The Slovenian Government prepares a new law on investment
The Ministry of the Economy announced at an investment conference in late May that it will ensure better support for investment through new law, which would introduce completely equal treatment of domestic and foreign investors. The new law provides assistance for investors through the use of reimbursable funds, such as guarantees and interest rate subsidies when taking out loans. A special focus of the law will be the support of strategic investments valued at over 40 million euros and which will create at least 400 jobs for five years or more. The new law should also simplify and speed up the purchase of state or municipality-owned real estate. The new legislation was explained at the Investment Conference organized by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia, together with the European Commission. The conference was followed by the second summit of foreign-owned companies in Slovenia.
Highest growth since 2008
The growth of the Slovenia’s economy continues apace. The latest figures from the Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia showed that country’s GDP grew by 5.3 percent in the first quarter of 2017 in comparison with the same period in 2016, the highest growth since 2008. The main driver of this success is strong exports. The Institute of Macroeconomic Analysis and Development has upgraded its forecasts and predicts that Slovenia's exports will grow by 6 percent this year, and by 5.1 percent in 2018. The level of employment also increased by 2.6 percent in the first quarter over the same period last year.
Slovenia has bought back almost one half of its US dollar debt portfolio, and thus limited its exposure to currency risk. This move was also observed by rating agencies like Moody’s, which stated in its May report that “Slovenia’s launch of debt buyback is credit positive”. Moreover, the Slovenian Ministry of Finance issued a statement in May noting that general government debt in Slovenia has been decreasing at faster pace than that provisioned by the Stability and Growth Pact Debt Rule.
The European Commission, in its latest recommendations published in early June, recognized both the efforts of Slovenia's government and the recent developments, although it warned that these efforts are mostly short-term oriented and that growth remains fragile. As such, the Slovenian Government must adopt this year, or in 2018 at the latest, measures for the long-term sustainability of public finances, particularly in the areas of health, the pension system and the labour market.
Adria Mobil – exporter of the year
The 2017 Slovenian Exporter of the Year is Adria Mobil, the caravan and motorhome maker from Novo mesto. This selection was made by the Slovenian business daily Finance in June. Adria Mobil increased its share of the fast-growing European motorhome market to 6.5 percent, and is now among the three strongest European brands in the industry. As a consequence, the company managed to increase its revenues by 23 percent last year, up to 322 million euros. Adria Mobil’s motor homes and caravans are sold all over Europe, as well as in Australia and Asia. Other finalists in Finance’s selection of the best exporters are the software solution specialist Comtrade, medical laser equipment producer Fotona, the aluminium product manufacturer Impol, and electrical transformer maker Etra.