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Survey Suggests Slovenia Needs to Improve Business Environment

Maribor, 29 September (STA) - A survey of the business environment in Slovenia conducted by the Maribor Faculty of Economics and Business has found a number of areas where the support environment in Slovenia is seriously lagging behind EU standards.

The survey, presented in Maribor on Wednesday, shows that in terms of basic business data, Slovenia was an average EU country in 2008.

A total of almost 120,000 companies were operating in Slovenia in 2008, employing more than 620,000 people. The total added value produced stood at EUR 21.1bn and net profit at EUR 2.1bn. Labour costs amounted to EUR 12bn, while the general debt level of Slovenian companies was 65%.

Average added value per employee in the EU was 50% higher than in Slovenia, which is mostly the result of the performance of fast growing companies whose average productivity was 2.7-times the average productivity of a Slovenian company.

The biggest gap can be found with micro companies, where average productivity is 4.1-times as high as with micro companies in Slovenia. Large fast growing companies come second, with 3.1-times higher productivity in the EU.

Slovenia is also behind the EU average when it comes to responsiveness of managements. Still, steps forward have been made here, especially when it comes to setting up new companies.

Meanwhile, an encouraging property of the Slovenian economy is the larger than EU average share of companies that export their goods or services and the larger share of exports in the revenues pie.

However, the Maribor faculty's think thank noted that export was a less complex form of presence on foreign markets that involves fewer risks but also fewer positive effects related to such form of internalisation.

The economic crisis, which has brought down several large companies in Slovenia and with them also a number of smaller ones involved in the supply chain, will underline the role of small companies even stronger in the future.

Thus, more focus will have to be put on measures leading to a truly encouraging environment for establishing new companies. In many cases, new jobs will depend on establishing new companies, the survey suggests.

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