The Slovenia Times

Expectations for 2012



Professor Jadran Lenarčič, director, Institute Jožef Štefan

How deep the recession will be and how many of us will be affected significantly depends on the effectiveness of our response to the first wave of crisis in 2009. It will now become clear whether our measures were only short-term or whether we have conducted more qualitative changes with the objective of developing a knowledge-based economy. Because of the elections we have lost some pace, but I hope that the elections are also an opportunity to achieve a broader consensus on key development issues. Therefore, beside the recession, in 2012 I also expect historical development indicators to start moving up.

Peter Frankl, editor-in-chief, Finance daily

Unfortunately, everything indicates that 2012 will not be better than 2011, which was marked by the crisis. Slovenia is not yet out of the first crisis and we are facing a new wave at the door. Sooner or later Slovenia will have to go through reforms, which are likely to be quite painful and this will be a job for the new government. Obviously we cannot expect the new government to wave a magic wand and make everything suddenly okay; on the contrary, much effort will be needed to first achieve some sort of consensus on choosing the path on which we will begin to climb again. That's why I would like to see in the parliament a government of significant majority in order to make it possible to start reforms. I hope that towards the end of 2012 the situation will start to improve: that the banking crunch will loosen up; that there will be much more optimism; and that the state will save wisely while investing reasonably at the same time.

Igor Plestenjak, chief executive, Public Agency of the Republic of Slovenia for Entrepreneurship and Foreign Investments (JAPTI)

Based on global trends, Slovenia can hope to improve its flow of foreign direct investment next year, but this is not as obvious as it may seem. Proactive promotion of Slovenia as a country suitable for investment is needed both in Europe and global markets. The strategy of JAPTI in attracting foreign investment will focus on intensive promotion and marketing of Slovenia as a location for FDI, proactive presentation of Slovenian investment projects abroad, and attracting potential investors who are either interested in a certain project or are looking to invest in a new location.
Given the harsh economic conditions we will increase promotional activities for the public tenders of promoting foreign direct investments. In 2012 our budget for financial incentives for foreign investors will be EUR 10m. The possibility of obtaining financial incentives, and consequently co-investment of projects by foreign investors, makes it easier and faster to implement planned investment activities.
In 2012, we will also continue and further strengthen the positive experience in the direct marketing of foreign direct investment - so-called lead generation.
In the next year it will also be crucial to provide quality information, advice and other services for foreign investors during all investment stages - from the collection of relevant information in the pre-investment stage, to assistance during the investment phase where the possibility of obtaining financial incentives for investment projects plays an important role.
Special attention will also be given to the post-investment stage - the so-called aftercare phase - as many foreign-owned enterprises decide to upgrade their activities in Slovenia. The projects are implemented quickly if there are regular contacts with existing clients.

Sandi Češko, president and chief executive, Studio Moderna

I haven't got a crystal ball to be able to predict developments in 2012 with certainty. I think, however, that 2012 will be like being on a fast carousel - it will be good to have a strong stomach and nerves of steel. But most of all, we will need a lot of optimism. Most of the economy is embedded in parts of the world where growth is still quite satisfactory. Such markets are mainly for larger companies. Smaller companies, however, do not need to go to distant markets. Slovenian entrepreneurs - especially smaller, more flexible companies - can find opportunities even closer, for example they can focus on the western markets. We should not be easily frightened by difficulties. Our formula is: research the markets and go to those where there are problems, because that is where the opportunities lie.

Professor Danica Purg, dean and president of IEDC-Bled School of Management

I believe that the situation in 2012 may be even more complex than it is now. We are very much depending on the European Union and the region of South East Europe and the situation in these environments is not good. But if we work on new markets (Turkey, Black Sea, Latin America, Africa, Asia) and invent new business models, services and products, we can turn the crisis into opportunity. I hope that the new government will have the courage and imagination to do something good for the most innovative and international companies in Slovenia.

Dr Gregor Veselko, president of the board, Luka Koper

In Luka Koper we expect the new government to immediately start dealing with the difficult economic situation in the country, which is currently limiting the development potential of Slovenian companies. We want the credit crunch to be released as it is now hampering necessary investments. In terms of developments of direct interest to the port, we expect that next year will see the construction of the second rail track between Koper and Divača, which is crucially important for its long-term development.

Dejan Turk, president of the board, Si.mobil

Unfortunately, 2012 will be a post-election year. This means that some time will be spent on putting the government together before it begins sorting problems out. I am afraid that next year will not be the year of necessary difficult reforms which are the only things capable of improving the conditions for restarting the economy. We sincerely expect another difficult year in terms of both the crisis and financial uncertainty.


More from Nekategorizirano