Slovenian and German Business Associations Sign Cooperation Agreement

By , 15 Jan 2018, 14:44 PM Business
Slovenian and German Business Associations Sign Cooperation Agreement Montage: JL Flanner

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The aim is to promote cooperation with the state, state officials and unions. 

January 15, 2018

The STA reports on January 15, 2018, that the Slovenian Business Club (SBC) signed a cooperation agreement with the German Association for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses (BVMW) in Postojna on Monday. The deal is to enhance the already good business ties with Germany, Slovenia's important trade partner.

The deal was signed as part of the SBC Forum about business opportunities on the German market.

Germany is an extremely important partner of Slovenia's, and business cooperation is particularly important. The new partnership will enhance this cooperation, said SBC head Marjan Batagelj and President Borut Pahor, who attended today's forum.

Batagelj said that the date of the signing of the deal, 15 January, was the date when Germany officially recognised Slovenia's independence in 1992.

Germany's role in Slovenia's independence efforts was pivotal and the country has never asked for anything in return, Pahor said. He also noted that a syndicate of German banks had approved Slovenia's first loan in 1993.

"The deal signed today is very important, because it will give fresh impetus to the German-Slovenian cooperation. It is valuable not only in the business sense but also as a foundation for the transfer of values, which is very important for the country's development," Pahor said.

Germany best illustrates the potential of small and medium-sized companies, added Batagelj, who is also the CEO of Postojnska jama, which operates the famous Postojna Cave.

The deal with BVMW is to help the SBC promote cooperation with the state, state officials and trade unions. "We're the ones who work to create a better and faster developing society," Batagelj said.

The SBC leadership officially confirmed the partnership with what is the biggest non-political association of small and medium-sized companies last October.

The BVMW's annual revenue tops EUR 190bn and the association brings together more than half a million companies with a total of eleven million employees.

Batagelj believes it is important that the BVMW is a non-political association. "That's our strength that we must preserve to be politically correct to anyone who is in power, to any government. If we lose this, we lose our credibility."

The SBC also called for a more encouraging business environment and tax cuts in Slovenia. Batagelj said the economic growth would not last forever and that VAT, tax on profit and taxes for top earners should be reduced.

The club's executive director, Goran Novković, said that Slovenia was paying too much for loan interests, so not enough money was left for investment.

A member of the club, Igor Akrapovič, the owner and director of exhaust maker Akrapovič, said that qualified staff should be encouraged to stay in the country.

The association proposes that holiday allowances be exempt from social security contributions and the 13th salary from income tax.

It would also like the government to lower the taxation of all income brackets and gradually introduce a cap on pension and health insurance contributions.

Company-sponsored scholarships should not be considered a household revenue and the young should be better informed about their job options, the SBC believes.

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