Business conference agrees SE Europe offers plenty opportunity


Connections within the EU will bring opportunities, first in Croatia, where cohesion funds will be available for a series of projects, the participants established.

Tomaž Berločnik, the CEO of fuel retailer Petrol, believes that the entire Southeastern Europe will record economic growth in the new year and that this is an excellent opportunity.

There will be opportunities for Petrol in the energy sector, primarily in electricity production and improvement of energy efficiency of buildings.

Cohesion funds are also an opportunity for engineering company Riko, whose boss Janez Škrabec said Croatia offered deals in water and waste management as the country must reach European standards.

"There is an enormous number of projects in the field of water treatment in various municipalities in Croatia and this is currently the most important challenge in this region," he said at the conference at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GZS).

Plastic products manufacturer Roto sees opportunities in the Western Balkans as well, as the company is developing new products for car industry and energy sector.

All three business executives agreed that good knowledge of the Western Balkans, both in terms of culture and administration, is an advantage for Slovenian companies, which should make use of the "connections in the region".

Berločnik added that Petrol was also closely monitoring currency risks in the region, putting this year an emphasis on the Croatian kuna, as the company expected it to depreciate.

The conference was organised by the Institute for Strategic Solutions upon the issuing of an analysis of political, social and economic trends in Central and Southeast Europe for 2016.

The analysis shows that the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Slovenia will have the most stable investment environments, while Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia and Kosovo will be the least stable.