Analysing global trends and spending patterns to develop brand and market strategies may provide valuable insights when it comes to delivering products and services consumers will want to buy. Manufacturers and retailers will typically move quickly to indentify the appropriate expansion opportunities in order to best take advantage of an increasing consumer base. Consumers which are spending significant sums of money on durable goods and transportation, healthcare services, and also the leisure and entertainment industries.
Slovenia is a great place to make an investment in any of these sectors, which are rapidly expanding due to an increase in global wealth and consumer spending. With €6 billion in 2011, Slovenia’s manufacturing activities have generated the highest gross value added since 2008 among all sectors, leaving trade (both wholesale and retail) and repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles well behind (€3 billion). With €3.6 billion, large manufacturing companies continue to generate the highest GVA but it would be prudent to take a closer look at the Slovenian micro companies (€950 million) and the pool of ambitious and talented people who are well aware that in a small country, modest-sized businesses can and must punch above their weight. In 2011, 501,740 employees of Slovenian companies generated on average €36,966 in GVA per employee. Despite the general economic downturn, these figures show significantly better performance in comparison to 2008, when 578,035 employees generated €34,253 in GVA per employee and even the 2009 figures, when GVA per employee was €33,137 and the number of people in employment was 542,366 employees followed by a further rise of GVA per employee of €35,152 generated by 517,583 employees. In terms of size, large companies accounted for 57.5% of GVA. Small and medium-sized businesses followed suit, with 16.4% and 10.9% respectively, and micro companies managed 15.2% of €18.6 billion in GVA. In terms of economic sectors, manufacturing was the most productive, in contrast to public administration, defence and compulsory social security (Source: Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia).
A clear signal to foreign investors
The ever-changing FDI prospects in low income countries, where the recent labour market developments may have an impact on the world’s economic growth pattern have little bearing on Slovenia’s attraction as a near-perfect foreign direct investment destination. Admittedly, Slovenia’s FDI visibility still has room to develop and attracting more FDI would most certainly boost its economic growth even further. Although the new government is taking the necessary steps in the right direction to help attract the serious foreign investors. The 2012 FDI grant scheme should go a long way towards attracting investors to the country’s excellent sites for development or redevelopment, where promising start-ups can enjoy a corruption free competitive environment, along with a tech-savvy people and highly-skilled workforce. The new government is bringing more clarity and transparency to Slovenia’s FDI policy and should protect it from accusations of political meddling in business transactions in order to strengthen the public’s capacity to assess decisions to sell strategic assets based on the advantages of the transaction. Slovenia is an export-oriented market and its economic future will continue to depend on open access to foreign markets and its investment-friendly climate. The latest public announcements from the government confirm that Slovenia is well and truly open for business and that there are practically no areas in which Slovenia is keen on asserting its sovereignty.
The most appropriate place to start is the privatisation of the state-owned enterprises. Over the past three years, there were practically no projects for the modernisation, upgrading or expansion of Slovenia’s transport and communications infrastructure. Only some 10% of the EU funding was used in the absence of mature projects aligned with the relevant objectives of the national and EU strategies.
In order to provide impetus for the privatisation process of the future multimodal infrastructure as pencilled in the EU strategic documents, Slovenia’s state-owned enterprises for roads, railways, infrastructure development and investment management, electricity generation and distribution, logistics, telecommunications and the country’s largest airport and sole cargo port will be brought under the roof of a new infrastructure holding company by the end of this year. For these enterprises to expand and develop, finding strategic partners will be absolutely necessary. Public-private partnerships could prove to be highly interesting, as confirmed at the conference on multimodal infrastructure and TEN-T held in the European Parliament earlier this year. The participants underlined the importance of the pan-European transport corridors criss-crossing Slovenia in the light of the anticipated central TEN-T transport infrastructure recognised, which was recognised as the most expedient route between south-eastern and eastern Europe. The TEN-T transport infrastructure integrates commercial and logistic structures and directly affects 20 European regions. Thanks to its position at the heart of Europe and at the intersection of trade and transport routes, Slovenia is a key part in the future TEN-T network and of projects of pan-European interest.
For further information please contact:
JAPTI - Public Agency of the Republic of Slovenia for Entrepreneurship and Foreign Investments
Verovškova cesta 60, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
Phone: +386 (0) 1 5891 870
Fax: +386 (0) 1 5891 877