Slovenia climbs two spots to 35th in world competitiveness ranking
The survey, compiled by the Swiss-based International Institute for Management Development, is largely based on statistical data from 2019 and previous years, and partly on a survey conducted among managers in March and April 2020.
Slovenia lost three spots to 36th in terms of economic performance, but gained one spot to 38th in government efficiency and one spot to 39th in business efficiency, while losing two spots to 29th in terms of infrastructure.
The slip in economic performance comes after the country jumped higher in 2018 owing to excellent exports and strong economic growth before falling in 2019 and 2020 due to its economic slowdown and a deterioration in terms of international investment, Sonja Uršič of the Ljubljana Institute for Economic Research, an IMD partner institution, told reporters on Monday.
The improvement in government efficiency is owing to the institutional framework, including progress in legal and regulatory framework. There has been a slide in public finances, not because of a deterioration but because of improvements in other countries.
The managers surveyed have given lower scores for the legislative framework in terms of social contributions, unemployment and labour, labour tax and governance of state-owned companies.
In business efficiency Slovenia has made the biggest improvement in finance, where survey estimates about company debt and access to financial sources are taken into account.
Slovenia also fares quite well by the proportion of women managers, efficiency of small and medium-sized businesses and employee training, but scores low in apprenticeship, efficiency of supervisory boards and public perception of managers' credibility.
In infrastructure, the country has slipped back in terms of basic infrastructure as the quality of air transport worsened as a result of the bankruptcy of air carrier Adria Airways.
The country also ranks relatively low in terms of high-tech exports, upcoming students and health infrastructure. By contrast, it shares first spot for how it abides by environmental agreements, and ranks high in terms of telecommunications investment.
Slovenia's main attributes remain a well-trained workforce, high education levels and reliable infrastructure.
Looking ahead, Peter Stanovnik of the Ljubljana institute noted a high level of uncertainty in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.
He underscored the need to kick-start the economy, secure financial liquidity for businesses and step up investment and transform industrial and services sectors, something that he believes should be tackled in a fourth stimulus package.
Other challenges ahead include preventing a spread of the novel coronavirus, putting into effect measures to mitigate the fallout from the pandemic, tapping on EU anti-crisis funds and reforming healthcare, education, long-term care and labour legislation.
Stanovnik also called for improving on innovation efficiency and transforming the production and services structure to increase value added, among other things, such as boosting investment in health, elderly care, transport, energy and R&D.
Singapore continues to top the IMD ranking, followed by Denmark (8th in 2019) and Switzerland (4th), while the US has slipped back seven spots to 10th and China fell six spots to 14th, which Stanovnik attributes to the trade war between the two countries.