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Economy

Slovenia has a high-income developed economy which enjoys the highest GDP per capita of the new member states in the European Union, at $29,521 in 2008, or 91% of the EU average. Slovenia today is a developed country that enjoys prosperity and stability, as well as a GDP per capita substantially higher than that of the other transitioning economies of Central Europe. It benefits from a well-educated and productive work force, and its political and economic institutions are vigorous and effective.

Although Slovenia has taken a cautious, deliberate approach to economic management and reform, with heavy emphasis on achieving consensus before proceeding, its overall record is one of success. Slovenia's trade is oriented towards other EU countries, mainly Germany, Austria, Italy, and France. This is the result of a wholesale reorientation of trade toward the West and the growing markets of central and eastern Europe in the face of the collapse of its Yugoslav markets. Slovenia's economy is highly dependent on foreign trade. Trade equals about 120 % of GDP (exports and imports combined). About two-thirds of Slovenia's trade is with EU members. This high level of openness makes it extremely sensitive to economic conditions in its main trading partners and changes in its international price competitiveness. However, despite the economic slowdown in Europe in 2001–03, Slovenia maintained 3% GDP growth. Keeping labour costs in line with productivity is thus a key challenge for Slovenia's economic well-being, and Slovenian firms have responded by specializing in mid- to high-tech manufacturing. Industry and construction comprise over one-third of GDP. As in most industrial economies, services make up an increasing share of output (57.1%), notably in financial services.

A big portion of the economy remains in state hands and foreign direct investment (FDI) in Slovenia is one of the lowest in the EU per capita. Taxes are relatively high, the labor market is seen by business interests as being inflexible, and industries are losing sales to China, India, and elsewhere. Unemployment is relatively low; though it rose to 5.5% in 2009.

During the 2000s, privatizations were seen in the banking, telecommunications, and public utility sectors. Restrictions on foreign investment are being dismantled, and foreign direct investment (FDI) is expected to increase. Slovenia is the economic front-runner of the countries that joined the European Union in 2004, was the first new member which adopted the euro on 1 January 2007 and held the presidency of the European Union in the first half of 2008.

More information: http://www.mgrt.gov.si/en/ 

 

 

 

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