Vojmir Urlep on the tax reform: It’s time to take action
Out of the 24 measures that are encompassed in the FDI Declaration, foreign owned companies highlighted the development cap, changes to the income tax scale and the optimisation of public spending in particular. At the Summit on April 13, business executives and government representatives discussed the urgent measures that need to be taken for Slovenia to become more business- and investment-friendly. The event was organised by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia (CCIS) and the Slovenian Foreign Investors Forum (SFIF), which operates as part of the CCIS.
GZS BOD on the Industrial Policy Manifesto and the effects of structural measures
At the meeting on April 6, the CCIS Board of Directors (BOD) expressed its dissatisfaction with the mere 5 proposals that were definitely adopted from the Industrial Policy Manifesto and urged the coalition to convene the three Committees of the National Assembly as soon as possible, with the aim of concretising, speeding up and significantly improving the response and activities of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia. Members of the BOD discussed the spring forecast and the urgent measures for improving the conditions in Slovenia with the Managing Director of UMAR and adopted the draft CCIS Annual Report for 2015.
Conference for small and medium-sized companies
At the 3rd SME Conference that took place on April 5, 2016, experts presented international and domestic financial resources for the realisation of entrepreneurial ideas. Attention was drawn to the problems of entrepreneurs who are facing disproportionate obstacles and restrictions when operating within the European market. The event, which was attended by 120 participants, was organised by the Chamber of Small Business and Trade (CSBT) of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia (CCIS). Read more...
April 19–20 Ljubljana, CCIS:
Horizon 2020 Space Information Day and Workshop on Space Science and Technology Cooperation
The event will usher in the Horizon 2020 call for proposals for 2017 and present the various other opportunities and best practice of participation in European development programmes in the field of space.
Business delegation visit from TURKEY
In collaboration with the SPIRIT Public Agency, the Ministry of Economic Development, the General Consulate of Slovenia in Istanbul, the Chamber of Construction and Construction Material Industry, and the Sivas province Chamber of Commerce and Industry, we will organise a visit from a business delegation of Turkish companies from the second largest province of Turkey. The business delegation will represent 17 Turkish companies that want to establish business connections with Slovenian partners for collaboration on Slovenian, Turkish and other markets.
Biopolymers ARE a business opportunity
What do biopolymers really bring to the table? What is going on with them in the Slovenian economy and what opportunities are there in the future, will be the topic of the Poly4emi conference.
4th Thematic Conference “How to Increase Sales?”
At the conference, eight examples of best practice from successful publishing and bookselling projects will be presented (self-published, KUD, different sized publishers and bookshops).
Visiting the INTERTOOL trade fair and the International B2B Forum
We cordially invite you to join the organised trip to the largest international trade fair of manufacturing technology in Austria, INTERTOOL, for the engineering sector, for metal processing and industry innovations that will take place in Vienna.
Slovenian–Egyptian Business Forum
We will be hosting the renowned and, in Egypt, politically and commercially influential delegation of leading members of the Egyptian Council for Sustainable Development. Upon the delegation’s visit, we will organise a Slovenian–Egyptian business forum with prior arranged B2B meetings with six Egyptian companies.
Meeting with commercial agents and representatives in SPAIN
The CCIS Centre for International Cooperation and the CCIS Business Chamber of Commerce are inviting companies looking to enter or expand their business using representatives and agents in foreign markets to attend Networking Málaga 2016, an international event that will take place in Spain on May 19–21. The two-day business event will take part alongside the meeting of members from the International United Commercial Agents and Brokers Association, of which the Business Chamber of Commerce is also a member.
April 14: Lack of political will in the tax reform proposal
We assessed that the tax reform proposal that the Ministry of Finance published does not reflect the urgent need for reform, neither the urgent need for the more economical management of public finances, and which would even enable both these reforms and a serious and decisive tax reform. In the upcoming days we will be examining the proposal in more detail and notify the public on our findings.
April 8: Enough jobs in construction and municipal services for workers with a high school education
Jože Renar, Managing Director of the Chamber of Construction and Building Materials Industry, has stated that the construction professions do have a future and potential. In the following years, Slovenia’s public investment potential will again reach a higher level. In the future there promises to be several state construction projects, such as the second track of the Koper–Divača line, the second tube of the Karavanke tunnel, the completion of the motorway system and the 3rd development axis. A thorough renovation of the deteriorated state roads can also be expected. Private and public investors will be renovating older residential and non-residential building stock to an even greater extent. The demand for constructing new (low-energy and “smart”) apartment buildings will also see a growth.
April 7: How to acquire new investments and create jobs: 24 ideas from foreign-owned companies
44% of surveyed foreign-owned companies feel that their employees lack technical skills. The percentage of graduates from technical fields in Slovenia is only at 31.3% and therefore much lower that the Visegrad group (40.2%) and the EU average (34.9%). According to data from the OECD (Economic Surveys, May 2015), the percentage of social-security contributions to the BDP in Slovenia is 14.8%, which is higher that the Visegrad countries (13.3%) and the EU average (10.9%). These are just some of the data from the status diagnosis of what directly impacts the investment attractiveness of Slovenia. The FDI Declaration has been published, this being the first joint document for foreign-owned companies. “The declaration sets out the factors which would make Slovenia more appealing for domestic and foreign investments, and points out the challenges on which we will have to work together to make sure we take advantage of them to the fullest”, says Vojmir Urlep, President of the Forum of Foreign Investors in Slovenia, which operates as part of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia.
March 31: Public procurement – Let us not waste a third opportunity
April 1, 2016 is an opportunity to make a new start. But is it? Samo Hribar Milič, the Managing Director of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia (CCIS) asserts that a law that lacks proper and sensible application that must adhere to the goal of the better use of public funds as well as creating better competitiveness of Slovenian providers will not bring about significant changes.
March 30: We want a proper tax reform, not just cosmetic changes
At the moment, despite experiencing growth, only 3,700 new jobs were created in comparison to last year. And despite the fact that, in 2015, companies brought in an additional €100m to public funds through the additional burdening of some forms of work. This could have been used to pay 4,150 people an average gross wage, including holiday bonus, lunch and transportation costs. This is a clear signal that we need a significant unburdening of wages.
The key joint proposals of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia (CCIS) and the Chamber of Tax Advisers of Slovenia (DSS) for the unburdening of wages are as follows:
Introduction of a development cap on social security contributions of employers and employees with more than 2-times the average wage.
Increasing general tax relief for taxpayers up to 75% PP min. salary.
The introduction of an additional tax class between the previous 2nd and 3rd class (20,400 to 36,000 at the rate of 34%).
Withdrawal of the highest income tax rate (50%).
The abolition of the employer's contribution for accidents at work and occupational diseases (0.53%).
March 23: The CCIS against unethical business
“At the CCIS, we categorically reject unethical business transactions while also expect state authorities to maintain the rule of law,” said the Managing Director of the CCIS, Samo Hribar Milič.
Considering the most recent information to emerge in the media in connection with the exploitation of workers by Marof Trade, and the associated controversy at a meeting of the Parliamentary Committee for Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, we at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia (CCIS) would like to express not only our embarrassment upon hearing about the conduct of such employers, but also our outrage and concern.
POOR OUTLOOK FOR ECONOMIC GROWTH: At the beginning of April, the International Monetary Fund announced another decrease in the expected recovery of global economic growth to 3.2% (a decrease of 0.2 percentage points). In addition to the effects of the financial crisis, the developed economies are being stifled by unfavourable demographic trends and low productivity growth. The risks are increasing primarily on account of the slow and fragile recovery and potential geopolitical shocks. Growth in the eurozone this year is even lower, 1.5%, due to the effects of the financial crisis, from which many countries have still not yet fully recovered, and also due to the large debts of some countries. The IMF predicts a 1.9% growth for Slovenia, while Umar announced a 1.7% economic growth for this year in mid-March. Lower expectations for this year's economic activity have also been perceived by other international institutions.
CONSIDERABLE INCREASE IN PUBLIC SECTOR WAGES: The average gross monthly wage in Slovenia increased by 2.3% in the first two months, in relation to the same period in the previous year. This amounted to €1,567.01. The wage increase was more significant in the public sector than in the private sector. The private sector recorded a 2% increase in wages, while the public sector saw the biggest increase due to the release of the Fiscal Balance Act (the public sector by 2.8%, of which just the government sector by 4.3%). Consequently, public administration and defence recorded the highest growth in gross wages during the year, while social security saw an increase of 7.1%, and health care a growth of 3.9%. It is predicted that public sector wages will increase by 5% this year, predominantly due to the unfreezing of promotions. For this year, Umar has increased the nominal average gross wage in the private sector by 0.6%, upon the further strengthening of economic activity, the absence of inflationary pressures and the trend of maintaining a competitive position.
INCREASED LABOUR COSTS IN SLOVENIA LOWER THAN IN THE EU: In 2015, the average labour costs per hour in Slovenia throughout the entire economy – with the exception of agriculture and public administration – amounted to €15.8/hour, or 1.2% more than in 2014. Labour costs comprise wages and other costs such as social security contributions made by the employer. This places Slovenia in 15th place according to the amount of the average labour cost per hour. Last year, the highest labour costs were in services (€16.5), followed by industry (€15.8) and construction (€11.8). Within the EU, there are still significant differences between the average hourly labour costs. In the EU, average labour costs reached €29.5 last year and were up by 1.5%.
Below you will find some statistical data for Slovenia.
Growth rates in % – in comparison to the same period in the previous year
GDP – real growth
4th quarter 2015
Consumer prices (HICP)
Exports of goods
Imports of goods
Industrial production (manufacturing)
Retail sales (real)
Exchange rate EUR/USD
Petrol, unleaded, 95-oct. (€/litre)
Valid from April 12, 2016
Issued by: Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia, Dimičeva 13, Ljubljana
Contact: email@example.com, T: (01) 5898 000, eng.gzs.si
CCIS is a member of the European Enterprise Network Slovenia.
Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia
Dimičeva ulica 13
T: +386 1 58 98 000
F: + 386 1 58 98 100