Sumitomo Rubber builds new plant in Slovenia
The Japanese multinational Sumitomo Rubber Industries announced in August its decision to build a new plant in Slovenia to manufacture precision rubber parts for medical applications and pharmaceutical primary packaging. The investment is valued at 34 million euros. The most likely location of the new plant is Logatec, in central Slovenia. SRI plans to start operations in the new factory in April 2019. The plant will have 200 employees, and should triple SRI's medical elastomer production capacities in Europe. The new Slovenian subsidiary will be called Lonstroff Medical Elastomers, and will be a part of the SRI-owned Swiss Lonstroff.
Slovenian tech company Zemanta bought by Outbrain
Zemanta, a developer of the world’s leading dedicated programmatic demand side platform (DSP), was bought by the US company Outbrain this summer. Zemanta offers solutions for so-called native digital content marketing – with native hearing meaning that the marketing automatically matches the form and function of the platform upon which it appears. The company was founded in 2007 and has 30 employees in its offices in Ljubljana, New York, San Francisco and Seattle. Outbrain is the leading global native advertising agency. “The best native DSP is joining the best discovery, to carry online advertising into a new era without interruptive ads, and a business model that works for the publishers rather than against them,” wrote Zemanta’s founder Boštjan Špetič in his blog after the sale of the company. Outbrain said that Zemanta’s native DSP will continue to operate as a standalone product after the acquisition, with R&D remaining in Slovenia.
OECD praises Slovenia for its progress
The latest version of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) biannual economic survey forecasts that this year the growth of the Slovenian economy will surpass 4.5 percent. “Slovenia is one of the countries that was hit hard by the crisis, but in the last two years it has made huge progress. This was not only owing to the improved situation in the international environment, but also due to the work undertaken by the country itself,” commented OECD’s Secretary General Angel Gurría at the presentation of the report. The report also pointed out that Slovenians in many areas enjoy higher living standards than the OECD average: in terms of personal safety, a clean environment, education, work-life balance, low gender wage gap and narrow income distribution. At the same time the OECD urged the Slovenian government that it should continue with its reform efforts and take special care of the problems of an ageing population and too low productivity. Below average productivity is the main cause of relatively low incomes in Slovenia. The good economic figures, recovery of the economic sector and on-going reform efforts did not pass unobserved by the leading credit ranking agencies. Moody’s upgraded Slovenia's government bond ratings from Baa3 to Baa1, while Standard and Poor’s upgraded Slovenia’s rating from A to A+ in June.
Magna International: green light for the paint factory
Slovenian environmental NGO’s have decided that they will not appeal against the permit awarded to Magna International to build a car paint factory in Hoče, near Maribor. Magna got the permit from Slovenia’s Environmental Agency in August, and any appeals could bring long delays to the construction of the plant and even cause the relocation of the project to Hungary. Magna’s greenfield investment should create around 400 new jobs, and could be the first phase of the Canadian group’s proposed 1.2 billion euro-investment in Slovenia. The new factory will complement the program pf Magna’s factory in Graz, not far away from Maribor. According to the Slovenian Minister of the Economy Zdravko Počivalšek, Magna is likely to be a building permit in early October, and thus be able to start construction of the plant.