The Slovenia Times

Slovenian execs very optimistic about GDP growth


Ljubljana - As many as 72% of Slovenian executives expect the country's GDP to grow even faster than forecast in the coming 12 months, shows a survey carried out by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) during the Glasgow climate conference late last year. 57% also expect global growth to improve in this period.

PwC surveyed 4,446 executive directors from 89 countries, including 56 from Slovenia, head of legal services at PWC Slovenia Sanja Savič told the press on Tuesday.

She attributed the optimism about Slovenia's GDP to a robust economic activity in 2021, state aid in the form of coronavirus measures, and support from banks in the form of payment deferrals.

As many as 63% of Slovenian directors are very or strongly convinced their companies will increase revenue in the 12 months to come, with 30% being moderately or modestly optimistic.

The most optimistic are private companies and tech companies, while directors from the car, tourism and hospitality industries are the least optimistic.

Germany, Croatia, Serbia, Austria and the US remain the most important markets for Slovenian firms. Although China's influence doubled, the country nevertheless remains at the bottom of the list.

Among the worst concerns Slovenian directors harbour are cyber risks (50%), health risks (46%), geopolitical conflicts, including problems with supply and trade disputes (30%), macroeconomic fluctuations (26%) and climate change (22%).

While somewhat worried about climate change, only 13% of Slovenian companies adopted commitments to zero net emissions, and another 17% committed to carbon neutrality.

Savič commented that environmental, social and government (ESG) criteria - that is pursuing goals to cut greenhouse gas emissions, and to secure gender, racial and ethnic equality - remained a "dead letter" globally, and even more so in Slovenia.

She attributes this to Slovenia not yet facing devastating consequences of natural disasters, to consumers not being willing to pay more for sustainable products and services, to insufficient pressure being exerted on companies to adopt such commitments, and to greed for short-term profits remaining companies' main driving force.

Standing out among the survey results is directors whose companies try to legally reduce the amount of taxes paid representing a 70% share, and those who regularly check their own tax strategy representing a 78% share.

"Taxes are always a hot topic in our country," said Savič, stressing that Slovenia is a global leader in tax wedge, that tax changes are frequent, while case law and Tax Administration (FURS) actions are unpredictable, which results in a highly uncertain tax policy, prompting companies to be constantly on the alert.


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