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Slovenia Weekly

Small, yet dynamic economy

19.12.2014

Editorial

Slovenia must build, open up, so that it will accelerate employment growth and realise the goals it has set, said the PM Cerar. Photo: Mostphotos
According to the latest Euro plus Monitor survey, Slovenia ranks 9th with regard to the adjustment progress indicator, which measures how well a country is coping with the economic crisis. Slovenia has achieved impressive progress in reforms and improved competitiveness, while financial sustainability remains its weakness. According to the Brussels think-tank the Lisbon Council and the German Berenberg bank, Slovenia has a small dynamic economy, which ranks above average with regard to fundamental health indicators. They add that fiscal and banking problems should be manageable if political will is maintained. Slovenia’s strengths include a strong trend in growth rates, low youth unemployment, resilience to financial shock and ease of opening a new business. On a scale of 21 countries (18 members of the euro area plus Poland, Sweden and United Kingdom) it ranked the highest according to two indicators – the time needed to open a new business and the percentage of bank assets in GDP last year. According to the survey, labour costs remain the biggest problem, where we unfortunately rank at the bottom.

Economic cooperation and attracting foreign investors or finding new foreign direct investment was also the focus of several government activities this week. Prime Minister Miro Cerar said that in economically challenging times, many believe that the government’s mission is to find additional resources in order to secure development, and strengthen cooperation with others who are addressing similar challenges. The PM stressed the significance of government policies to create a business-friendly environment, which in turn creates jobs, products and services, and the significance of cooperation with other governments, which is not limited only to economic cooperation, but can also be based on respecting differences, including strengthening cultural ties and relationships between individuals. According to the Prime Minister, all this creates an atmosphere that enables better interaction and consequently economic cooperation and sustainable development. He wishes “that Slovenia would become a more open country and establish itself as a decent, sustainable and economy-oriented country.”

As a promising economic partner, Slovenia also looked for new opportunities for foreign direct investment at the China–CEEC Summit, this time held in Belgrade. The Slovenian PM announced that the government would campaign intensively to attract foreign investors from China and the rest of Asia, as well as Europe and other parts of the world. He particularly mentioned the Port of Koper as a point that provides the shortest route to CEEC members and the fastest access to CEEC markets for China. Therefore, one of the priorities of the Slovenian government is to modernise infrastructure in order to accelerate the flow of goods from the Port of Koper to consumers and from the manufacturers to the port. "Slovenia must begin to build, open up, so that it will accelerate employment growth and realise the goals it has set,” said the PM.

Attracting private investors, which will require a lot of effort in the future, was also discussed at their first official meeting by the Slovenian PM and the new President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, in the light of the significance of the success of the EU’s investment plan for its future. Mr Cerar also exchanged views on the investment plan for Europe, which was the central topic of the European Council meeting, with the Commissioner for Transport, Violeta Bulc, on her recent visit to Slovenia. Ms Bulc said that Slovenia’s proactive and independent stance will find increasing confidence in investment areas.

A crucial part of the programme to change Slovenia into a green and competitive low-carbon economy that uses its resources economically are investment measures defined in the recently adopted operational programme to reduce greenhouse emissions by 2020. They will increase domestic demand for green solutions and present a great business opportunity. Early stages of developing solutions “for green economic growth” comprise incentives for research and technological development, eco-innovations and support for market entry. While the measures are long-term, they will have a substantial impact by 2020. By shifting to an economy whose growth is not based on the greater use of natural resources and energy, but rather efficiency and innovation in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve competitiveness and promote growth and employment, Slovenia seeks to actively contribute its share to preventing the dangerous impact of climate change.

3rd China-CEEC Summit an opportunity to attract new foreign direct investment and develop business opportunities

Slovenian Prime Minister Miro Cerar attended the third China-CEEC summit in Belgrade, a meeting between the heads of government of the countries of Central and Eastern Europe (CEEC) and the Chinese Premier Li Keqiang. Parallel to the Summit focused on strengthening economic ties between CEEC countries and China, there was a meeting of business representatives of all the participating countries, including representatives of 15 Slovenian companies. more...

PM Cerar with PMs of China and Serbia on strengthening economic cooperation

Against the backdrop of the meeting of 16 countries of Central and Eastern Europe and China in Belgrade, the Slovenian PM Miro Cerar separately met the Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, Li Keqiang, and the Prime Minister of Serbia, Aleksandar Vučić. With both, he mainly discussed strengthening economic cooperation. more...

PM Cerar at the meeting of the European Council on the investment plan for Europe

The investment plan for strategic EU projects will make or break the bloc's development spirit, so it needs to be well prepared and realistic, PM Miro Cerar said as he arrived at an EU summit in Brussels on Thursday. "If the project fails, this will be fatal," Cerar warned. The EU's investment plan is also important for Slovenia, because it will force the country to be very specific about its priority development projects. more...

The government approves the operational programme to reduce greenhouse emissions by 2020

This week, the government approved the operational programme to reduce greenhouse emissions by 2020. This is an implementation plan of measures to attain Slovenia’s legally binding target of greenhouse gas reduction by 2020 in the climate energy package under Decision No 2009/406/EC. It focuses on areas or sectors that contribute the biggest share of emissions in sectors that do not form part of the European emission trading scheme, but subject to national commitments: buildings, transport, agriculture, waste and other. more...

The visit of minister Erjavec continues a series of enhanced bilateral activities with Germany

On Thursday, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Karl Erjavec, was on a working visit to Germany at the invitation of his German counterpart, Frank-Walter Steinmeier. In Berlin, he also met representatives of the German-Slovenia friendship group in the Bundestag and representatives of Slovenes living in Germany. more...

Investment in the manufacturing of innovatively-charged electrical buses

The government approved a financial incentive of 2,000,000 euros for TAM Durabus for an investment in the production of innovatively-charged electrical buses (BETIC) and included the new project in the development programme plan. The majority Chinese-owned Maribor bus manufacturer will use the incentive to develop and manufacture electric buses and support infrastructure intended for operation in towns and at airports. more...



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