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Finance Minister and OECD Secretary-General present Economic Review of Slovenia 2017

Ljubljana, 5 September 2017 - At today’s press conference, Minister Of Finance Mateja Vraničar Erman and Secretary-General of the OECD José Ángel Gurría presented the latest economic review conducted by the OECD. In it, the OECD finds that Slovenia has taken huge strides forward in the last two years and has made exceptional progress. However, the Secretary-General listed three main challenges, i.e. sustainable growth, the ageing of the population and increasing productivity.

The Minister of Finance stated that “we are very pleased that progress was identified in the report. We are reducing the government deficit, and we are also actively decreasing our debt. The majority of the macroeconomic indicators have improved.” She welcomed the proposals that the OECD listed in the report, i.e. facing the challenges in the areas of fiscal consolidation and reform of the healthcare and pension systems.
Secretary-General Gurría added that “in the last two years, Slovenia has made huge progress, and made major improvements to its economic situation. Slovenia was one of the countries that was most affected by the crisis. The conditions on the international level have also improved, but Slovenia itself was also responsible for the improved results.” Gurría added that despite the successes this is not the time to rest on our laurels, as we have to continue with the reforms. “The implementation of reforms must be a constant, particularly for a small, export-oriented economy like Slovenia’s. Precisely because of its small size, Slovenia has to continuously adapt to the changes in the international environment if it wants to remain competitive and provide sustainable growth for its citizens”, said the OECD Secretary-General.
In its report, the OECD focused primarily on sustainable growth, which will depend on measures on the labour market, particularly reducing unemployment among older and unqualified job seekers. It will also be necessary to deal with the problem of the lack of a qualified workforce, as a full third of companies in Slovenia are having trouble finding qualified workers.
Sustainable public finances will be crucial for continued economic growth. Despite the fact that the budget deficit and debt are decreasing, expenditure for pensions is increasing. This is one of the key challenges that Slovenia will have to solve in the coming yeas.
At the end of the press conference, the Minister and the Secretary-General stated that Slovenia has accomplished a great deal in the past, but it will have to continue the work it has started, and will have to be more active in adopting structural reforms that will add additional impetus to economic growth, which is already at a high level.