PROGRAMME FOR INVESTMENT
PROMOTION AND INTERNATIONALISATION OF
THE SLOVENIAN ECONOMY
Green. Creative. Smart.
AMBITIONS ON GLOBAL MARKETS WITH HIGHER ADDED VALUE
The Programme for Investment Promotion and Internationalisation of the Slovenian Economy sets ambitious objectives and clear strategic and efficient measures for a 5-year period (November 2021–December 2026) that are designed to ensure the long-term competitiveness and resilience of the Slovenian export economy and attract sustainability-oriented investment. The Programme focuses on three strategic fields: sustainability, innovation and digitalisation.
- To promote the competitiveness and resilience of Slovenian exports.
- To attract, support and retain foreign investors in Slovenia.
- To support Slovenian companies that invest abroad.
- To enhance the international visibility of the Slovenian economy.
- To improve the operations of the internationalisation support ecosystem.
Internationalisation is one of the key elements of current and future economic growth, which is why the Programme regards it as the central axis of Slovenian strategic development.
Because the Slovenian economy is small, open and export-oriented, it is dependent on the international situation, which varies significantly. Multilateralism and globalisation are acquiring different dimensions, while regionalisation and protectionism are gaining impetus, which has a significant impact on the European and, consequently, the Slovenian, flow of trade. The traditional sectors of the economy are experiencing ground-breaking technological and structural changes and these will have a significant effect on global competitiveness and, simultaneously, on the position of Slovenian companies in global value chains (GVCs).
The Programme for Investment Promotion and Internationalisation of the Slovenian Economy thus focuses on three strategic fields: sustainability, innovation and digitalisation. Companies generate high added value in these fields, and this represents greater export potential and attractiveness for foreign direct investments (FDIs).
The Programme was built on the strategic foundations of a green, creative and smart economy, and thus addresses the new conditions and the need for cooperation in the international environment. Great emphasis has been placed on the importance of research, development and innovation by promoting a green and digital transformation and a dynamic industrial policy. Finally, measures in various fields have been integrated to ensure the competitive internationalisation of the Slovenian economy.
The Programme focuses on the specialisation, niche orientation and specific industrial trends that are crucial for the successful realisation of the tasks, vision and objectives to be attained by the Slovenian economy. We envisage a gradual transformation of exports from traditional sectors to breakthrough fields that are based on the competitive advantages and opportunities of the Slovenian economy, knowledge, enabling technologies and integration.
The Programme sets ambitious objectives and clear strategic and efficient measures for a 5-year period (December 2021–November 2026) to ensure the long-term competitiveness and resilience of the Slovenian export economy and attract sustainability-oriented investment.
The main objectives of the Programme are:
- export dispersion and diversity,
- better positioning in global value chains,
- an increase in the number of exporters (especially SMEs),
- a reduction of the shortfall in the proportion of inward foreign direct investments in GDP compared to other EU countries,
- enhancement of Slovenian investments abroad,
- target-orientation and improvement of Slovenia’s visibility, and
- ecosystem efficiency.
We defined breakthrough fields, target sectors and markets in which diversity and geographical dispersion will be attained and on which we should focus to the greatest possible extent – regarding exports, and inward and outward investment. Special emphasis is placed on the promotion of SME exports and the export of the services and products of green, creative and smart solutions.
The Programme systematically defines measures for the promotion of Slovenian investment abroad (OFDI), which represents an important tool of internationalisation because such investment increases the global competitiveness of local companies and helps them to adapt to local and regional trends.
The content of the common EU external trade policy is also included as an integral part of internationalisation and measures for joint, targeted and proactive action to aid the Slovenian economy, also with regard to export credits and other financial assistance at the EU level. In this way, we wish to promote the more active integration of companies in the dispersion of export markets and increase the scope of exports to the markets of countries with which EU free trade agreements have been concluded.
To improve Slovenia’s visibility in the economic field, we have envisaged measures designed to enhance the present added value of Slovenian products or services and further contribute to the added value of economic operators.
The Programme geographically encompasses Slovenia’s common economic area, as the deepening of cooperation with the entrepreneurs of the Slovenian national community, and the economic, agricultural and other organised structures of Slovenians in neighbouring countries and around the world can contribute to the enhancement of the trans-border impact of the Slovenian economy and the promotion of FDI in Slovenia and vice versa.
Furthermore, we propose a clear structure and responsibilities for the implementation of tasks and competences within the internationalisation support ecosystem and integrate the ecosystem stakeholders and their measures into a more ambitious, prioritised and efficient attainment of the set key objectives.
Finally, we are sending a clear message to foreign companies and partners that they are welcome in Slovenia. We express Slovenia’s full commitment to operating as an open, reliable and trustworthy partner in international business transactions.
Due to convergence objectives and sectoral interdependencies, the internationalisation objectives of the Slovenian economy set in the Programme can only be attained by means of a cohesive development policy and measures that are compliant with the changes required to achieve recovery and a green and digital transition.
It is time to realise the strategic programme and set out on the desired path of transition with ambition.
The Slovenian export economy and investments are
green, creative and smart.
The Slovenian export-oriented economy based on green, creative and smart solutions is internationally recognised, attains higher added value and is thus positioned higher in the value chain. The vision encompasses numerous opportunities to exploit Slovenia’s competitive advantages and form a platform for an enhanced development of target positioning in the global economic sphere.
Photo: SPIRIT Slovenija
Excellent geostrategic position with access to a 700-million market in the region; favourable logistics routes and advantages from the aspect of security of supplies in GVC; close proximity to the primary trading partners.
High quality of life: exceptional satisfaction related to personal safety and welfare; the safest country in Europe (Numbeo 2021).
Environmentally friendly country: the socially responsible Slovenian economy is among the best in the world when it comes to environmental health and ecosystem vitality (Environmental Performance Index 2020).
2nd in Europe in regard to recycled municipal waste (Eurostat 2019.
9th least polluted country in the world (Numbeo’s Quality of Life Index 2021).
Renewable natural resources (wood, water), preserved environment.
3rd most forested country,
4th richest country in renewable freshwater resources per capita in Europe (Eurostat 2021).
Sustainable resource management: increasing the proportion of renewable energy and enabling the production of green goods and services.
Great potential for eco-innovation and growth of investment in sustainable development. 4th among EU Member States in eco-innovation inputs (Eco-Innovation Scoreboard 2021).
Increased global consumption and trust in Slovenian products and services (Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia, 2010 – 2019).
Energy efficient production of Slovenian goods (more than three quarters) (Eurobarometer 2017).
Response to climate change: 75% of respondents in the Eurobarometer survey adopted measures to fight climate change (Eurobarometer 2021).
RESPONSIBLE FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS
Slovenia will focus on an environmentally friendly economy and sustainable development and thus enhance economic growth, generate a better living environment for its inhabitants and co-create trends on the global level with green niche solutions.
It will encourage the economic breakthrough of the green economy by focusing on R&D of innovative green technologies, develop new sustainable business models, reduce the general consumption of resources and boost the circular economy.
It will become an advanced low-carbon society based on a circular economic model.
www.slovenia.info | Photo: Jošt Gantar
Society based on knowledge and technologies.
Investment of Slovenian companies in R&D rank above the EU average, resulting in technologically advanced products and solutions (European Innovation Scoreboard 2019).
Innovative: 32nd most innovative country in the world (Global Innovation Index 2021).
Creative and innovative products by numerous renowned Slovenian researchers, innovators and designers; high quality of industrial design and precious cultural heritage.
Innovative companies: 50% of Slovenian companies developed or introduced new products, processes or services between 2016 and 2018 (Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia, 2020).
100% tax relief for investments pertaining to R&D.
Research organisations with strong international cooperation.
One of the leading Central European countries with regard to patent application (Eurostat & European Patent Office 2020).
Attractive country for skilled workers (Global Talent Competitiveness Index 2021).
Talented and well-educated workforce: 56% of the active working population aged 25 to 64 have completed at least a secondary education, 31% have a university education and speak at least one foreign language (Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia, 2020; Eurostat 2017).
CREATIVE AND INNOVATIVE APPLIED SOLUTIONS WITH HIGHER ADDED VALUE
Slovenia will enhance R&D activities in order to innovate and develop new high-tech products and services with the potential to become leaders in the global niche markets.
Slovenia will promote the export of services and goods stemming from R&D and innovations, as well as applied solutions that result from development cooperation between Slovenian research organisations and companies.
Slovenia will encourage the internationalisation of innovative start-up and fast-growing companies, especially SMEs, and encourage young people to use their knowledge and talents creatively and generate a culture based on entrepreneurship and innovation.
Digital technologies: pioneers in blockchain technology, data mining, artificial intelligence and big data analysis.
High-tech and innovative economy: tradition and knowledge in the industry.
13th in the EU in the field of digital economy and society;
8th in the EU for incorporating digital technologies in companies <em><small>(DESI 2021)</small></em>.
Robotisation: smart products of the digital and robot-intensive economy (OECD Science, Technology and Industry Scoreboard 2017).
Export-oriented economy (77.9% of GDP in 2020).
Competitiveness, security and stability: 35th most competitive country in the world; leading in macroeconomic stability and one of the safest according to foreign investors (Global Competitive Index 2019, Global Peace Index 2019).
Niche solutions and markets: high-complexity of the Slovenian economy (capacity and knowledge in the context of new products); the country’s diverse and geographically dispersed exports (Economic Complexity Index 2019).
Economy open to foreign investors: 2nd among the OECD countries with least restrictions for FDI (OECD, FDI Regulatory Restrictiveness Index database 2020).
Business-friendly regulations: strong in cross-border trade, insolvency resolution, protection of minority investors and provision of electricity (Doing Business, World Bank Group 2020).
By investing in the development and digital transformation of society and the economy, Slovenia will generate conditions for the strategically competitive advantage of the Slovenian economy.
It will promote the introduction of innovative approaches to the application and implementation of digital technologies and trends and the development of smart solutions; it will also promote cooperation in foreign markets.
With its measures, Slovenia will contribute to the transformation of traditional industry into the knowledge industry, thereby co-creating trends with breakthrough solutions and competing in the global market.
SLOVENIA ON THE GLOBAL MAP
Slovenia’s key foreign trading partners in 2020
*Top 20 countries as per the value of exports.
*Top 15 countries as per top ultimate investing countries of foreign direct investment in Slovenia.
*Top eight countries as per Slovenian direct investments (OFDI) abroad.
THE MOST IMPORTANT COUNTRIES IN TERMS OF EXPORT VALUE
2016 – 2020
EXPORTS IN GDP
SME EXPORTS IN
DOMESTIC VALUE ADDED
SHARE OF GROSS EXPORTS
THE MOST IMPORTANT COUNTRIES IN TERMS OF EXPORT VALUE
2016 – 2021
Source: SURS, Bank of Slovenia, TiVA OECD; in millions of EUR
TOP ULTIMATE* INVESTING COUNTRIES OF FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT IN SLOVENIA
2016 – 2020
FDI IN GDP
FDI 2016 – 2020
Source: SURS, Bank of Slovenia; in millions of EUR
* Ultimate investing country is the country where ultimate investor which has control over investment in Slovenia is located. It may be different than the country of direct investor in cases of multinational corporations.
SLOVENIAN DIRECT INVESTMENT ABROAD
2016 – 2020
OFDI 2016 – 2020
Source: SURS, Bank of Slovenia; in millions of EUR
5 strategic objectives
22 operational objectives
69 specific measures
Photo: SPIRIT Slovenija
1. DIVERSE AND SUSTAINABLE EXPORTS
Increased added value, better positioning of Slovenian exports in GVCs and enhanced sustainability and diversification of exports.
Measures will promote the increased scope of exports as well as diversity in terms of sectors and company structure, especially SMEs, start-ups and fast-growing companies. Special attention will be dedicated to the promotion of exporting specialised, niche-oriented products and services, particularly those which have higher added value and are knowledge-based. By focusing on opportunity markets, we will reach the necessary diversification and de-concentration of exports, while enhancing our presence in priority markets. Exporters will be supported in all phases of their export activities.
OBJECTIVES IN NUMBERS
- 3% annual growth in the value of exports
- 2% annual export growth in GDP
- 1% annual export growth in favour of the non-EU markets
- 1% annual growth of SME exports in total exports
- 1% annual growth of export companies
- 1% annual growth in the domestic value added share of gross exports
The priority export sectors are those in which Slovenia has a distinguishing competitive advantage and are linked with the following product groups with the greatest demand in the target markets.
- medicine and pharmacy
- advanced automotive industry and mobility
- manufacture of machinery and metal products
- food and beverages
- information and communication technologies
- manufacture of electrical equipment
Bosna and Herzegovina
United States of America
United Arab Emirates
1. Greater scope and diversity of exports
- Consultancy and information regarding exports through the Single Point for Exporters and Investors (SPOT Global)
- International certification
- Market research and analysis of foreign markets for exporters
- Export lead generation
- Training for exporters
- Establishment of bridges with global hubs for start-up and scale-up companies and training of companies abroad
- Support for exports from commercial departments abroad
- Partnership promotion for SMEs for more efficient launches in foreign markets
- Co-financing exporter participation at industry export events
- Financial instruments to support exports
- Promotion of export diversification with the help of concessional loans
- Support for efficient export projects with a feasibility study
- Enhancement of Slovenia’s international development cooperation in the business field
2. Enhanced specialised export of green, creative and smart products and services, especially from SMEs
- Support for sustainable business and the digital transformation of export SMEs
- Organisation of industry events to promote green, creative and smart exports
- Enhancement of brands by green, creative and smart companies or solutions
3. Enhanced exports of services
- Special training for exporters of services, particularly in key sectors/breakthrough fields
- Organisation of industry events to promote the export of services
4. Improved exports by SMEs with the help of digitalisation and digital marketing
- Support for the online sale and distribution of green, creative and smart products
- Digitalisation of export SMEs (digital business models)
- Digitalisation of sales channels and presentation and marketing materials for promotion in foreign
5. Improved internationalisation of breakthrough solutions arising from R&D and innovations
- Support for development internationalisation
- R&D pilot programmes and demonstration projects
2. SUSTAINABILITY-ORIENTED FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENTS WITH HIGH ADDED VALUE
The strategic and target-oriented support for foreign direct investment with the emphasis on the vision of “Green. Creative. Smart.” is founded on a balanced and sustainable regional development and rational spatial planning.
Slovenia has a clear vision regarding the attraction of foreign direct investments (FDI) and strategic and target-oriented support that is based on balanced and sustainable regional development and rational spatial planning. It will strive to attract socially responsible and sustainability-oriented foreign companies with investment projects of higher added value, which will contribute to the increase of competence of our workforce, positively affect innovation, technological development and the environment, and contribute to a balanced regional development. Furthermore, Slovenia will try to attract investors who will open their R&D departments in Slovenia, and investments which will enable the integration and the most advantageous possible position for our suppliers in GVCs.
OBJECTIVES IN NUMBERS
- 5% annual growth of inward FDI in GDP
- 9% share of companies with FDI
The relevant sectors are the pillars of the Slovenian economy, the sectors in which Slovenia has natural resources available, a qualified workforce and a general competitive advantage. On the one hand, the foregoing enables the formation of an attractive offer for investors, who can combine several value chains by means of one entry and, on the other hand, increases locally generated added value as a result of FDI.
- advanced automotive industry and mobility
- manufacture of computer, electronic and optical devices
- manufacture of electrical equipment
- wood industry
- tourism and leisure
United States of America
1. The establishment of Slovenia as an attractive environment for green, creative and smart investments by means of expert support to investors, target-oriented and globally communicated incentives, tax relief schemes and aftercare programmes
- Investment support from commercial departments abroad, including the Single Point for Exporters and Investors (SPOT Global)
- Participation at industry investment events
- Case management
- Incentives for investments as per the Investment Promotion Act
- Investment tax allowance
- Financial incentives within the Climate Change Fund
- Green finance
- Aftercare programme
2. Strategic coherence of investments and maximisation of social benefits
- Investor screening
- Monitoring and reporting on the impacts of supported investments (planned – actual)
3. Promoting functionally degraded areas for brownfield investments with a view to their revitalisation and for better, targeted use of space
- Definition of functionally degraded areas
- Preparation of promotional materials for brownfield locations
4. Diverse selection of foreign investors in the sense of sectors and geographical areas
- Investment lead generation
- Preparation of materials tailored to selected investment opportunities in priority sectors and breakthrough fields
5. Attracting development departments and innovation potential of foreign companies
- 100% tax incentives for investment in R&D
6. Attracting foreign scale-up companies to Slovenia
- Establishment of a softlanding centre for foreign scale-up companies
3. SLOVENIAN INVESTMENTS PROMOTED ABROAD
Enhanced green, creative and smart investing by Slovenian companies abroad.
Slovenian investments abroad (OFDI) increase the global competitiveness of local companies and promote their adjustment to local and regional trends. Because outward foreign direct investment is one of the key instruments for export growth and the enhancement of added value of the export economy, suitable measures will strengthen the green, creative and smart investing of Slovenian companies abroad. An additional intention is to establish own value chains and utilise the advantages posed by this form of internationalisation.
OBJECTIVE IN NUMBERS
- 5% annual growth of Slovenian outward FDI in GDP
1. Diversification of Slovenian OFDI markets, particularly in the already existing unexploited export markets
- Consultancy and information regarding investments through the Single Point for Exporters and Investors (SPOT Global)
- Support for investments from commercial departments abroad
2. Increased investment activity of green, creative and smart SMEs
- Specialised training for SMEs planning green, creative or smart investments
3. Improving capacities of Slovenian companies for OFDI and increasing risk appetite
- Financial instruments to support OFDI
4. SLOVENIA AS A RECOGNISED ECONOMIC BRAND
The improved international, regional and, above all, niche visibility of Slovenia as a green, creative and smart economy, an attractive destination for foreign investors, and a high-quality and reliable business partner in Central and South-East Europe.
Greater visibility of Slovenia through its national brand, “I feel Slovenia”, and the communication campaign, “Green. Creative. Smart.”, which serve as the public image foundation for the internationalisation of the Slovenian economy, will have a significant impact on the perceived added value of Slovenian products or services, and will enable a higher added value for economic operators. The campaign highlights Slovenia’s key competitive advantages in the niche fields of a green and circular economy, environmental technologies, robotisation, mobility, digitalisation, space and other high technologies, research and development, science and creative industries. The communication campaign and other measures will contribute to enhancing Slovenia’s visibility as a technologically developed, creativity-oriented and green country and to its positive image, the promotion of a stable and advanced business environment, and the promotion of green, innovative and smart solutions developed by Slovenian companies.
OBJECTIVE IN NUMBERS
- 15 markets a year reached by the measures for information and visibility enhancement (measuring global reach)
1. Increased global visibility of the Slovenian economy through the national communication campaign, “I feel Slovenia. Green. Creative. Smart.”
- Communication campaign, “Green. Creative. Smart.”
- Development of a comprehensive web portal to support internationalisation
- Development of the identity, “Green. Creative. Smart.”
- Definition of Slovenian green, creative and smart solutions and products to support the “Green. Creative. Smart.” campaign
- Annual awards for green, creative and smart companies
- Ambassadors of the communication campaign, “Green. Creative. Smart.”
5. EXCELLENT SUPPORT ECOSYSTEM
Coordinated implementation, improved capacities and service quality of the internationalisation support ecosystem.
To attain the objectives of the Programme, a high-quality and efficient internationalisation support ecosystem is of exceptional importance. The Programme includes the guidelines for a comprehensive coordination of the internationalisation policy provider and complementary activities of the central authority and other ecosystem stakeholders. The support system pursues three fundamental principles:
- clearly defined responsibility,
- simplified structure,
- cooperation and partnership.
Important measures include the training of ecosystem stakeholders who work with exporters and investors, a system of planning, monitoring and reporting with digital support, the expansion of the Programme’s activities to the common Slovenian economic area from the aspect of internationalisation (Slovenians living abroad), enhancement of the role of international development cooperation from the economic viewpoint, and expansion and enhancement of the network of commercial departments abroad.
An important element of aid to the Slovenian economy is also an enhanced and proactive cooperation of competent ecosystem stakeholders in individual international institutions and EU external trade policy, including in the field of export credits and other financial assistance at the EU level.
The internationalisation support ecosystem consists of both public and private stakeholders who conform to the substantive concept of the Programme.
1. Improve the competence of staff working with exporters and investors
- Joint capacity building and training syllabus
- Job shadowing
- Training for employees within the internationalisation support ecosystem (except training for economic advisers)
2. Improved functioning of the internationalisation support ecosystem with a clear structure, efficient instruments, simplified processes and optimised division of roles and responsibilities (at the national and regional levels)
- Intensification of the use of available instruments
- Enhanced role of the Council for Internationalisation
- Harmonised operations of competent stakeholders in the field of international development cooperation from the economic aspect
- Harmonised activities of stakeholders to enhance and develop new markets
- Site inventories for siting investments
3. Enhanced ecosystem network to support internationalisation abroad based on improved business skills, dedication and professionalism
- Enhancement and expansion of the network of commercial departments abroad
- Training of representatives of the commercial departments abroad
4. Enhanced and proactive cooperation of ecosystem stakeholders in certain international institutions and foreign trade policy
- Active co-creation of the common EU trade policy, ensuring compliance with WTO rules and raising awareness of companies about EU trade policy
- Intensive co-creation of competitive rules for financing exports
- Implementation of the IWG process
- Monitoring practices and conditions of new economies outside the EU and OECD and their selective implementation
5. Improved performance monitoring and planning of capacities of the internationalisation support ecosystem founded on independent learning and ongoing improvement
- Introduction of a monitoring framework
- Customer relations management system (CRM) for the internationalisation support ecosystem
6. Improved analytical capacities of the internationalisation support ecosystem
- Macroeconomic research and analyses
7. An internationalisation support ecosystem that is recession-proof and supported by suitable counter-cyclical measures
- Early warning system (EWS)
- Forecasting labour market needs and conditions by regions
- Upgrading SPOT Global to SPOT Global Plus
By the end of 2026, Slovenia will be a dynamic, resilient and competitive export country. With green, creative and smart products and services, the Slovenian economy will co-create trends in foreign markets. It will be internationally visible and placed higher in value chains.
In 2026, Slovenia will generate EUR 43.5 billion worth of goods and services, and exports will account for 89.9% of GDP. The proportion of total domestic added value in exports will amount to 69.8%.
The number of export companies will increase to more than 28,000, while the proportion of SME exports in total exports will total 43.9%. The dependence on traditional markets will decrease with the increase of the proportion of exports to non-EU markets to 31%.
Slovenia will become an attractive destination for foreign investors. It will reduce the shortfall in the proportion of inward foreign direct investments compared to other EU countries and thus increase the proportion of FDI in GDP to 44.9%.
Slovenia will be a reliable business partner in Central and South-East Europe. It will expand investment to other markets and reach 23.8% of Slovenian investments abroad as a proportion of GDP.
www.slovenia.info Photo: Jošt Gantar
Ministrstvo za gospodarski razvoj in tehnologijo, Kotnikova 5, SI-1000 Ljubljana | Produkcija in kreativna zasnova: Hiša Idej, inovativna skupina d.o.o.