The current international economic crisis can be most easily overcome if accepted
as a challenge, and not as a problem. Serbia is going to feel the influence of the
global crisis, and that is why it is necessary for both entrepreneurs and the country
to get ready to cope with it. Saving measures are effective, but layoffs and
discontinuation of education of employees are definitely not parts of a good
strategy. The crisis will leave only the best and the strongest companies
behind - said Dmitar Polovina, the Director of “Prvi Faktor”, the Vice-President
of the Slovenian Business Club in Belgrade and a member of the Administrative
Board of the Serbian Association of Managers, in an interview for
eKapija: How does “Prvi factor” fight
- "Prvi faktor" is the first Serbian factoring company, which buys debts from companies. One of our biggest problems at the moment is how to reduce the risk of false appraisal of the credit worthiness of potential clients. Although the complex testing procedure is now even stricter, the success of the business depends not only on customers but also on the market. We have no major problems for the time being. In addition to balance sheet, we also analyze the management and the industrial branch the company belongs to. We are present in the market of Serbia since 2005 and our experiences are good. Most companies respect the agreed timetable, but we have already started to extend the repayment deadlines. It is necessary for the companies to reorganize their operations and to take care of all aspects of the business, while the costs in all business segments should be reduced to the maximum.
eKapija: What do you think about Government’s
measures for fight against crisis?
This is the first crisis that comes from outside Serbia. We experienced both
inflation and the UN embargo, but that was all happening only within our
borders. The current crisis affects the whole world and it will have a negative
impact on our economy. Any help and support from the state are welcome. The
only question is how Serbian companies will justify the funds they get from the
eKapija: How will the global crisis affect
the cooperation between Serbia and Slovenia? Do you have any information that Slovenian
investors plan to withdraw from Serbia?
- The trade between our two countries and Slovenian investments in Serbia have
already exceeded the value of 1 billion EUR. Serbia has the lowest deficit in
trade with Slovenia. There are between 500 and 1,000 active Slovenian companies
in Serbia, and they are successful in general. No privatization has been
cancelled and no company has been closed. As far as I know, "Gorenje"
and "Mercator" are not to going to dismiss their workers. No Slovenian
company thinks about leaving the Serbian market. What is for certain is that the
realization of investments will be slower or postponed, but that does not mean
that the projected investments will be abandoned.
eKapija: How does the crisis influence Slovenian market? Which appropriate measures have been introduced by the Government of Slovenia?
- If your biggest customer filed for bankruptcy, you would also have a big problem in spite of the quality of your products. This economic crisis affects the whole world. The Government of Slovenia has introduced a number of measures to support economy sector, one of which is reduction of social security contributions and payroll taxes. The authorized ministries are also trying to prevent layoffs. The companies that decide to cut the working week on temporary basis will get the subventions from the state.
eKapija: Members of
the Serbian Association of Managers have recently visited Slovenia. Can you
tell us something about the results of this visit?
- The Serbian Association of Managers (SAM) and the Association of Managers of Slovenia have signed an agreement that should enable intensification of the cooperation between these two organizations. The two associations had the meeting in the premises of the Chamber of Commerce of Slovenia, and that meeting was attended by the Ambassador of Serbia to Slovenia, Predrag Filipov, and the President of the Slovenian Chamber, Hribar Milič. The delegation of the Serbian Association of Managers, which was led by Slobodan Vučićević, visited companies "Gorenje" and “Donat MG”. It was agreed that economic cooperation should be intensified. Slovenia seems to be the best Serbian partner for export of goods and services to the EU market.