Invest in Slovenia:9 reasons why you should.

Most foreign investors are attracted by Slovenia’s strategic position at the heart of Europe, its excellent transport and ITC infrastructure, its value chains, industry clusters and centres of excellence. Investors keen on locating their operations at the heart of the market with 500 million consumers will find Slovenia’s international commercial contacts and the land-sea-air transport system ideal.

A corporate culture of transparency and accountability, observance of international technical standards, personal integrity and company loyalty make a foreign manager’s job easy ever since the first big international companies

established their operations in Slovenia. Investor confidence thrives on legal and institutional reforms designed to facilitate investment. Staring a company is straightforward and easy through single-access points to register a limited liability company, obtain a construction permit and carry out any other administrative procedures. 

Slovenia as a potential host country has balanced class forces, class-based economic disputes are rare and wages are very reasonable for the level of education and skills of the local workforce.  

1-Overall productivity

Slovenia’s focus is on educationtraining and industry driven research to support its offering to the high technology and other high value added sectors such as information and communication technology, pharmaceuticals and life sciences. Its workforce has a high reputation for flair for technology and innovation thanks to a successful combination of a long industrial tradition and quality formal schoolingas an important contributor to the skills of an individual and to human capital.  

According to Eurostat, Slovenia meets two Europe 2020 goals regarding education: 43.4% of people aged between 30 and 34 have completed tertiary education in 2015 (24.6% in 2005) and 5% of those aged between 18 and 24 have left schools early. 

Not only the young but also those who are young at heart have IT skills and digital literacy and over 70% of population can have a conversation in at least two foreign languages and command of two or more foreign languages. English, German and Italian are widely used and French language courses are very popular.

2-Availability of Skilled Labour

Enrolment in vocational and technical secondary schools has been at the same level for a couple of years: 47,600 in 2017. Data show that almost 80,000 students enrolled in higher undergraduate and postgraduate studies at universities and single higher education institutions in the academic year 2016/17.

3-Language skills

The significant progress has been made in improving labour market efficiency by strengthening flexibility and other flexecurity components, and by adapting Slovenia’s education system to the labour market needs.

4-Strategic location

Ideally situated to serve Europe’s west and east, north and south, Slovenia does not only have excellent communication and transport infrastructure, high-quality services and the functioning public administration and the financial system, but has people with long business and personal links in the Western Balkans. It is the right place to forge partnerships for conquests of emerging markets and developing markets with rising internal demand. Goods are moved quickly and reliable, clearance procedures are efficient and once goods enter Slovenia via road, rail, air or see, they are at the doorstep of the EU market with 500 million consumers and many more in Europe’s east and southeast.

5-Slovenian investment abroad

Strategic partnerships between foreign investors and Slovenian companies with a strong foothold in central and east Europe would serve to boost productivity in target countries by implementing policies to spur innovation in order to move up the value chain. Process and organisational innovation, including non‐technological innovation, enhancing knowledge‐intensive skills (in engineering, design, marketing, information technology and R&D) and increasing associated investments (including advanced machinery, software and databases, branding, firm‐specific human capital and organisational capital) would benefit all stakeholders

6-Quality infrastructure

Slovenia boasts infrastructure for inland transport of goods, modern port infrastructure, reliable electricity and gas supply and dependable internet connections.

Slovenia’s transport system consists of over 39,000 km of the road network of which the motorways add up to nearly 700 km. The total length of railway tracks is over 2,000 km. The development of the transport infrastructure and multimodal transportation calls for the modernisation of the existing infrastructure and the construction of new sections.

Both passenger and cargo traffic handled by three international airports is on the rise year-on-year. Adria Airways, the national flag air carrier, has been carrying passengers and cargo for nearly half a century. Its network links Ljubljana with all important destinations in Europe and its connections with all the capitals in the region are excellent.

7-Maritime transport

Maritime transport and harbour traffic keep rising as the figures for goods carried and passenger and goods traffic show clearly. The cargo and passenger port at Koper is strategically placed to handle equally well all kinds of cargo and passengers from cruiser ships and provides a great opportunity of supplying logistics and goods shipping services towards central and southern Europe. The Mediterranean transport networks meet the TransEuropean network in the Port of Koper increasingly present in feeder routings and port rotation as companies provide customers with improved operational efficiency, greater capacity, wider port coverage and quality services to and from the Mediterranean.

Physical infrastructure needs a technically savvy workforce to operate it. The skills and the attitude is what not only attracts foreign investors to Slovenia but keeps them here.

In addition to well-developed physical infrastructure, a well-developed ICT industryis a key enabler for building a country’s competitiveness, attracting foreign investment, and developing information society. The steps taken over the years range from identifying the ICT areas with growth potential and eliminating barriers to market growth to supporting the development of the domestic ICT industry to increase the country’s competitive advantage and attract ICT-related foreign investment.

Effort to attract inward direct investment includes also measures designed to encourage entrepreneurship, start‐ups and technology transfer. By improving the framework conditions for innovation and entrepreneurship including better governance of public research and by providing better access to finance, Slovenia will integrate further into global markets in order to spur productivity growth and maximise its natural and man-made advantages.

8-Quality of life

Slovenia boasts natural diversity of the landscape and facilities for meet different lifestyles and to cater for those enjoying the thrills of energetic pursuits and those preferring thermal spas, wellness treatments or simply relaxing on a day off or on holiday. According to the OECD Better Life Index, safety, work-life balance, community and health are the qualities most cherished by those living in Slovenia. Most Slovenians claim to be satisfied with their lives, despite falling incomes and

a mistrust of government. Sentiment is boosted by a perceived personal security, low crime and improved sense of well-being. The country nestling between the Alps and the Adriatic Sea provides the ideal environment for tourism in general and for medical tourism in particular.  Stunning locations are easily reached by road, air, rail and sea, people are friendly, fine food and excellent local wine – a potential still waiting to be developed.

9-Slovenia’s competitive advantages still have to be exploited

Gorenjska with its lakes and Alpine scenery, the unspoilt nature of Dolenjska, the medieval coastal towns, the underground grottoes, manor houses and castles … Those who visit Slovenia once usually become regular visitors and many decide to buy a second home here. Slovenia’s vicinity to attractions such as Venice, Vienna and Prague can attract visitors from far-flung places touring Europe, as well as investors in tourist infrastructure for value added and tapping new market segments

Colourful, vibrant and authentic Ljubljana is Slovenia’s administrative, business, education and cultural centre. There is the castle that dominates the historical town centre from 16th century with its narrow streets and baroque churches, the national opera, ballet, theatres and two symphonic orchestras plus world-class museums in and outside Ljubljana.

Ski slopes in winter and sea-side beaches in summer, golf courses and bridle paths are easily reached from Ljubljana. Health spas and wellness centres are perfect places to take the stress away at low cost.

The climate is perfect for outdoor enjoyment and recreation year round and there are many amateur and professional sports venues and events. Fans of trekking and mountain climbing will find the Julian Alps with Mt. Triglav (2,864 m) and Slovenia’s forest ecosystem, the third largest in Europe covering 60% of its territory, attractions that are hard to resist. 

It is this mix of geographic location, education, creativity and willingness to adapt that visitors and business partners appreciate so much.