Slovenia officially the Republic of Slovenia is a nation state on the Adriatic Sea, bordering Italy to the west, Austria to the north, Croatia to the south and southeast, and Hungary to the northeast. It covers 20,273 square kilometers (7,827 sq mi) and has a population of 2.05 million. It is a parliamentary republic and a member of the European Union and NATO.

The 12 statistical regions have no administrative function and are subdivided into two macroregions for the purpose of the Regional policy of the European Union. These two macroregions are:
East Slovenia (Vzhodna Slovenija), which groups the Mura, Drava, Carinthia, Savinja, Central Sava, Lower Sava, Southeast Slovenia, and Inner Carniola–Karst statistical regions.
West Slovenia (Zahodna Slovenija), which groups the Central Slovenia, Upper Carniola, Gorizia, and Coastal–Karst statistical regions.

Basic data

Capital: Ljubljana
Area: 20,273 km2
Population: 2,06 million
Population density: 101/km2 ; 262/sq mi
Official language: Slovenian, Italian and Hungarian at the territories, where Italian and Hungarian minorities live

Economic data and labor market

GDP (€): 35.466 million EUR (2012)
GDP per capita (€): 17.244 EUR (2012)
Exports (€): 21.212.960 EUR (between january 14-nov 14)
Imports (€): 20.868.353 EUR(between january 14-nov 14)
Unemployed: 11%

Economic activities in the region

Automotive industry

Slovenia’s automotive industry generates one tenth of the country’s GDP and accounts for 15% of its exports of goods. Slovenian companies have achieved compliance with all EU green and safety requirements and supply the international industry leaders. German carmakers Audi, BMW, Daimler, VW, as well as MAN, and Ford in Germany account for some 40% of car component exports, followed by France, Italy, Austria, the UK, and the USA. Reliability of the vehicles that roll off the assembly lines of Renault, PSA, Brosse; Lombardini, Landini, Fiat and Magna Steyr gives credit also to suppliers from Slovenia.

Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals

Slovenia’s manufacturers of pharmaceuticals and chemical products are the country’s most successful companies thanks to a long tradition of the chemical industry in this part of Europe. The human capital led to the successful evolution of the industry from the manufacturing of basic chemicals to the manufacturing of finished consumer goods: pharmaceutical and cosmetic products, pesticides, and rubber and plastic products. Knowledge and skills of some 26,000 employees in over 700 companies make the Slovenia’s manufacturers of pharmaceuticals and chemical products highly successful in key export markets.

 The local chemical and pharmaceutical industry accounts for a hefty portion of the country's export mix with 72% of sales earned in foreign markets. Pharmaceuticals are the backbone of the export mix of the chemicals industry, tyres and inner tubes for vehicles come second followed by plastics. Pharmaceuticals and chemicals consumer products as well as tires from Slovenia are very popular on the markets of the new EU Member States, central and south-eastern Europe and CIS countries. Considerable spending on medicines, high standard of healthcare and general health awareness will continue to drive demand for innovative treatments making Slovenia attractive as a destination for pharmaceuticals. Lek (Sandoz Group) and Krka remain the top performers of the pharmaceuticals industry. With the combined 6,800-strong staff they are the leading producers of generic drugs in the region.

Complex processing technologies, substantial investment, flexibility and ability to provide customers with the right product on short notice are the qualities that keep Slovenian pharmaceutical and chemical companies abreast of competitors. Renowned domestic and foreign companies in the chemicals sector specialise in the production of paints, varnishes, coatings, synthetic fibres and other chemical products. Household names are Helios, Color, Jub, Cinkarna, Julon (Gruppo Bonazzi) and Henkel. Sava Tires, wholly owned by the Goodyear Dunlop Tires Europe, is the only tyre manufacturer in Slovenia and it makes tyres for Sava and for other Goodyear mid and premium brands highly appreciated by motorists in central and south-eastern Europe, as well as further east.

Machining & Metalworking

Experience and knowledge of employees give companies an edge through innovative solutions that translate to continuing improvements of manufacturing processes, efficient technology practice and green engineering. The fact that some 50,000 people work in over 2,600 machining and tooling companies explains the progress in the development of modern technologies and their application to a lean-manufacturing environment. The CE conformity marking affixed to the »Made in Slovenia« products speak of a high level of metalworking technology, machine tools and precision engineering found in Slovenia. Slovenian manufacturers are moving to the fore of the international supply chains as slow stamping-press speeds and frequent die crashes are regarded as not acceptable.

The manufacture of all kinds of fabricated metal products and machined parts accounts for 60.5% of revenue earned in foreign markets and with 3.9 billion euros in exports in 2011, the sector generated over 23% of total Slovenian exports of the manufacturing sector. The EU Member States remain Slovenia’s biggest market and thanks to the decades of fostering economic links with its neighbours, Slovenia keeps expanding trade with the markets in the region. The leading Slovenian machining and tooling companies are among the most important foreign investors in the markets of south-eastern Europe (SEE) and it is a clear benefit for their international business partners.

The companies working in the metal forming and metal fabrication industry co-operate in clusters, professional associations, universities, research institutes, supporting fundamental and applied research that address technological barriers facing the industry. Designers and manufacturers of tools have been at the forefront of the industry providing a platform for toolmaking companies with CAD/CAM/CAE designed and manufactured tooling. Other companies benefit from comprehensive hi-tech solutions to increase productivity and speed delivery. These are large, as well as medium and small enterprises, well-known in the EU working to specifications of leading manufacturers in the automotive and aviation industry (Audi, Benteler, BMW, Chrysler, Alfa, Magna, Mercedes, PSA Group, VW), and non-metal industry sectors such as household appliances and IT.

Wood processing

Slovenia’s reputation as the third country in Europe after Finland and Sweden with over 60 per cent of its territory under forests explains why woodworking industry has always been important. Cabinet, furniture, millwork and custom woodworking manufacturers tap the local skills heritage. The industry employs some 12,000 people in nearly 900 companies – bedrock of skills and technical expertise.

 There is a full product range of both mechanical and chemical processing. The mechanical branch comprises milling, manufacturing of plywood and particle board, and fabrication of furniture and timber components for the construction industry. Pulp and paper, cardboard, and packaging materials are products of the chemical branch and there are companies producing surface coatings. The production of biofuel from biomass uses waste and residues from forestry and related industries. The fact that the energy demand of the woodworking industry is low offers future opportunities in the trading scheme designed to foster CO2 emission reduction.

 It is important to raise the level of use of wood per inhabitant of Slovenia but before architects and their clients »rediscover« wood, foreign markets remain essential for the earnings of local companies with exports accounting for nearly 48% of all revenues.

 National and international projects in the area of wood material science and engineering in the forest-based value chains provide a platform for networking and integration of research activities and Slovenian organizations and institutions have been highly pro-active participants. The Furniture and Wood-Processing Industry Association is responsible for the strategic industry project »FOREST and WOOD for sustainable development of Slovenia«, that links the entire forestry-wood chain from owners of woods to forestry, wood-processing and furniture industry and to craft.


The ICT sector in Slovenia employs today more than 20,000 people in some 2,600 companies. The fast development of the ICT manufacturing and services in Slovenia is a result of systematic human development, well-developed ICT infrastructure and government commitment to boosting the ICT sector as one of the national development priorities. The role played by the ICT to Slovenia’s export mix is extremely important. ICT-related export figures have risen sharply. In 2011, the average annual export growth rate was 9%. Exporters of telecommunications services account for 27% of overall industry exports followed by providers of IT services. Continuous development and innovation in ICT lead to original technological solutions that are becoming an indispensable part of the operations of successful companies around the world and in the everyday life of individuals. Access control products, computer terminals, keyboard and touch monitor modules, rich media mobile advertising applications, 3D visualization and imaging tools, numerous applications for smart phones are just some examples of products produces by successful Slovenian ICT companies used in banking, insurance, tourism, telecommunications, publishing, advertising, medicine and other sectors.

Internationalization of the region

Slovenia's economy is highly dependent on international trade. The ratio of merchandise trade (imports and exports) to GDP is one of the highest in the region.

In the early 1990s Slovenia, faced with the loss of Yugoslav markets and the breakdown of transport and communications to south-eastern Europe, reoriented trade towards the EU and associated countries; these now account for over two thirds of Slovenia's trade. Pre-transition trade links have not disappeared, however; by 2000, the decline of trade with countries of the former Yugoslavia and Russia had been halted.

Main trading partners, 2011 (% of total)

Export Markets

EUR million

Import Markets

EUR million





















Russian Federation






The Netherlands




Czech Republic






Bosnia & Herzegovina




United Kingdom




The Netherlands




TOTAL export


TOTAL import


The product composition of merchandise trade, still dominated by semi-finished and intermediate manufacturing goods, is shifting gradually. The shares of textiles, clothing and steel in merchandise exports are declining slightly, while those of automotive products, electronics and pharmaceuticals are increasing.


Main trading products by divisions of the SITC, 2011

Exports of groups of goods 

as % of total

Imports of groups of goods 

as % of total

Road vehicles


Petroleum & petroleum products


Electrical machinery, apparatus & appliances


Road vehicles


Medical & pharmaceutical products


Electrical machinery, apparatus & appliances


General industrial machinery


Iron & steel


Metal products


General industrial machinery


Iron & steel


Non-ferrous metal


Miscellaneous manufactured articles


Medical & pharmaceutical products


Non-ferrous metals


Manufactures of metal




Miscellaneous manufactured articles


 In recent years the structure of Slovenian commodity exports has shifted in favour of products that use technology and human resources most intensively.

Communications and logistics routes

ICT infrastructure

Fixed telecommunications services

Telekom Slovenije is the largest provider of fixed telephony services in Slovenia, however there are another 24 providers of publicaly available national and international telecommunication services provided at fixed location. The price level of its services does not significantly differ from that of EU countries. The prices of national calls are low compared to the EU average and due to the existence of competition prices of international calls are very low as well.

Mobile telecommunications services

Mobile services in Slovenia are very well developed. Currently there are 6 competing mobile network operators:

  • Mobitel (brand name of Telekom Slovenije d.d.)
  • SI.mobil d.d
  • Tušmobil d.o.o.
  • Debitel d.d.
  • Izi mobil d.d.
  • T-2 d.o.o.

 GSM coverage in Slovenia (99.7%) is one of the highest among the new EU members. UMTS is also well developed (85.5%).


The internet is well developed in terms of high internet penetration, household internet access penetration, number of ISPs and number of hosts per inhabitant. Internet access costs are not high and flat rate internet access is available for residential users. In 2010, Slovenia had 57 internet service providers and 64 cable and satellite service providers.

Type of Internet connection in households (households can use different types of Internet connection), 1st quarter 2011

  • Narrowband connection (households using only narrowband connection: modem, ISDN, GPRS, WAP): 5%
  • Broadband connection (DSL, cable, UMTS, other): 67%
  • Modem: 2%
  • ISDN: 4%
  • WAP, GPRS: 20%
  • xDSL: 31%
  • Cable connection: 25%
  • 3G mobile phone (UMTS, HSDPA): 20%
  • Other broadband connection (optic fiber, WiFi, 3G modem): 28% 

Almost 45 % of all Internet users have already made a purchase over the Internet in the year 2010.


The public administration – under which we include all government institutions, ministries, administrative units, municipalities, universities, libraries, etc. – is spreading the offer of its services on the websites, from offering basic information to the conclusion of entire service via the Internet.


With its transport and infrastructure, Slovenia has all the attributes of one of the best logistic and distribution locations in the northern Adriatic region. Slovenia’s strategic geopolitical position and decades of trading with the countries of central, east and south-eastern Europe make it a location of choice for the distribution of goods to the EU’s 500 million consumer market and to the emerging markets of East and South-eastern Europe.

 Two pan-European Transport Corridors that link west and east (V) and north and south (X) intersect on the Slovenian territory. The motorway density in Slovenia is above EU-27 average and Slovenia is easily reached from anywhere in Europe by car or lorry within a day or two. Currently, there are over 700 km of well-maintained motorways and over 1,000 km of trunk roads.

 Slovenia’s coastline of the northern Adriatic Sea links it to the Mediterranean for goods which transit via Suez and Gibraltar. The Port of Koper provides an unrivalled access to mainland Europe and particularly to the land-locked Central European countries to send and receive goods by sea. Shipping to the Port of Koper from Asia means gaining up to ten days on cargo ships bound for Europe’s northern ports. The port facilities comprise 11 modern and fully equipped specialised terminals, indoor and outdoor warehouses for general cargo and custom-built warehouses.

 Freight traffic is well developed, and the rail links between the Adriatic Sea and the landlocked CEE countries offer plenty of opportunities. The national rail operator Slovenian Railways (SŽ) runs both passenger and freight service and operates railway infrastructure including 60,000 m2 of warehouses.

 Ljubljana International Airport, 25 km from Slovenia’s capital city handles passengers and cargo. Several airlines operate scheduled flights to all important European destinations. The airport has been recently renovated, its infrastructure extended and the cargo terminal modernised.

Slovenia offers unparallel expertise and knowledge of transportation, distribution, warehousing, retailing and IT services at reasonable cost. Industrial space for-lease or build-to-suit sites for distribution, warehouses, manufacture, office and retail needs are available for setting up a successful business. Running the process of planning, storing, and controlling the flow of goods, services, and related information calls for well educated and highly skilled workforce and Slovenia has it all. In the sector, there are nearly 23,000 employees in about 2,400 companies.

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