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Why Slovenia is attracting British investors

Posted: 10th January 2018

British companies are showing a greater interest in Slovenia than ever before.

This forward-thinking country in Central Eastern Europe (CEE) has always been investing in R&D and is now pursuing a Smart Specialisation Strategy. This combined with many other advantages have made Slovenia a very attractive place to invest and do business.

Slovenia occupies a strategic location in the North Adriatic, where the Mediterranean and Baltic corridors intersect. It has been a democracy since 1991 and is politically stable, with comparatively low business costs and a highly productive, educated workforce.

It’s easy to set up a company in Slovenia and it was in the Forbes top 20 countries to do business 2016. There’s a strong culture of innovation here, and the country is home to many R&D hubs.

Aleš Cantarutti, State Secretary for Economic Development and Technology, is coming to Edinburgh in March to outline the country’s potential and opportunities. Speaking at a recent conference in London, he said: “With recent successful FDIs in Slovenia and GDP growth at its highest since 2008 and still growing, we believe that our country is an excellent starting point for doing business in the CEE region, especially due to its excellent geostrategic position, great infrastructure, ICT knowledge and language skills, and highly educated workforce.”

Slovenia’s Smart Specialisation Strategy

The Government of the Republic of Slovenia is making Slovenia an exemplary model of green values in Europe and proving that collaboration between the business sector, science and the government can improve people’s lives through the introduction of digital solutions.

The Slovenian Smart Specialisations Strategy (S4) is structured on several layers. Three priority pillars have been identified with nine areas of application:

  • Digital – 1) Smart cities and communities, 2) Smart buildings and homes, including wood chain;
  • Circular – 3) Networks for transition into the circular economy, 4) Sustainable food production, 5) Sustainable tourism;
  • (S) Industry 4.0 – 6) Factories of the future, 7) Health/medicine, 8) Mobility, 9) Development of materials as products.

Smart cities

The smart city concept has been gaining global recognition in recent years. In fact, the Scottish Government recently announced that £10 million had been allocated to support innovative technologies for smart cities.

Basically, a smart city is an urban area or community where technology is used to ensure that resources and assets, such as power supply, transport, law enforcement, healthcare and schools are used as efficiently as possible. In recent years, the ‘smart city 3.0’ concept has been adopted which looks beyond technology to include social inclusion, democracy, enterprise creation and building social capital.

The main objectives for Slovenia’s smart city strategy cover the areas of health, energy, mobility, transport and logistics, security, quality of urban living and smart city ecosystems linking data services and products. In terms of ICT, it is focusing on digital transformation, the Internet of Things, the Internet of Services and cyber security.

Success depends on the interconnection of different fields and is reliant on partnerships known as strategic research and innovation partnerships (SRIPs). In Slovenia, SRIPs are bottom-up initiatives facilitating cooperation and integration with a wide range of stakeholders, including SMEs, which are built on the coordination of R&D activities, sharing capacity, the development of human resources, and the exchange of knowledge and experience.

To find out more

For more information on investment in Slovenia, please come to our conference in Edinburgh on 6 March 2018, or contact the British-Slovenian Chamber of Commerce http://www.bscc.si/ or SPIRIT Slovenia http://www.spiritslovenia.si/en

Business Comment

Business Comment is the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce’s bi-monthly magazine. It provides insight on Edinburgh’s vibrant business community, with features on the city’s key sectors, interviews with leading figures and news on new business developments in the capital.
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