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FDI Summit 2011, the international conference on foreign investments warned of key economic problems and defined urgent guidelines for economic policy in the upcoming years.

The international conference FDI Summit 2011, in which seven round table discussions were carried out with representatives of the most important Slovenian companies, foreign corporations and various state institutions participating over a two-day period, concluded in Ljubljana on Friday, 14 October 2011. The conference provided numerous conclusions that will surely prove helpful for political decision-making in future years.

A key conclusion reached at the conference was that one of the reasons Slovenia had run into problems were the anomalies in its own socio-economic system. The global economic crisis uncovered Slovenia’s unwillingness towards change in the international business environment and also showed that Slovenia lacked a clearly designed development concept to follow its successful transition and entry into the European Union.

In addition to this basic problem, a great deal of other weaknesses were identified in Slovenia: the great difference between the principal standpoints of state authorities, institutions and top state representatives and their actual actions in practice, which, to a large extent, threatens the state’s credibility and its operation on the whole. The consequence of such incredible corporate management at the top levels is also the decline of interest in Slovenia by foreign capital owners who in many cases no longer consider Slovenia as a serious investment destination.

Despite the critical findings, the conference also showed that Slovenia was by no means in a catastrophic state. The seriously negative trends need to be halted, and short-term solutions in any event comprise immediate reorganisation of public administration in the broadest sense, not only in terms of reduction, but also defining a new concept for administrative operation, adapting state needs to realistic capabilities – an economic tax base, defining key strategic national economic projects and, in particular, acquiring foreign capital as our own assets are insufficient for starting-up a new development cycle.

The two days of round table discussions were participated in by Chairman of the Management Board of Mercator, Žiga Debeljak, General Director of Hella Saturnus, Christof Droste, Director of the Secretariat for Economics and Trade, Hogk Konga Stephen Kai Wong, Chairman of the Management Board of Zavarovalnica Triglav, Matjaž Rakovec, General Director of BSH Hišni aparati, Rudolf Kloetscher, Director of Goodyear Dunlop Sava Tires for Central and Eastern Europe, Thierry Villard, President of the Aquafil Giulio Bonazzi Group, Branko Žibret, A. T. Kearney Slovenia, Luca Olivari, A. T. Kearney Italy, Biljana Weber, General Director of Microsoft Slovenia, Prof. Dr. Marko Jaklič, Prof. Dr. Maja Makovec Brenčič and other distinguished speakers.

For the sixth consecutive year, awards were given to the top foreign investors of 2010 within the FDI awards event, with Goodyear Dunlop Sava Tires being given an honorary award for long-term operations in Slovenia, the company Julon or Aquafil Group being given the award for top large foreign company, the company Saubermacher for being the top project implementer and the company Ertl Glas Steklo an award in the “greenfield” category.

The conclusions reached at the conference will be summarised in a special publication – Conclusion Paper, which will provide a basis for designing economic policies in future years.