Slovenian Business Portal

SLOVENIA COUNTRY PROFILE

Slovenia in brief

Slovenia is located in Central Europe in a small area of land between the Alps and the Adriatic Sea, bordering Austria, Italy, Croatia and Hungary. It covers 20,273 km2 and has a population of 2.08 million.

Despite its small size, Slovenia is a land of great geographic and natural diversity, with a rich history and cultural heritage. Already in ancient times, the Roman cities in this territory held extraordinary significance given their strategic location at the intersection of west and east, while important trade routes, like the Amber Road, the oldest and shortest link between the Baltic and the Mediterranean, ran through Slovenia. Slovenians’ ancestors settled in the area in the 6th century AD and established the Principality of Carantania, known for its unique democratic custom of installing their dukes. After the 9th century, Slovenians lost their sovereignty for a whole millennium but maintained their language and cultural identity. Following World War I, when the Austro-Hungarian Empire of which they were part collapsed, they co-founded the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenians, later the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. After World War II, Slovenia became part of socialist Yugoslavia and its most prosperous federal republic.

Slovenia declared its independence in 1991 and became a European Union member in 2004. In 2007, it adopted the euro as its national currency and joined the Schengen area. Today it is a democratic, stable and successful country with one of the highest GDP per capita in the EU and consistent annual growth, a member of the main international organisations and a country enjoying friendly ties with other countries.

Slovenia is a fast-growing export-oriented economy. While services provide a majority of the total value added, Slovenia stands out for its share of industry; with more than 27% of the total value added, it is the 3rd most industrialized EU member state. Industry also accounts for 80% of private investment in R&D. Knowledge is one of the main pillars of national development; in a few research areas, such as computer science and nanotechnology, Slovenia ranks as one of the top countries in the world.

Very few countries, even much bigger ones, can boast the landscape diversity that is found in Slovenia, a place where the major European geographical units – the Alps, the Pannonian Plain, the Dinaric Karst and the Mediterranean – meet and overlap. Slovenia has three different climates: sub-Mediterranean in the coastal area, Alpine in the northwest and continental elsewhere in the country. Slovenia also enjoys extreme biological diversity; it is one of the most water-rich countries in Europe, and one of the few countries in the world where all tap water is safe to drink. Some 60% of the country is covered by forest, making Slovenia the 3rd most-forested country in Europe, with up to 38% of the country being protected by the Natura 2000 ecological network, i.e. the highest level in the EU. In 2016, Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, was declared the Green Capital of Europe.

Slovenia has historically been a crossroads of Slavic, Germanic, Romance and Ugric languages, cultures and influences, all shaping its character. Slovenians may be described as diligent, active people who are well educated and can speak foreign languages. Slovenians are above the OECD average in terms of positively perceiving their quality of life in areas like jobs, education and skills, work–life balance, social connections, environmental quality and personal security. Slovenia is one of the 8 most secure countries in the world (Global Peace Index) and 6th in the world in terms of reliability, accessibility and environmental sustainability in the field of energy (WEC).

Such a progressive, diverse and sustainable country proves one thing: small is beautiful! With its wonderful natural landscapes, ancient historical sites and modern facilities, friendly and talented people and dynamic entrepreneurs, it’s a great place to visit or live, do business … and enjoy.

Reasons to do business in Slovenia

Slovenia is a member of the European Union, a member of the Schengen Area and a member of the euro area, providing access to the EU market of 500 million customers without customs and duties. Slovenia is also an excellent starting point for entry into the markets of Eastern Europe and the Balkans, where it is favoured by free trade agreements and excellent knowledge of these markets with well-established business ties.

Due to its exceptionally favourable geo-strategic position in Central Europe at the intersection of two TEN-T corridors (the Mediterranean and the Baltic-Adriatic), Slovenia provides hinterland access via land and sea, offering the shortest connections to the Mediterranean via Port Koper and to the Middle and Far East via the Suez Canal. Modern port infrastructure and well-situated infrastructure for inland freight transport ensure goods are moved quickly and reliably, customs clearance processes are efficient and supply chain costs are low due to the strategic geographical location.

Slovenia offers a stimulating and low-risk business environment. A corporate culture of transparency and accountability, observance of international technical standards, personal integrity and company loyalty make a foreign manager’s job easy. The governmental policy aimed at developing a favourable tax system, labour market flexibility, deregulation of industry and elimination of administrative barriers is complemented by a broad system of incentives for direct investment. Investments that address priority goals such as investments in services and R&D, creation of highly qualified jobs and high value-added and sustainability projects are particularly encouraged. These instruments of the government’s proactive orientation towards investment policy serve not only to stimulate new investments but also to motivate foreign investors already operating in Slovenia to expand or upgrade their facilities.

An important comparative advantage of Slovenia is the quality of the workforce, which is characterised by an above EU average proportion of persons with secondary and tertiary education, excellent foreign language skills (40.7% of the population speak three or more languages, which ranks Slovenia third in the EU according to Eurostat), a flair for technology and innovation and a high level of digital literacy. Education and training are focused on supporting high-tech and other high value-added sectors such as information and communication technology, pharmacy and life sciences.

Slovenia has very well-developed ICT infrastructure. The number of ICT professionals, the use of cloud services, cross-border online sales and the coverage of households with fixed and ultra-fast broadband and 4G networks all exceed the EU average. With regard to 5G technology, several pilot projects are underway, and the allocation of the appropriate radio frequency spectrum is expected to be completed by 30 June 2020. Access to open data and eGovernment services is excellent, and a host of administrative and business procedures can be done online.

According to the World Bank’s Doing Business indicators, the strongest feature of Slovenia’s business environment is in the category Trading across Borders, where it appears alongside world-leading countries. It also scores high in terms of political stability and lack of violence and holds competitive advantages in resolving cases of insolvency, ease of obtaining an electricity connection and protecting minority investors (see Stable business environment).

Slovenia’s strong and balanced economic growth with a solid outlook, diversified and competitive export sector, improved fiscal position and business environment, profitable banking sector, skilled workforce coupled with high quality of life are all excellent reasons to do business in Slovenia.

Basic data

Official nameRepublika Slovenija (Republic of Slovenia)
Form of stateDemocratic parliamentary republic
Area 20,273 sq. km
CapitalLjubljana
Population (2019 Q3)2,089,310
LanguageSlovenian
National currencyeuro (EUR)
GDP growth (2018)4.1%
GDP per capita (2018)€ 22,083
Annual inflation rate (December 2019)1.8%
Annual basic interest rate (January 2019)2.39%
Exports of goods (2018)€ 30,870 million
Main destinations of exports (2018) Germany, Italy, Austria,Croatia, France
Imports of goods (2018)€ 30,706 million
Main origins of imports (2018)Germany, Italy, Austria, Croatia, France
Unemployment rate - LFS (2019 Q3)4.8%
Gross monthly earnings (November 2019)€ 1,897.90
Net monthly earnings November 2019)€ 1,234.75
* Source: Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia (SURS), January 2020

GDP growth remains among strongest in the EU

In 2018, the Slovenian economy again recorded one of the fastest GDP growth rates in the EU, despite the slowdown of many of its major trading partners. According to the structure of growth that was dominated by domestic factors, the economy started the transition to a more mature phase of the current business cycle. Yet, due to strong household consumption and investment, it still recorded growth of 4.5%, 2.5 percentage points more than the EU average. The start of 2019 saw the continuation of the solid economic growth as domestic demand factors remained favourable and the situation in the export sector more positive than in many other export-oriented economies. These sound fundamentals set the stage for a further rise in business profits, which – measured as gross operating surplus of non-financial corporations – reached another record in 2018 at EUR 8.8 billion or 19.1% of GDP.

The Slovenian economy is entering a period of more modest economic growth with sound economic fundamentals. In 2018, the current account surplus remained elevated at 7.0% of GDP as the export sector’s strong performance continued despite uncertainties in the international environment, signalling that cost competitiveness remains intact as growth in real wages stayed in line with the gains made in productivity. At the same time, net foreign debt fell below 14% of GDP. The government also continued to conduct a prudent fiscal policy as it recorded a surplus and further lowered indebtedness.

Despite the growing uncertainty in the international environment, the economic outlook signals a solid economic expansion for Slovenia in the medium term. In its 2019 Spring Forecast, IMAD expects the Slovenian economy to expand by more than 3% per year in the 2019–2020 period. This is approximately 2 percentage points above the OECD’s forecast for the euro area from March’s interim economic outlook.

Economic growth in the medium term will mainly be driven by domestic factors. Private consumption should continue to expand on the back of further growth in employment and wages, and positive consumer confidence. Investment growth will stay robust as financing conditions remain favourable, demand for new housing capacities elevated, and the role of government increased due to large infrastructure projects and enhanced drawing down of EU funds. On the other hand, the positive contribution made by net exports may diminish as growing domestic demand leads to higher imports, while growth in foreign demand eases due to the weaker global and regional outlook.2

Growth in exports remains among fastest in the EU

Despite the moderation seen in 2018, growth in Slovenia’s exports of goods and services was again far above the EU average. Real exports expanded by more than 7%, keeping pace with Slovenia’s increasing global market share, whereas the average EU growth was a mere 2.9%.

Growth in Slovenia’s foreign demand slightly moderated, mainly due to the less favourable economic conditions in euro-area major trading partners coupled with the longer-than-expected adjustment process of German car manufacturers to the new emission standards. Growth in demand from non-euro area markets remained stronger, adding significantly to the Slovenian export sector’s overall performance. In 2018, growth in exports accelerated to Switzerland, Romania, Hungary, Serbia, even to Great Britain, despite the Brexit uncertainties.

The technological structure of manufacturing exports has continued to improve as the share of medium/high-tech products gradually rises while there is a decline in the share of low-tech merchandise. In contrast to the moderation seen in manufacturing exports, exports of services recorded another boom year in 2018. Growth remained elevated in exports of various types of services, such as business services, travel and construction. The real export of services was again up by more than 9%.

With external competitiveness intact, the surplus in trade with goods and services reached 9.7% of GDP or EUR 4.3 billion in 2018, despite the acceleration in domestic demand.

Geographical and product versatility are some of the keys explaining the success of Slovenia’s export sector. In 2018, Germany, Italy, Croatia, Austria and France remained the biggest trade partners, accounting for close to 54% of total goods exports. Nevertheless, 16 other countries held at least a 1% share of Slovenia’s total goods exports, with the rest of the world still representing more than 13%.

Highly involved in global supply chains, Slovenia’s exports are largely intermediate goods, representing 54% of total goods exports in 2018, followed by consumer goods with 34% and capital goods with 12%. More specifically, Slovenia exported 66 groups of products in 2018. Of these, road vehicles maintained the biggest share with more than 16%, followed by medical and pharmaceutical products (10%), electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances (close to 10%), general industrial machinery and equipment (5.2%), and manufactures of metals (4.7%).3

Imports rise as domestic market still buoyant

In 2018, the accelerated growth in domestic demand kept the increase in imports high despite some moderation observed in Slovenian industrial activity.

Faster growth in household purchasing power gave rise to imports of consumer goods, the continuing strong investment activity accelerated imports of investment products, while growth in imports of intermediate goods eased as growth in industrial production softened in the second half of the year.

The geographical and product structure of goods imports is versatile. In 2018, Germany, Italy, Austria and Croatia were again the biggest trading partners for goods imports, together representing over 49% of overall goods imports. Despite this, imports remained geographically dispersed as 18 other countries held at least a 1% share in Slovenia’s total goods imports, while the rest of the world still represented close to 10%.

Slovenia imported 65 groups of products in 2018. Among them, road vehicles kept the highest share with more than 13%, followed by mineral fuels, mineral oils and products (7.1%), electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances (6.6%), medicinal and pharmaceutical products (5.7%), iron and steel (4.5%), and general industrial machinery and equipment (4.3%)3.

Imports of services were largely impacted by the fast increase in travel expenses enabled by favourable domestic labour market conditions. Imports of construction services were also up as growth in construction activity accelerated due to stronger government investment activity. In relation to broad-based economic growth, the import of business services was also on the rise.

In 2018, growth in total real imports stood at 8.0%, with imports of goods up by 8.4% and that of services by 5.8%.

Fast economic growth enables even better fiscal position

Slovenia’s fiscal position is improving rapidly. In 2018, the general government recorded a surplus of 0.7% of GDP, attributable to the favourable cyclical situation and correspondingly high revenue growth coupled with a further decline in interest payments. Expenditure was also up, mainly due to the fast rise in investment, with strong positive effects on economic growth. Fiscal revenues rose 6.3% while growth in expenditure lagged behind by 1.6 percentage points, giving room for an increase in the general government surplus compared to 2017. The government plans a surplus of a similar magnitude for 2019.

General government debt was on a downward path for the third consecutive year, falling to 70.1% at the end of 2018, remaining well below the EU average. According to the government, it should drop to 66% of GDP by end-2019.4

General government financing conditions are favourable. In 2018, the required yield on long-term government bonds remained close to historically low levels at around 1% due to the accommodative monetary policy in the euro area and further strengthening of Slovenia’s macroeconomic fundamentals. The latter was also reflected in the spread of Slovenia’s long-term bonds over a comparable German bond, which stood at 60 basis points in 2018, 14 basis points less than in the previous year.

Profitable banking sector

In 2018, the situation further improved in the Slovenian banking sector. Banks continued to support economic growth largely through increased lending to households. The biggest increase in credit activity was in consumer loans, in line with favourable conditions in the labour market. At the same time, growth in housing loans remained relatively low in the context of the rising prices in the housing market, which is a positive sign for maintaining financial stability. The annual growth of loans to non-financial corporations stayed low as firms are relying more heavily on retained earnings, which are plentiful due to the high profits in the corporate sector. The continuous high economic growth and banks’ own efforts mean that non-performing exposures again dropped. They stood at 4.0% at end-2018.

The Slovenian banking sector remains well capitalised, with profits further growing in 2018. The capital adequacy ratio on a consolidated basis was in line with the average for the euro area, standing at 17.9% at year-end. The liquidity position was once again favourable, while banks recorded profits for the fourth consecutive year. In 2018, pre-tax profits exceeded EUR 0.5 billion, 20% more than in 2017, one of the reasons being the release of impairments and provisions.5

A stable business environment

Slovenia’s business environment is stable. Measured by the World Bank’s Doing Business indicators, Slovenia was placed 40th among 190 economies in 2018. Compared to other EU member states, it stood behind the Netherlands and Czechia but ahead of Slovakia, Belgium and Italy, among others.

The strongest feature of Slovenia’s business environment is seen in the category Trading across Borders, where it appears alongside the top scorers as it is deeply integrated into global supply chains and is exploiting its strategic geographical position as a European crossroads. Other dominant features are efficiency in resolving insolvency issues, where it scores 9th on a global scale, ease of getting an electricity connection (23rd), and protection of minority investors (30th). According to the World Bank’s Worldwide Governance Indicators, Slovenia scores 10th among EU member states in terms of political stability and lack of violence.

On the world scale, there are relatively few problems with corruption in Slovenia. According to the Corruption Perceptions Index published by Transparency International, Slovenia was included among the 36 least corrupt countries out of 180 countries covered by the 2019 report. In the EU perspective, it stands in the middle, behind Portugal and Poland, but ahead of Czechia, Spain, Slovakia, Croatia and Hungary, among others. Similarly, Slovenia ranks 44th among 209 countries according to the Control of Corruption Index published by the World Bank, and is again found in the middle of the EU rankings.

The corporate tax rate is competitive in both global and EU contexts. In 2019, it is 19%, the 8th lowest among EU members.

In the EU perspective, it is the same as in Czechia and Poland. The EU average is 21.2%, while the global average is 23.8%. As a share of GDP, fiscal revenues from the taxation of capital are only one-half of the EU average, and even revenues from taxation of labour fall slightly below it.

Foreign direct investment continues to rise

Inflows of FDI are continuing in a favourable investment environment. In 2018, they reached EUR 1 billion. This is a notable increase in inflows over the previous year. FDI was dominated by equity investment and reinvested earnings, while changes in debt instruments were negligible.

The stock of FDI reached EUR 14.7 billion, namely EUR 6.1 billion more than before the crisis year of 2009, and EUR 5.8 billion more than at the end-2013 when the new period of economic growth began.

In 2018, at least 25 countries made investments in Slovenia. Of these, Austria’s share of 28.2% of the total stock of equity FDI remained dominant, but was again lower than in the previous year as other countries have been increasing their investment levels. With 11.9%, Luxembourg was the second most important source of equity FDI in 2018, followed by Switzerland (9.9%), Germany (9.5%), Italy (7.7%) and Croatia (6.5%).

Traditionally, FDI is prominent in manufacturing activities, with 32.9% of the total stock of FDI. Manufacturing is followed by financial and insurance activities (22.3%), and wholesale and retail trade, repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles (17.6%). Also important is FDI in real-estate activities and information and communication services.

After a gradual growing in the 2014–2017 period, Slovenian outward FDI remained unchanged in 2018. Its stock stood at around EUR 5.9 billion, up by more than EUR 700 million compared with 2013.

As investors, Slovenian corporates have traditionally focused on the Balkans, where they possess formidable knowledge about the local markets. The territory of ex-Yugoslavia accounted for almost 70% of the total stock of outward equity FDI in 2018, with Croatia at 35.5%, Serbia at 15.1%, Bosnia and Herzegovina at 7.8%, and North Macedonia at 7.3%. A notable share of 4.5% was also directed to Russia, while Germany and the Netherlands each accounted for approximately 3% of outward equity FDI.

Similar to inward FDI, outward FDI was also mainly directed to manufacturing activities, with a share of 33.6% in 2018. Manufacturing was followed by wholesale and retail trade, repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles (18.5%), financial and insurance activities (12.7%) and professional, scientific and technical activities (6.7%).

Foreign investors in Slovenia

Some of the more important foreign investors in Slovenia are:

Aviat Networks, Belimed, BSH, Brigl&Bergmeister, Carthago, Cecomp, Daihen, Danfoss, E.G.O. Elektro Geräte, Ecolab, Fiskars, Geberit, GKN, Goodyear Dunlop Tires Europe, Grammer Automotive, Gruppo Bonazzi, Hella, Henkel, Hisense, Johnson Controls, Kansai Paint Group, Knauf Insulation, Kofola, Lafarge Perlmooser, LPKF, Magna, Mahle, Meyr Melnhof, Odelo, Palfinger, Poclain Hydraulics, Renault, Raycap, Safilo Group, Sandoz Group, Siemens, Sogefi, Styria, Sumida, Sumitomo Rubber Industries, Unicut, XAL, Weiler Corporation, Wolford, Yaskawa (manufacturing);

Addiko Bank, Apollo, Intesa SanPaolo, Sberbank, Société Générale, UniCredit Bank (financial services);

Agrokor, Aldi Süd, E. Leclerc, Eurospin Italia, Harvey Norman, Lidl International, MOL, ÖMV, Rutar, Spar (retail);

AC Nielsen, Cargo Partner, Debitel, Deloitte, DHL, EY, Fraport, GfK, Grieshaber Logistik, IBM, ISS Servissystem, KPMG, Kühne+Nagel, McDonald’s, Microsoft, Mobilkom, Oracle, PWC, S&T, SAP, Saubermacher, Schenker, Sodexho Alliance (other services).

Slovenian investors abroad

Some of the more important Slovenian investors abroad are:

Cablex, Domel, Elrad, Gorenje, Gostol Gopan, Hidria, Intra Lighting, Iskratel, Kolektor, Kolpa, Krka, Lisca, LTH Castings, Mlinotest, Roto Group, SEP, TPV (manufacturing);

Datalab, Inea, Intereuropa, Petrol, Studio Moderna, Terme Olimia, Triglav Insurance Company (service sector).

Solid innovation environment and performance

Slovenia’s innovation environment and performance are solid. According to the European Innovation Scoreboard 2018, Slovenia ranks among strong innovators like Germany, France, Ireland, Belgium and Austria, with strengths of the innovation system seen in human resources, firm investments, and an innovation-friendly environment, including 100% tax relief on R&D expenditure.

With 1.9% of GDP in 2017, Slovenia’s expenditure on research and development was slightly below the EU average, but ahead of the United Kingdom, Czechia and Italy among others, but leaving space for an increase in order to catch up with some of the most developed member states. Aware of this gap, the government announced a 12.7% rise in public expenditure for R&D in 2019. Another positive sign is that growth in the number of researchers in Slovenia is faster than in the EU. In 2018, it exceeded 14%, namely, more than 32% above the figure from a decade ago.6

High level of human development

According to the United Nations’ Human Development Index (HDI), Slovenia is one of the countries with the highest living standards. In the 2018 report, it ranked 25th among the 189 surveyed countries, while its HDI value exceeded the EU average.

Slovenia was placed slightly below France, but ahead of Spain, Czechia and Italy, among other member states. Within EU members, Slovenia’s strongest feature is the high number of expected years of schooling, while in global terms it also scores highly in the categories of life expectancy at birth and gross national income per capita.

Attractive tourist destination

Slovenia is an award-winning tourist destination. The large number of awards received in 2018 confirm that Slovenia is a green, active and healthy destination. Some of these awards are:

  • At the ITB Berlin 2018 tourism trade show, the Slovenian Tourist Board received the Sustainable Destinations 2018 award in the Best of the Planet – Best of Europe category.
  • Lonely Planet placed Slovenia on one of its four lists of destinations recommended to visitors in 2019, and included it among the destinations for ‘best value’ experiences.
  • At the three-day Moscow International Travel & Tourism (MITT) tourism trade show, Slovenia was given the Best Spa Destination award.
  • The Healthy Waters campaign, launched by the Slovenian Tourist Board (STB), won in the prestigious WTM International Travel & Tourism Award in the “Best in Wellness” category.
  • For Forbes, Ljubljana is one of the Best 10 Places to Travel in 2019.

The country’s great attractiveness creates buoyant tourism revenues. In 2018, revenues from exports of travel services were up by close to 12%. Visitors come to Slovenia from around the globe. Tourists from Germany, Italy and Austria hold the biggest shares, followed by those from the Netherlands, Croatia, Hungary, the United Kingdom, Czechia and Serbia.

Europe’s trade window to global markets

Slovenia’s geographical position at the crossroads of Central Europe is ideal for connecting global businesses. Despite the growing uncertainty in global trade, real revenues from transport and storage activity kept rising in 2018 as they were up by almost 8%.

Modern highway infrastructure links the central and eastern European markets with the Mediterranean trading routes. Here, the Port of Koper serves as a popular departure point for the European export sector and an entry point for Asian and other products headed for European markets. The Port’s capacities will further expand, while an additional boost to the transport activity will come from modernisation and extension of the railway infrastructure, with several projects either in the making or in the pipeline. According to the Slovenian railway company, the large-scale modernisation process should be finished by 2025. The Ministry of Infrastructure states that big investment projects are also planned for the further modernisation and extension of road infrastructure.

The main reference points

Slovenian diplomatic, consular and other representatives abroad

Economic diplomacy includes all relevant activities of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the 55 diplomatic missions and consular posts of the Republic of Slovenia with their 22 economic counsellors. Activity in the area of economic affairs is the primary task of every Slovenian ambassador. Honorary consuls are also actively involved in economic diplomacy.

The Directorate for Economic and Public Diplomacy incorporates the Department for Bilateral Economic Relations I, the Department for Bilateral Economic Relations II and the Department for Public Diplomacy and International Cooperation in Culture and its main task is to ensure the efficiency of economic diplomacy through coordination and management within the broader Slovenian foreign policy system.

In this context, the Directorate cooperates with other players in the area of internationalisation, including: the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology, the Ministry for Public Administration, the Ministry for Agriculture, Forestry and Food, the Slovenian Public Agency for Entrepreneurship, Internationalisation, Foreign Investment and Technology (SPIRIT Slovenia), the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia, the Chamber of Craft and Small Business of Slovenia, and the SID Bank. The activities and programmes in the field of the internationalisation of the Slovenian economy are coordinated in the Council for Internationalisation which consists of the above-mentioned actors and meets on a regular basis.

The Directorate also supports the activities of diplomatic missions and consular posts in the area of economic diplomacy through the Economic Project Fund aimed at promoting the Slovenian economy and establishing new contacts for Slovenian companies with potential business partners abroad.

The basis for internationalisation activities is provided by the Programme of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia for Stimulating the Internationalisation of Companies and its two-year action plan “International Challenges”.

With regard to economic diplomacy, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and its network of diplomatic missions and consular posts:

  • ensure the efficient work of economic diplomacy through coordination and management within the Slovenian foreign policy system;
  • organise meetings of intergovernmental commissions on economic cooperation;
  • arrange business delegations and business conferences during visits by national representatives abroad and by foreign officials in Slovenia;
  • promote Slovenia as a location for foreign direct investment;
  • support Slovenian businesses in entering and expanding to foreign markets, and in solving problems in the form of various cost-free services;
  • assist foreign businesses in establishing contacts with Slovenian businesses;
  • analyse the bilateral economic cooperation with other countries and provide advice on how to strengthen it;
  • provide legal materials (agreements, memorandums); and
  • coordinate economic activities related to the EU, the OECD and other international organisations.

SPIRIT Slovenia

The key reference point for foreign investors and companies wishing to do business in Slovenia is the Slovenian Public Agency for Entrepreneurship, Internationalisation, Foreign Investment and Technology (SPIRIT Slovenia).

The mission of SPIRIT Slovenia is to realise the strategic goals and guidelines of the development programmes of Slovenia as an innovative, technologically advanced, export-oriented and tourist destination that is attractive to foreign investors. SPIRIT Slovenia is also entrusted with regulatory, expert and development tasks aiming to make the Slovenian economy more competitive with regard to entrepreneurship, technological development, foreign investment, internationalisation and tourism. Foreign businesspeople can obtain support and advice from:

InvestSlovenia Team

Since 1994 the InvestSlovenia Team has been providing customised solutions to foreign investors. They put investors in touch with private and public organisations, including an aftercare programme, and create partnerships with foreign investors in order to help take advantage of new opportunities for the benefit of all stakeholders broadly perceived as vital to the long-term economic success of Slovenia and its partner countries.

The support and facilitation of services for investors are free of charge and include:

  • information on industries, legislation, taxes and incentives;
  • details of industrial sites and local suppliers;
  • links with industry and local authorities; and
  • the organisation of fact-finding missions, business and investment conferences and trade shows.

SloveniaPartner Team

The SloveniaPartner Team is dedicated to growth and partner-matching. All of its services are cost-free and include critical information to help develop business strategies, understand sector trends, and make contact with authorities and supplier clusters. It provides:

  • business-specific information and company counselling;
  • information on Slovenian suppliers;
  • the organisation of fact-finding missions;
  • links with industry and local authorities;
  • advice and assistance in practical matters; and
  • continuing partner support even when a project is already underway.

CMSR

The Centre for International Cooperation and Development (CMSR) supports cooperation between Slovenian and foreign companies by providing business information about Slovenian and foreign markets. As a longstanding research institution, the CMSR offers country and sector analyses, risk, market and legal assessments and other services needed by its customers. Its research activities focus on the countries of South-East Europe, but also globally.

The CMSR has been preparing the comprehensive business guide “Doing Business in Slovenia” since 1993. Fully updated with all changes to relevant legislation, the publication is also available in the form of an e-book at the Slovenian Business Portal (www.poslovniportal.si).