Slovenia is completely open to foreign investment, in accordance with the principles of the European Union and the OECD, and does not discriminate between national and foreign investors. According to UNCTAD's 2022 World Investment Report, FDI inflows to Slovenia decreased from just USD 206 million in 2020 to over USD 1.5 billion in 2021, reaching a level higher than those recorded before the COVID-19 crisis. The total stock of FDI was estimated at USD 20 billion, around 32.6% of the country’s GDP. In regional terms, the highest concentration of FDI inflow is in the region of Central Slovenia, while Croatia was the largest investor in Slovenia in 2021. At the end of the same year, firms with FDI accounted for 1.9% of the entire population of Slovenian firms (excluding financial intermediaries), but more than a quarter of their balance sheet total (Statistics Slovenia). The stock of inward FDI from EU Member States amounted to EUR 14.5 billion at the end of 2021. According to data from OECD, the majority of FDI stocks in Slovenia come from Austria, Luxembourg, Switzerland, and Germany. However, Germany holds the majority of indirect investments in Slovenia via Austrian subsidiaries; while the U.S. is also an important investor, with the majority of the investments being held indirectly via subsidiaries in Luxembourg, Sweden, Germany, and Switzerland. The sectors that attract the most FDI are manufacturing, financial and insurance services, wholesale and retail, and real estate. According to the latest figures from OECD, in the first semester of 2022, FDI inflows totalled USD 1.16 billion, down from USD 1.5 billion recorded in the same period one year earlier.
The country has a strategic location by the Adriatic Sea, along with developed infrastructures and a well-educated workforce. The national government recently introduced a screening mechanism for FDIs even for EU persons, which are obliged to notify the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology of any significant investment in Slovenia in certain strategic sectors (including infrastructure, technologies, and dual-use items, the supply of critical resources, media, etc.). In recent years, Slovenia’s economy grew faster than most other EU member states, and the country has enjoyed rising incomes, growing domestic consumption, falling unemployment, low inflation, and burgeoning consumer confidence. However, around one-fourth of Slovenia’s economy remains state-owned or state-controlled, and foreign investors reported the lack of transparency in economic and commercial decision-making, time-consuming bureaucratic procedures, opaque public tender processes, regulatory red tape, and a heavy tax burden for high earners as the main factors hindering FDIs. Slovenia ranks 31st out of 82 countries in the Economist Business Environment ranking; 33rd out of 132 in the 2022 Global Innovation Index and 41st out of 180 in the Corruption Perception Index.
|Foreign Direct Investment||2020||2021||2022|
|FDI Inward Flow (million USD)||220||1,773||1,622|
|FDI Stock (million USD)||20,448||20,836||21,103|
|Number of Greenfield Investments*||12||11||12|
|Value of Greenfield Investments (million USD)||479||108||443|
Source: UNCTAD - Latest available data.
Note: * Greenfield Investments are a form of Foreign Direct Investment where a parent company starts a new venture in a foreign country by constructing new operational facilities from the ground up.
Slovenia has many assets including:
Slovenia still faces a number of challenges, slowing the attractiveness of FDI, including:
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Latest Update: September 2023