Yesteray, Prime Minister Janez Janša addressed the Transition with Ambition conference over video link. The event was organised by the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the SPIRIT Slovenia, Public Agency and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia.
Yesterday’s event brought together the 4th Internationalisation of the Slovenian Economy national conference and the 3rd Industry of the Future conference to address some of the many challenges that are shaking the structures and content of national economies and radically changing international economic flows. While the Slovenian economy has been responding to the new reality by following trends and shaping those trends through innovative breakthroughs, the Slovenian support ‘ecosystem’ is also designing an internationalisation and industrial development agenda to take up and adopt EU guidance for effective support to the economy. The reality for businesses that have to satisfy their existing customers and win over new ones in this ‘new world’ lies in navigating the necessities and challenges of digitalisation, directives for the protection of the environment and health, fluidity of transport routes, availability of raw materials and components, and unfair competition.
“The title of the conference ‘Transition with Ambition’ is worth a thousand words. The enterprise and success of individuals, businesses and not least the nation is punctuated by the ambition to always keep improving. This attribute is especially imperative in times of crises, which the current pandemic undoubtedly is,” said the Prime Minister in his opening address. He stressed that this year has not been easy for anyone. “Nevertheless, I hope that the crisis caused by the virus will also present opportunities to change our mind-set. I like to think that the epidemic has brought out a new confidence in our own abilities and strengths and that, strange as it may sound, we have taken the crisis on as a challenge,” said the Prime Minister.
“Economic indicators in Slovenia show that the Government has successfully and effectively mitigated the negative impact of the epidemic on the economy by adopting the anti-corona legislative packages. Through the anti-corona measures, we have provided around €2.15 billion in relief to entrepreneurs and businesses. This relief does not include the aid in form of tourist vouchers. The total value of tourist vouchers for last year amounted to around €357 million, and for this year, their total value was just under €200 million,” highlighted the Prime Minister. He added that although most of the government’s work this year was still related to measures to protect human health due to the epidemic, the Debureaucratisation Act is before the National Assembly, which is the first step to cutting red tape for businesses and citizens alike. “The National Assembly is already discussing the act proposal, and a second package of measures is in preparation. The National Assembly is also discussing proposed tax changes that will ensure higher salaries without simultaneously increasing costs for businesses. The Government is also adopting measures to address structural problems in the economy, such as the shortage of a skilled technical workforce, and measures to mitigate the negative effects of the epidemic, such as the spike in energy and raw material prices on the global market. These measures are not just for tomorrow. They will be important five or ten years from now and for future generations,” said the Prime Minister.
“In addition to Slovenians being proverbial hard workers, all of the above is surely the reason why Slovenia today has one of the fastest growing economies in Europe and the highest employment rate in the history of independent Slovenia. The economic forecasts for the future are promising as well,” said the Prime Minister, adding that Slovenia’s goal is clear and so is the way to reach it. “The future of Slovenia is green and digital; or better said – even greener and more digital. Slovenia’s development will be integrated, unified and smart. We will take full advantage of new technologies and make full use of all the talent and knowledge we have as a nation. We will not experiment in unfamiliar directions that may bring more harm than good. The doors will be wide open to thinking outside the box,” said the Prime Minister. According to the Prime Minister, a creative environment will surely result in young people seeking work opportunities at home rather than abroad. “This is undoubtedly the most effective family policy measure and a concrete step towards reversing the negative demographic trend,” the Prime Minister said.
Prime Minister Janša concluded by saying: “I wish you a successful conference that will bring new green, creative and smart economic solutions as well as solutions regarding development. As the year draws to a close, I wish you and your families a blessed and peaceful Christmas season, a proud celebration of the Independence and Unity Day, and may 2022 bring you good health and entrepreneurial courage. Or in the words of John Sculley: The future belongs to those who see possibilities before they become obvious.”