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Slovenia in globalised world

Globalisation offers Slovenia an opportunity to develop an active strategy to draw profit from its advantages and at the same time to share responsibility for the control of globalisation-related risks at the international level. In the preparatory phase of the strategy addressing globalisation-related challenges, it is reasonable that small countries give priority to joining regional organisations and use them as a vehicle for connecting global production systems, as well as world trade and finance.

The rate of internationalisation of the Slovenian economy, measured by the average export and import share of GDP, is relatively high, which is characteristic of small countries, and is increasing. This is mainly because of the greater integration of the trade in goods in international trade flows, while the share of trade in services in GDP has remained relatively low.

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According to the Slovenian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, in 2006 the most important Slovenian exporters were: Revoz, Gorenje, Krka, Lek, Impol, Sava Tyres, Cimos, Prevent Global, and Adria Mobil.

The regional structure of Slovenian exports indicates that most Slovenian goods are exported to EU countries. The share of trade between Slovenia and the EU in the total foreign goods trade had reached relatively high levels even prior to Slovenia’s EU membership. Slovenia’s membership of the EU has further accelerated the growth in trade.

EU membership in 2004 brought changes to foreign trade policy, as the Slovenian market became part of the internal EU market, while Slovenia adopted common EU trade policies. For Slovenia, the adoption of EU foreign trade policy meant not only that it accepted the common customs tariff and that trade in sensitive products became free, but also that border controls and procedures were abolished, which in turn lowered costs.

Foreign investment

Slovenia seems to be a safe haven, a genuinely tranquil spot amid the wild winds of investment. Business risk evaluations present Slovenia as the lowest risk country of the Central and Eastern European transition countries. It has advanced substantially in implementing a legal framework for a market economy. Slovenia’s open-minded business environment offers great opportunities for investment.

The business and investment environment in Slovenia is gradually improving. Apart from a well-educated labour force, Slovenia has in recent years increased investment in the improvement of industrial zones, and systematically eliminated administrative obstacles to business and investment, which is reflected by a slight increase in inward and outward direct investment in 2006. At the beginning of August 2005, the Government approved a plan to stimulate direct foreign investment for the period 2005-2009.

Another important indicator of how the Slovenian economy is integrated into the international business environment is the direct investment by foreign investors in Slovenia (inward investment) and of Slovenian investors abroad (outward investment). In the period 1995-2005, the share of inward investment as a percentage of GDP increased from 9.5% to 21.9%, while the share of outward investment went from 2.6% to 10.9%. The record year for inward investment was 2002, largely because of the partial privatisation of the Nova Ljubljanska banka bank and the take-over of the Lek pharmaceutical company.

The inflow of foreign investment in the following years was relatively lower. Since 2000, outward investment has been constantly and rapidly increasing, and to a large extent has focused on the countries of the former Yugoslavia, new EU members and Russia. EU membership, and particularly the adoption of the common currency, offer opportunities for an increase in foreign investment, as business risks are reduced and new investment opportunities arise. With the improvement in conditions for investment, the business environment and the implementation of the policy for the stimulation of foreign investment, Slovenia will become a more attractive destination for investors.


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