ponedeljek, januar 31, 2005

Is sending Slovene troops to Iraq good for business?

The business daily Finance and its English-language supplement Breakfast with Finance recently discussed the economic benefits that participation of the Slovene army in Iraq can bring to Slovenia. The article came shortly after Prime Minister Janez Janša announced that the government is reconsidering its decision not to send troops to support US actions in Iraq [Finance / 27.01.05 / Slovene Army in Iraq = Economic Benefits, Finance / 27.01.05 / Naši vojaki so izvidnica za posle v Iraku].

Among the companies Finance consulted for the article was the logistics company Viator & Vektor. A spokesperson said that their company is keenly interested in a stable Iraq, since it has been active in that country for nearly two years. "We have been operating in Iraq for a year and a half. Of course we could do much more if there was more stability in the country," Viator & Vektor chairman Zdenko Pavček told the paper. The company would support the sending of Slovene troops if that would help secure a stable Iraq.

They added that they believe Slovene companies would have more opportunities in Iraq if troops were dispatched.

Telecom Iskratel, according to Finance "one of the largest Slovene exporters to Iraq," predictably reported that sales in the troubled country have dropped off because of the war. On the other hand, pre-fab construction manufacturer Trimo reports that they exported EUR 3,000,000 worth of goods to Iraq last year, primarily pre-fab shelters.

Clothing maker Mura, which supplies the Slovene army with uniforms, told Finance that they would not expect any direct benefits to their operations by the sending of Slovene troops to Iraq. "The opinion that sending troops to Iraq would not affect Mura is borne out by the fact that the presence of Slovene troops in Afghanistan has led to neither stronger nor weaker business for the company," a spokesperson said.