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News in Brief Winter 2016

Yaskawa to produce robots in Slovenia

Yaskawa Electric, one of the world's leading robot producers, has decided to open a new production facility in Slovenia. Yaskawa plans to invest around 25 million euros in the plant which will start to operate in 2018, 25 percent of the investment being provided by the Slovenian government as financial assistance. The Japanese manufacturer of automation components, industrial robots, and components for the production of alternative energy, already operates a plant in Ribnica, a small town in southern Slovenia. The Japanese company with annual sales of over 3 billion euros decided to increase its European production capacity because of the increased demand for robots in Europe and the EMEA region. 

Cimos sold to Italian financial group

Slovenia's largest automotive component producer, Cimos, was sold to Italian investment fund Palladio Finanziaria this October. The company, heavily hit by the financial crisis, was sold by Slovenian Sovereign Holding and the Bank Asset Management Company for 110 million euros. The new owner TCH Cogeme, part of Palladio Finanziaria, with a strong focus on the automotive pillar, announced it will further invest in the company to “accelerate planned investment and conclude the ongoing restructuring process.”

Cimos is one of the largest groups in Slovenia and one of the largest regional providers of automotive components: it specialises in turbocompressor parts, powertrain components, hinges, pedal systems and handbrake levers. The parent company employs around 1,800 people and has a turnover of 392 million euros. The whole group employs around 5,000 people in seven European countries.

Economy continues to improve

The latest figures published by the European Commission, the Slovenian Macroeconomic Institute IMAD and the Bank of Slovenia indicate that positive trends continue in the Slovenian economy. GDP growth reached 2.7 percent in the second quarter, fueled both by increased domestic consumption and exports. Investment also continued growing for the fifth consecutive quarter. The fall in unemployment in the summer of this year was the sharpest in recent years. The nominal general government deficit is forecast to be 2.2% of GDP this year. A small surplus was recorded in the second quarter, the first since 2008. The European Commission upgraded its forecasts for Slovenia's economy. The forecasts for GDP growth are 2.3% for 2016, 2.9% for next year, and 2.6% for 2018.

Slovenia recognised as global green leader

According to the Legatum Prosperity Index, Slovenia is the global leader in environmental preservation, with highest scores in both land and marine area protection. Over 54 percent of its territory is under environmental protection, including almost all of the country's marine area, which is the world's highest percentage. Slovenia also has the highest share of territory of any EU member covered by Natura 2000, the EU conservation network aimed at protecting areas with rare wildlife and habitat types. This year's Legatum Prosperity Index was published in November by the Legatum Institute, a division of the UK's private investment firm Legatum. The ranking is based on a variety of factors, including wealth, economic growth, education, health, personal well-being, and quality of life. Overall, Slovenia is ranked a very high 20th.

Earlier this year, the Netherlands based organization, Green Destination, proclaimed Slovenia the world's first green country. The organisation's analysis shows a 96 percent compliance with 100 criteria. The title was presented at the Global Green Day conference which took place in Ljubljana in September: Ljubljana was chosen to host this year's event as European Green Capital. Slovenia has several green destinations, including Ljubljana, Nova Gorica, Brda, Kranjska Gora, Maribor, Ptuj, Slovenj Gradec, Bela Krajina and Velenje.

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