Slovenia Trade

Subchapters:

  • Business Relationships
  • Foreign direct investment
  • FTAs ​​and Treaties
  • Development Cooperation
  • Prospective fields of study (MOP)

Business relations

Trade relations with the EU

Trade with EU member states accounted for approximately 66% of all trade (exports 66.8%, imports 65.0%), which makes the EU the main sales market, although Slovenia has managed to diversify trade flows more in recent years (for comparison: in 2016, trade with the EU accounted for almost 80% of the total volume). Germany, Italy, Austria, France and Croatia have long been the most important trade partners.

2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Exports from the EU (million EUR) 21 148.7 23,228.6 24 110.9 21,667.10 26,408.2
Imports into the EU (million EUR) 21,732.8 23,606.2 24,443.2 22,038.5 27,272.9
Balance with the EU (million EUR) -584.1 -377.6 -332.3 -371.4 -864.7

Source: European Commission, SURS

Trade relations with the Czech Republic

In the period 2017–2019, mutual trade between the Czech Republic and Slovenia increased year-on-year. Following the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, mutual trade turnover decreased in 2020 and reached EUR 1.488 billion, which is, however, only 4.4% less than in 2019. In 2021, the trend then reversed and the total the turnover of foreign trade between the Czech Republic and Slovenia reached a record EUR 1.73 billion, which is 16.4% more than the previous year. There was a year-on-year increase in both Czech exports (+13.0%) and imports (21.2%).

2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Exports from the Czech Republic (million EUR) 752.4 837.1 875.1 861.2 972.9
Import to the Czech Republic (million EUR) 604.2 690.7 681.5 627.1 760.1
Balance with the Czech Republic (million EUR) 148.2 146.4 193.6 234.1 212.8

Source: businesscarriers.com

Trade relations with countries outside the EU

Trade exchange with countries outside the EU has been growing in recent years, mainly as a result of Slovenia’s efforts to diversify both exports and imports. Slovenia’s important export partners are Switzerland (13.4%), Serbia (2.8%) and the Russian Federation (2.2%). Slovenia’s important import partners are Switzerland (10.1%) and China (10.0%).

2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Exports from countries outside the EU (million EUR) 7,465.4 9,487.90 9,436.9 10,073.0 13 108.2
Imports to countries outside the EU (million EUR) 8,876.4 12,320.4 9,638.6 11,258.2 14,732.4
Balance with non-EU countries (million EUR) -1,411.0 -2,672.9 -201.7 -1 185.2 -1,624.2

Source: EIU, Eurostat, SURS

Foreign direct investment

Slovenia is among the countries with a low inflow of foreign direct investment (FDI), which in terms of per capita is among the lowest in the EU. The total inflow of FDI at the end of 2020 was EUR 1billion, which is 2.4% more than at the end of 2019. Firms with FDI represented only 1.8% of the total Slovenian business population, the largest share of firms with FDI was in manufacturing industry (24.0%). The return on investment in companies with FDI was 6.9% (4.7% in the total business population). In the period 1994 – 2020, the average FDI growth rate was 11.5%. Investing in business zones, projects with significant development potential and high added value remains a significant priority.

The most FDI in 2020 came from the following countries:

  1. Austria (25.6%)
  2. Luxembourg (13.0%)
  3. Switzerland (10.7%)
  4. Germany (8.0%)
  5. Italy (7.3%)
  6. Netherlands (7.1%)
  7. Croatia (6.3%)
  8. Cyprus (3.3%)
  9. Great Britain (3.0%)
  10. Hungary (2.7%)
  11. Serbia (2.5%)
  12. Czech Republic (1.9%, i.e. EUR 31million)

Benefits for potential investors

  • better access to the markets of the countries of the former Yugoslavia;
  • skilled and educated workforce;
  • quality management;
  • experience with production for demanding markets;
  • a high number of domestic, export-oriented companies.

Disadvantages for potential investors

  • relatively expensive labor force compared to other CEE countries;
  • insufficient investment in new production facilities – greenfields;
  • rigid labor market,
  • shortage of experts in technical professions;
  • legislation regulating the employment relationship (high sickness benefits, maternity leave, vacation);
  • high degree of administrative burden and hyper-regulation.

Risks in investing formally do not exist, but in reality many foreign investors encounter latent resistance from the Slovenian environment and a chain of administrative problems when investing in Slovenia.

More information:

  • The Bank of Slovenia
  • Investment portal Invest Slovenia

Czech investments in the territory

The Czech Republic is one of the most important investors in Slovenia, while significant investment activity by Czech entities was recorded in the territory only after 2013. The sectoral composition of Czech investments is diverse, the most important Czech investments include:

  • Radenska doo (Kofola as) – production of soft drinks
  • Litostroj Power doo (ENERGO-PRO as) – production of turbines for hydropower plants
  • Arex doo (RSBC Private Equity CZ as) – production of handguns, ammunition, components
  • Pro Plus, doo (PPF Group) – media company
  • SŽ – Tovorni promet, doo (Energetický a průmyslový holding, as) – logistics, rail freight transport
  • SAOP doo, OPAL INFORMATIKA doo (Solitea as) – software development in the field of ERP systems and other information systems for the business sector
  • Paloma dd (ECO-INVESTMENT, as) – production of hygienic paper products
  • Vipap Videm Krško dd (RIDG Holding s.r.o.) – production of newsprint and wrapping paper
  • Ceneje.si (ROCKAWAY CAPITAL SE) – internet price comparison tool
  • Adria Airways Tehnika dd (Hartenberg Capital, s.r.o.) – aircraft maintenance and service
  • Instrumentation Technologies, doo (Arx Equity Partners s.r.o.) – hi-tech solutions in the field of IoT, smart cities, medicine, etc.
  • Zlati grič doo (FIDUROCK CAPITAL CZ as) – winegrowing, tourism

FTAs and treaties

Like the Czech Republic, Slovenia joined the European Union on May 1, 2004, based on a previous referendum in which 89.61% voted for joining the EU with 66% of the population participating. The process of integration into European structures was completed with the entry into the eurozone in January 2007 and the Schengen area in December 2007. The contractual basis between the Czech Republic and Slovenia is therefore determined by the EU single market.

Contracts with the Czech Republic

An overview of valid international agreements between the Czech Republic and Slovenia is available on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, see List of valid international agreements with the Czech Republic ).

Developmental cooperation

Slovenia has not received development aid since 2004, when it was reclassified by the World Bank from the group of developing countries to the group of developed countries. Slovenia thus became a net provider of development aid. Slovenia provides aid to poor countries within the framework of ODA (Official Development Agency) and bilateral agreements in the amount of approximately EUR 80 million per year, which represents 0.17% of the country’s GDP, with the goal of increasing the share to 0.33% of GDP by 2030.

On the basis of bilateral agreements, Slovenia provides development aid mainly to SEE countries: Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Albania and Kosovo. The assistance is focused on the area of ​​assistance in the management of state administration, management and planning of agriculture, infrastructure and the environment, assistance to SEE countries in joining the EU, etc.

Development cooperation projects and programs are implemented through several ministries and other institutions, whose founder or co-founder is the Slovenian government:

  • Center for European Perspective (CEP)
  • Center for Excellence in Finance (CEF)
  • ITF Enhancing Human Security – since 1998, the Czech Republic has also contributed annually to demining projects in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
  • Center for International Cooperation and Development (CMSR)

More information:

  • Department for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Assistance

Prospective fields of study (MOP)

Transport industry and infrastructure

In Slovenia, a number of infrastructure projects are underway aimed at the modernization and development of railway transport in accordance with the requirements of the trans-European transport network TEN-T or at the completion of the highway network that will connect the northern and southeastern parts of Slovenia. As part of the green transformation and Slovenia’s long-term strategy in the spirit of “Green-Safe-Creative”, the emphasis will continue to be placed on solutions that ensure sustainable mobility in all segments of transport, e.g. intermodality within urban public transport, the purchase of low-emission means of transport in urban and local transport, support for cycling, electromobility, etc.

Energy industry

On the basis of the adopted long-term climate strategy and the national energy and climate plan, Slovenia envisages investments in the field of energy infrastructure with a particular focus on renewable energy sources and nuclear energy. In 2021, the Ministry of Infrastructure of the Republic of Slovenia issued an energy permit for the construction project of the 2nd block of the Krško nuclear power plant, which will be an opportunity for the exchange of experience and know-how in the field of nuclear energy. The Slovenian government also presented other projects with the possibility of participation by Czech suppliers and subcontractors, which include, among others, the construction of the Mokrice hydroelectric power plant with a total project value of EUR 150 million, the Vodice–Ljublaň and Ajdovščina–Lucija gas pipelines, and the Cirkovce–Pince, Kamnik–Visoko long-distance lines and Gorica–Divača.

Defense industry

As part of the approved package of funds for the development of the Slovenian Defense Forces, a total of EUR 780 million has been allocated for the years 2021-2026. The Slovenian armed forces are interested in the acquisition of aircraft, helicopters, armored vehicles, unmanned systems, but also small arms and ammunition, radars, means of cyber protection and other equipment corresponding to NATO standards. There is also an interest in technology transfers, research and development cooperation and in general products with high added value.

Construction industry

In accordance with the intervention law, the Slovenian government is preparing for implementation a number of construction projects in the field of housing, residential and purpose-built construction. These are both residential buildings for rental purposes and purpose-built buildings in various sectors (e.g. culture, healthcare, justice, education, science, etc.) or industrial buildings. A number of private developers are also engaged in housing and residential construction in urban agglomerations. Czech companies will be able to participate either directly in the construction, or supply building materials, reinforced concrete structures, construction joinery and carpentry products or interior and exterior equipment.

ICT

In the framework of the national recovery plan and in long-term development strategies, Slovenia emphasizes digitization, cyber security and the development of artificial intelligence. Estimated investments in the coming years worth around EUR 465 million include the digitization of education, strengthening the digital competences of children and adults, digitization of healthcare (e-health), state administration processes (e-governmnent), increasing cyber security and supporting the digitization of the business sector.

Slovenia Trade