On June 25th Slovenia celebrated 25 years of its statehood. Slovenians decided on secession from the Yugoslav federation on a referendum on the 23rd December 1990: over 88 percent of the voters opted for exiting. Independence was proclaimed six months later – the proclamation was followed by 10 days’ war with the Yugoslav army. In a short time Slovenia became a respected member of the international community. The young nation was elected as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council in 1998. In 2004 Slovenia became a member of EU and NATO. Slovenia was the first new member state to introduce the euro as its currency in 2007 and the first to preside the EU Council in 2008. The gala celebration of the anniversary in Ljubljana on 24th June was attended by the presidents of Austria, Croatia, Italy and Germany.
Better Ratings, yet slower growth
The Standard & Poor credit rating agency moved Slovenia's credit rating up to level A in June, describing the state of the economy as »stable«. Standard & Poor analysts based the increase of the rating on the assumption that the government will continue to reduce debt in the next few years. The agency also expects that domestic demand will increase and that conditions on the labor market will further improve. On the negative side the agency mentions political risks which remain unchanged: disagreements between the coalition partners could weaken the reform process and especially slow down the privatization of state owned enterprises.
OECD projects slightly slower growth in its June's economic outlook. Slovenian GDP should increase by 1.5 percent in 2015 due to sluggish global trade. Exports have fueled the 3-percent growth of the Slovenian economy in the last two years. On the other hand, domestic demand is gathering pace and unemployment continues to decrease. The banking sector is also slowly recovering.
Hidria: CLEPA's award for the best green innovation
Hidria's Optymus Pressure Sensing diesel engine cold-start system won the European Association of Automotive Suppliers (CLEPA) First Award for Best Innovation in Green Technologies. Hidria's new system radically cuts fuel consumption in diesel engines and significantly contributes to health and environmental protection. The sensor system, with its unprecedented level of accuracy, was described by the jury as a breakthrough innovation, as it can reduce fuel consumption and emissions up to 30 percent. Hidria has already signed an important strategic agreements with major global automotive producers: it is estimated that at least a third of European diesel powered cars produced in the next years will use Hidria's technology. Hidria currently covers 20 percent of the global market for diesel cold start technologies.