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EU Urges Slovenia to Boost Competitiveness in Industry

Brussels, 28 October (STA) - The European Commission urged Slovenia to bolster its competitiveness in industry and invest in environmentally-friendly technology in its annual Competitiveness Report released in Brussels on Thursday.

The report highlights that Slovenia was the fastest growing economy among new members prior to the onset of the recession and must now take measures to boost its competitiveness.

To reduce its dependence on foreign demand, Slovenia must strengthen domestic foundations, the Commission assesses, proposing measures aimed at bolstering competitiveness and promoting restructuring in struggling sectors.

The Commission also highlights that Slovenia achieved the highest level of industrial production in the past three years in June 2008 and the lowest in April of 2009 as the crisis took hold. The difference among peak and trough was a relatively high 28%.

Being a transit country with a developed industrial base, Slovenia tends to have higher CO2 emissions, which it should counter with public investment in environmentally-friendly technology, the report adds.

Meanwhile, the reports praises Slovenia for investing the most of any new EU member in research and development, at 1.7% of GDP. Investment in this area rose by 2.3% on average in this time, which is an achievement in itself and comparable to countries such as Belgium, Austria and France.

The annual Competitiveness Report is compiled by the European Commission as part of implementation of the Lisbon Strategy for Growth and Jobs.

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