Janša counts on managers’ help in improving business environment

Ljubljana – PM Janez Janša believes the first half of 2021 will be similar to 2020 in terms of the epidemic and economic recovery, while the second half should be much better. He also accepted the Manager Association’s offer for cooperation to improve productivity as he addressed its annual get-together, which was held online on Thursday.

“We expect the situation to be at least as normal in the summer as it was last summer, and the autumn will be significantly better than last year’s,” said Janša.

He hopes that at least in the second half of 2021, economic results will be similar to those from last year’s third quarter when Slovenia did better than the rest of Europe.

Slovenia’s recovery and resilience plan to draw over five billion euro in EU recovery funds, will prioritise what has been neglected so far – healthcare and long-term care, with the focus on restarting the economy, he said.

He announced that this year government measures to revive the economy would be combined with reforms which should make the business environment more favourable.

The Manager Association, which together with the Ljubljana School of Economics and Business and the Economy Ministry, produced an action plan to increase productivity, expects the government to invite it to work together.

“When you are deciding on important things, we managers … want to sit with you and your team at the table,” said its head Medeja Lončar.

“We want to contribute what we know, we want to help to reach together what is important for Slovenia,” she stressed in her address.

Janša agreed that productivity “is the key question of our fast development” and “of our competitiveness or non-competitiveness”.

He said the most that could be done to increase it was improving the business environment by eliminating hundreds of bureaucratic obstacles and making the cost of the functioning of the state cheaper.

The prime minister said that the support by business executives to fight red tape, which he sees as the main obstacle to improving productivity, was key.

“The government cannot win this battle without your support … The pressure from you must be big or else we are in for hard times,” he said.

Janša also talked about Slovenia’s EU presidency, saying it would be marked by post-pandemic recovery and by dealing with the delays which occurred last year in organising summits or introducing certain changes at EU level.

At its January summit, the Manager Association also conferred its awards.

The lifetime achievement award went to the director of the Krško Nuclear Power Station, Stane Rožman, who said he saw it as “a symbolic recognition of the fact that nuclear energy is increasingly becoming part of the solution in efforts to preserve the environment”.

The title of young manager went to Salus CEO Žiga Hieng, while Mojca Leskovar, CEO of spa operator Thermana, and Nataša Kraškovic, CEO of companies Alpeks Celje and Alpeks Gastro Zagreb, were honoured as the women managers who have broken the glass ceiling and taken top managerial posts.