Business News

Investors Praise Quality of Labour, Want Better Business Environment

Ljubljana, 13 October (STA) - A panel at the FDI Summit on Thursday looking into the right recipe for strategic high value added FDI concluded that one of Slovenia's principal advantages is the quality of the labour force, but representatives of foreign investors also highlighted the need to make it easier to do business.

"Slovenia needs to create an environment in which investors can make a profit," said Giulio Bonazzi, the boss of the Italian Aquafil group, which owns Slovenian chemical company Julon.

Aquafil has invested close to EUR 150m in Julon in the last 15 years, EUR 17m in this year alone. Bonazzi said further investments were planned as the company intends to remain in Slovenia in the long term.

Thierry Villard, the director of Goodyear Dunlop Central & South-East Europe, meanwhile argued that the state should make it easier to do business and change the mindset about FDI, which is still perceived as a threat to the national interest.

Goodyear Dunlop plans to continue to invest in its Slovenian company, tyre maker Sava Tires, as investments during the crisis have proved to be a good decision, he said.

Sasa Bavec, the boss of Skofja Loka-based insulation maker Knauf Insulation, meanwhile said that the German owners of the company were having problems with decision-making in Slovenia.

It is not clear what the actual rules are and how they are implemented, he said.

All three said one great advantage that Slovenia has was a well educated and high-quality workforce, with Villard noting that the country was a good mix of labour costs and skill.

However, they pointed out that the higher education system was not producing enough science graduates.

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