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International Review: Republic of Slovenia

In the new material of the series "International Review" we tell about a country with a developed railway connection, one of the safest and most ecological states in Europe - Slovenia.

The independence of the Republic of Slovenia has been proclaimed since 1991 after leaving Yugoslavia. Since 2004, the country has been a member of the European Union and NATO. The national currency is the Euro, the official language is Slovenian. Territory: 20.3 thousand sq. km (150th in the world). The country is divided into 136 municipalities and 11 urban municipalities. The capital of the republic is Ljubljana with a population of about 300 thousand people.

The country's population is about 2.1 million people (144th place in the world). The largest cities are Maribor, Celje, Kranj and Velenje. The head of state is the president, who is elected for 5 years, but no more than two times in a row. Legislative power belongs to a unicameral parliament, executive power belongs to the government headed by the Prime Minister. Slovenia shares borders with Austria, Hungary, Croatia and Italy.


According to the World Bank, Slovenia's GDP is estimated at 52 billion euros (84th place in the world), GDP per capita - about 25 thousand euros (35th place in the world). Inflation is below 1%, and the unemployment rate is 5%. The country's economy is open, foreign trade is estimated at $ 85 billion, with a predominance of exports of goods and services (about $ 45 billion).

In the Doing Business rating of the World Bank, Slovenia took 37th position out of 190 countries at the end of 2020. Slovenia ranked first in International Trade, 8th in Resolution of Insolvency, 18th in Protection of Minority Investors. Slovenia ranked 22nd in the Human Development Index, 37th in the Corruption Perceptions Index, and 29th in the Happiness Index.

Slovenia mainly exports machine tools, vehicles, electronic and telecommunications products, pharmaceuticals, wood products and furniture. The main sales markets are the countries of the European Union (Germany, Italy, Croatia, Austria, France, etc.), Russia, and China. The main imports are vehicles, mineral fuels, petroleum products, machinery and equipment, plastics and products from them, iron and steel, aluminum and products from it. The geography of imports is diverse, but the basis is made up of Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, China, Croatia, Turkey, etc. 

Low taxes and tax rebates that exist in Slovenia  for foreign investors make large and long-term investments in various sectors of its industry profitable. The largest investor is Slovenia's closest neighbor - Austria (24.0%), followed by Luxembourg (13.7%), Switzerland (10.5%), Germany (9.0%) and Italy (7.9%).

Many multinational companies have located their enterprises in the country: Aviat Networks, Belimed, Bosch Siemens, Carthago, Danfoss, Deloitte, EGO, Geberit, Goodyear, GKN Industries, Grammer Automotive, Grieshaber Logistik, Gruppo Bonazzi, Hella, Henkel, IBM, Intesa Sanpaolo Banka , Johnson Controls, Magna Steyr, Microsoft, Johnson Controls, Magna Steyr, Mobilkom, Novartis Pharma, Odelo, Palfinger, Raiffeisen Bank, Renault, S&T, Sumida, Unicredit Bank, Wolford, Yaskawa, etc.


Automotive is one of the key industries in Slovenia. More than 250 companies with more than 18 thousand people operate here. The country produces seats, interior components and materials, car body parts, brake system components, mechanical and electrical / electronic components for engines, exterior equipment and body lighting equipment, exhaust systems, engine and gearbox parts, and steering system components. The automotive industry generates about 10% of production and over 12% of Slovenia's exports. Local companies have established close industrial cooperation with the concerns of Audi, BMW, Daimler, VW, MAN, Ford and others. 

Slovenia has developed the production of electric motors and machine tools, household appliances, telecommunications equipment, electronic measuring systems, medical and optical equipment. The largest companies are Gorenje Group, Kolektor, Iskra, Hidria, Elektroncek. In total, over 30 thousand people work at the enterprises of the industry. The main sales markets are the EU countries, Russia, Great Britain.

The metallurgical industry is represented by more than 3 thousand companies with a staff of over 60 thousand people. Key companies are Store Steel and Sij Steel Group, which produce steel plates, cylinders, industrial knives, welding consumables, alloy steel and bar steel. Slovenia also produces metal fittings and components, cast and prefabricated metal elements, water turbines and pumps, various metal products and tools. The main sales markets are the countries of the European Union, Australia, Great Britain, and the USA.

Interesting fact. Slovenia's area is only 0.004 percent of the area of the entire globe. But on this territory there are more than two thousand reserves.

The chemical and pharmaceutical industry of the country is represented by the production of fertilizers, petrochemical products (varnishes, paints, chemical coatings), detergents and polishes, perfumery and toilet preparations, artificial fibers, tires and pneumatic chambers, pharmaceuticals. The industry employs over 30 thousand people. The local chemical and pharmaceutical industries account for a significant portion of the country's exports, with nearly 77% of sales going to overseas markets. Krka and Lek are the leading generic drug manufacturers in Central and Eastern Europe and are driving growth in the sector. Krka is the largest exporter in Slovenia and its most important corporate tax payer. Lek is part of the Sandoz Group of Companies.

Woodworking is one of the key industries in Slovenia. More than 60% of the country's territory is covered by forests. The production of prefabricated wooden houses, plywood, veneer panels and laminate, fiberboard made of wood or other wood materials, furniture and other wood products are developed here. The industry generates 1.6 billion euros in revenue annually. The main export markets are the EU countries, North Africa (Algeria, Libya, Tunisia), Saudi Arabia.

The food industry is one of the largest employers in Slovenia, along with mechanical engineering and metalworking. The country has developed meat and milk processing, has established the production of flour, confectionery and drinks. The meat processing industry accounts for 30% of revenue and 28% of food processing jobs. About 10% of companies registered in this sector are engaged in milk processing. About 12% of companies are involved in the production of soft drinks, wine, beer, providing about 16% of total sales revenue, as well as about 12% of jobs in the sector.

Service sector

The IT industry is represented by 25 thousand employees from 4 thousand companies. Slovenia has a developed infrastructure for information and communication technologies, which contributes to the development of the information services sector. The country has established the production of telecommunications equipment, more than 3 thousand local companies provide services in the field of information technology. The main clients are companies from the EU, Central and Eastern Europe, the USA, and Turkey.

The logistics industry is represented by forwarding and cargo transportation, transport and logistics services, terminals of maritime and internal logistics. There are over 3 thousand companies in the industry that generate over 5 billion euros in revenue. This is facilitated by the strategic geopolitical position of Slovenia and decades of trade with the countries of Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe. Slovenia is the preferred location for the distribution of goods to the single consumer market of the European Union, as well as the emerging markets of Eastern and South-Eastern Europe.

Interesting fact. Slovenia has a well-developed railway network. By train you can get to any corner of the country.

The territory of the country is crossed by two corridors of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T), which connect west and east (Mediterranean Sea), north and south (Baltic and Adriatic Sea). Slovenia's short coastline in the northern Adriatic Sea links it to the Mediterranean for goods in transit through the Suez Canal and Gibraltar. The Port of Koper provides access to continental Europe and especially to the landlocked countries of Central Europe for shipping and receiving goods by sea.

Slovenia and Belarus

Diplomatic relations between the Republic of Belarus and the Republic of Slovenia were established on July 23, 1992. Visits to Belarus at the level of the head of the Slovenian Foreign Ministry were carried out in 2009 and 2016. In 2010, the first visit to Slovenia of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus took place.

Trade relations between countries are characterized by relatively small volumes. This is due to the low capacity of the Slovenian market, as well as its inaccessibility for Belarusian producers due to the EU tariff and non-tariff measures, expensive logistics, and a high level of competition, primarily from the neighboring countries of Slovenia. At the end of 2020, trade between Belarus and Slovenia amounted to USD 100 million, which is 20% more than in 2015. The main share, more than 85% of the turnover, is made up of imports to Belarus.

Slovenian companies supply:

  • medicines;
  • consoles, panels, tables for electrical equipment;
  • machines and devices for lifting, moving, loading or unloading;
  • electrical transformers;
  • flat-rolled products of corrosion-resistant steel with a width of 600 mm or more.

Belarusian companies export to Slovenia:

  • non-combed synthetic fibers;
  • electrical equipment for ignition and starting of internal combustion engines;
  • artificial waxes;
  • electric motors and generators;
  • other furniture and parts thereof.

As for mutual trade in services, at the end of 2020, the volume amounted to USD 20.8 million, which is 2.7 times less than in 2015. The main share in the mutual trade in services falls on construction services. In general, the export of services of Belarus exceeds the import, the positive balance was formed in the amount of USD 4.1 million.

Interesting fact. In Slovenia, the working day starts very early, but also ends at 3-4 pm.

11 companies with foreign investments from Slovenia are successfully operating in Belarus. Also in the country there are several representative offices of Slovenian companies that work in the field of pharmaceuticals, construction, energy, telecommunications. There are no Belarusian distribution networks in Slovenia. The priority for bilateral cooperation is the mechanical engineering sector, agriculture, energy, telecommunications and tourism. Since 2011, the Belarusian-Slovenian Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific and Technical Cooperation has been operating.

The trade turnover of FEZ residents with Slovenia at the end of 2020 amounted to USD 1.5 million. The basis of trade is made up of chemical products and products from ferrous metals. In May 2018, the Slovenian company TU-VAL visited the FEZ administration.

Promising directions of development of business relations between FEZ Grodnoinvest and business circles of Slovenia are:

  1. Implementation of joint investment ideas and projects in the field of woodworking, mechanical engineering, chemistry and fertilizer production.
  2. Participation in a project to create a multimodal logistics and distribution center.
  3. Implementation of infrastructure projects in the field of tourism on the territory of the special tourist and recreational park Augustow Canal.
  4. Establishing trade and dealer relations in Slovenia, taking into account the export potential of FEZ residents, which is reflected in the section Residents.
  5. Industrial cooperation and subcontracting at the reserve capacities of FEZ residents in the field of light industry, pharmaceuticals, and the chemical industry.

In case of interest in the implementation of these and other areas of cooperation, the administration of FEZ Grodnoinvest is ready to assist in establishing business contacts, organizing meetings and business negotiations, exchange of business information. Proposals can be sent to e-mail:

Previous puclications of International Review cycle: