The Slovenia Times

Officials promise privatisation to continue, red tape to be cut


Attending the conference organised by American Business Chamber in Slovenia (Amcham Slovenia), Finance Ministry State Secretary Metod Dragonja and Economy Ministry State Secretary Aleš Cantarutti said that the government was committed to building a more business-friendly environment.

Dragonja, who is overseeing privatisation, said that there would be no hold-up in privatisation, with the priority currently on the sale of tissue maker Paloma, flag carrier Adria Airways and aircraft maintenance firm Adria Airways Tehnika.

Also taking part in the Business Bridge conference was Matej Runjak, management board member of the Slovenian Sovereign Holding, who said that tools maker Unior and automotive parts conglomerate Cimos were expected to be put up for sale soon.

The Bank Asset Management Company (BAMC) is also expected to begin selling its minority and majority holdings in various companies in which it has gained control as part of the restructuring of the banks in the country.

BAMC executive director Janez Škrubej listed industrial companies Aha Plastic and Aha Emmi, Litostroj Ravne and Liv Kolesa as potentially appealing for investors.

Meanwhile, Dragonja said that the strategy of BAMC would be tweaked so that the priority would not be merely focusing on maximising the price of sales of troubled companies but also helping to transform some of the ailing firms into successful ventures.

The role of the SSH is also shifting gradually. While the initial phase has seen it focus largely on the privatisation of companies, the next stage will see it pay more emphasis to raising return on investment for the state in companies that it will retain.

Raising the most interests from participants was the outlook for the sales of telco Telekom Slovenije and the NLB bank, with Dragonja refusing to speculate on when this could happen. In the case of NLB, Runjak said that there was currently "no official nor unofficial" timetable.

Cantarutti meanwhile said the country was looking to attract investors with a vision who could support the creation of jobs with high value added. Sectors with great potential include pharmacy, the automotive industry, wood industry and tourism.

The business environment, while not perfect, is in good shape and efforts are underway to further improve it. "If we can be successful in sport, there is no reason we can't be successful in business," said Cantarutti.


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