Slovenian Minister of Finance Andrej Šircelj attended the Business Breakfast titled “Slovenia among the 15 most competitive countries. When and how?” organized by AmCham Slovenia. The central topic of conversation was the economic recovery after the COVID-19 epidemic.
“Fast and efficient measures were key to the fight against coronavirus. Slovenia has so far adopted eight packages, and the measures are intended for those people and companies that need help the most,” the minister said. He emphasized that the Government has maintained a stable financial system this year, prevented unemployment rates from skyrocketing, while liquidity in the banking system is still good. “This is also confirmed by credit rating agencies, which rank Slovenia among the most reliable countries for investment,” the minister stressed, adding that Slovenia had consolidated its position in the group of more advanced eurozone countries by issuing long-term 60-year Eurobonds.
He further pointed out that, despite the consequences of the epidemic, Slovenia must focus on new opportunities, especially those arising by digital technologies. “If we want to ensure adequate competitiveness and development, we must give priority to the digital transition,” the minister explained.
All participants agreed that it is important to continue working on the competitiveness of the Slovenian business environment and render it attractive for investment, which will enable the development and progress of innovative and export-oriented companies. The Minister pointed out that the budget for 2021 envisages almost two billion euros for investments, almost doubling last year’s amount. The development of the economy is also influenced by bureaucratization. “In the Ministry of Finance, we have established a Strategic Council for De-bureaucratization in the field of taxation, which will first prepare an analysis of the existing system, on the basis of which guidelines recommendations and proposals for changes in the tax system will be set out,” said the minister.
“Tax inflows will increase with economic growth, profits and lower unemployment,” the minister added, stressing that it is necessary to focus on measures to revive the economy, taking into account the recovery strategy. Namely, it is important to include in the plans those reforms and investments that will, after all, be shaped in accordance with the goals of EU policies aimed at green and digital transition.
In the continuation of the discussion, the guests also touched on the withdrawal of financial resources from EU funds. “The EU has established a recovery fund, whose key element is almost 673 billion euros in the recovery instrument. Up to 5.2 billion euros will be available to Slovenia,” the minister explained.
In the final part of the discussion, the Minister answered the question of the Mastercard representative in Slovenia, who was interested in the state’s position on the potential or promotion of the cashless company. “Recently, especially as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a noticeable trend of increasing the use of non-cash forms of payment,” the minister said, adding that non-cash payments as a result of digitalization are on the rise in Slovenia and other countries. The Minister further explained that it is important that citizens have the opportunity to choose the method of payment that best suits their preferences.
The participants in the event unanimously responded that “the key to Slovenia’s future development is the greatest possible added value, which also brings well-paid jobs.” /ibna