Business News


Companies Aware of Challenges ahead, Expect Tough Year (feature)

Ljubljana, 26 December (STA) - With forecasts showing the difficult economic situation in Slovenia is to persist in 2013, Slovenian companies are aware they hold their fate in their own hands. Although hoping the government will help by cutting red tape and reforming the labour market, they know hard work and investment in development are crucial.

Pharma company Krka, one of Slovenia's leading exporters, is optimistic about 2013 and expects both sales and the number of employees to grow by 6% in Slovenia and abroad.

The use of medication for improving life quality is increasing in most regions of the world, according to Krka.

Krka, which will continue to focus on the markets in Europe and central Asia, plans to invest a total of EUR 180m in development in 2013.

The Trbovlje-based high-tech company Dewesoft, the 2012 Golden Gazelle winner for fast-growing companies, also expects growth in 2013.

In the current difficult economic situation, people are more aware of whet they buy and only the best can make a breakthrough, so the company is optimistic about staying a notable supplier of measuring equipment for research.

Port operator Luka Koper is meanwhile more concerned with a difficult 2013 and the unfavourable forecasts for its main markets in central and eastern Europe.

Since the Koper port is only one of the links in the chain, it is very dependent, the company has told the STA, noting that if sea fares to northern Europe or land routes are more competitive, the port can hardly do anything to keep the cargo flow.

Among their expectations from the government, both Alenka Avberšek of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GZS) and Sonja Šmuc of the Manager Association underlined a reform of the labour market for more flexicurity and allowing new employment.

Avberšek further noted that the cabinet should launch at least some of the planned energy projects and investments in improving energy efficiency of state buildings.

Moreover, it should not allow administrative hindrances to outweigh the positive effects of investing, she stressed.

Šmuc added that the state should start fixing systemic flaws, cutting red tape that is scaring away investors and reducing the tax burden on labour.

Once the citizens and politicians have realised that a successful economy is necessary for keeping a high quality of life, things will start improving, she noted.

In this respect, Dewesoft said it was happy that the government increased tax breaks this year for investments in research and development, while Krka said the state should contribute especially to activities that would ensure the competitiveness of the Slovenian economy and progress in the key fields of development.

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