The Slovenian Business Club Has Hosted the 2nd SBC Forum

Propulsive Slovenian Entrepreneurs Introduce Proposals for the Improvement of the National Business Environment

At the beginning of February this year, the Slovenian Business Club, the association of the most successful Slovenian entrepreneurs, organised an international event, the 2nd SBC Forum: Switzerland – a Model for Slovenia.

At the event, proposals for the improvement of the business environment in the country were introduced. Attended also by representatives of the Swiss business community and the Swiss public sector, the event emphasised the reasons for the global success of the “Made in Switzerland” brand and explored how, in certain ways, these could be used as a model for Slovenia. The most prominent Slovenian ministers, responsible for the fields of business and labour, promised entrepreneurs attending the Forum that they would present measures for the improvement of the tax environment in the country by the end of February.

At the event in the Jama Hotel in Postojna, the Slovenian Business Club, which gathers more than 160 highly successful Slovenian companies, including recognised Slovenian exporters and propulsive Slovenian family companies (SMEs), presented to an audience of more than 350 participants – which included international entrepreneurs and Slovenian policy-makers – proposals for key measures to increase the productivity and the competitiveness of Slovenian companies on foreign export markets. These are:

    1) Wage relief through a comprehensive tax reform: SBC suggests additional relief of the 13th and 14th salary, a reform of the income tax scale, termination of the highest income tax rate, gradual implementation of the development cap, developmental budget, decrease in public debt, and transparency of data on payrolls.

    2) Measures for a more flexible labour market leading to the fast vacancy of jobs that are now filled with unmotivated workers. SBC suggests the so-called quota replacement of employees who are not motivated to work with those that are motivated and want to work.

    3) Measures for better education and keeping capable young people in Slovenia.

    4) Action plan for attracting workforce from abroad, which will simplify employment of foreign workers and thus make the search for suitable workers easier for companies.

    5.)Equality of home and foreign investors. Slovenia needs a system that will be true for all investors and will establish legal as well as financial equality of all investors.

The right time to act is now because Slovenia is experiencing high economic growthMarjan Batagelj, President of the Slovenian Business Club, emphasised at the event.

Forum participants had the chance to become familiar with the example of the successful tax reforms in Austria, which enabled the Austrian business environment to be even more entrepreneurially attractive and while preserving the high degree of the welfare state. “Such a reform can only be successful if it goes hand-in-hand with a comprehensive reform of the public administration” clarified Marian Wakounig, the regional director for taxes and customs at the Austrian Ministry of Finance.

Slovenian ministers who attended the event: Prime Minister Marjan Šarec and the ministers of economy, finance, and work, promised entrepreneurs that they would deliver a proposal of measures for tax optimisation within a month’s time.

A special guest of the event was Heinz Karrer, President of the organisation Economiesuisse, who represents the interests of more than one hundred thousand Swiss companies. Karrer underlined the several elements that are key for the success and high added-value of Swiss products known all over the world. These are: free trade agreements, good infrastructure, tax policy, rational legal framework, and, the most important, knowledge and innovation that continually boost development and thus drive the Swiss success story.

If I had to emphasise one thing credited for Swiss success, it would be education and innovation” - Heinz Karrer, President of Economiesuisse.

Slovenia needs the strengthening of competitiveness and a tax reform that will ease the salaries but will be balanced. Capable workers need to be kept in the country and additional talents attracted from abroad” - Marjan Batagelj, President of the Slovenian Business Club and owner of the company that manages the world-renowned tourist attraction Postojna Cave.

The SBC Forum is the biggest and most renowned annual event organised by the Slovenian Business Club. This year it was attended by more than 350 guests from Slovenian and from foreign entrepreneurial environments, businesses, and political milieus.

The Slovenian Business Club unites more than 160 successful Slovenian entrepreneurs, who collectively achieve an approximate added-value 26% higher than the average added-value in the entire Slovenian economy.


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