisnode, a business information provider.
Exports increased strongly over the past ten years, as did profit per employee. "We're still lagging behind some western countries but the progress is commendable," said Dragić.
Počivalšek does not want to hear the word crisis. "I've lost the will to show optimism in public about a new crisis. If we want a crisis, we'll have one," he said.
Gregor Benčina, CEO of Slovenijales, a furniture dealer, sees crisis as an opportunity. "Slovenians are adaptable, this is our advantage," he said, offering the climate crisis as the biggest opportunity for Slovenia.