Business and Economics
During the beginning of the 1990s, Slovenia’s economy showed stable growth. After 2009, however, it was adversely affected by a rapidly increasing budget deficit. Furthermore, the international financial crisis has had drastic consequences for the national banks, which during the good years have devoted themselves to unsecured lending. Since many borrowers have not been able to pay interest and amortization, several of the major banks have been in acute financial crisis.
In 2013, the country’s financial problems became so great that it was forced to adopt a crisis budget to avoid taking external loans, among other things, the state decided to set up a so-called bank emergency.
As the country is highly export dependent, it is also heavily dependent on the economic development of the country’s export markets, mainly Germany. Slovenia joined the EU in 2004 and joined the euro area in 2007.
Until independence, Slovenia was the state of former Yugoslavia that had the most developed business and the strongest economy. The then state accounted for a large proportion of the former Yugoslav GDP and export trade, in proportion to its size. Furthermore, Slovenia had already started to develop the market economy in the mid-1980s and had about 40,000 private companies. Despite this relatively favorable starting point, the country’s business sector experienced major problems at independence in 1991, mainly due to the country’s main markets in former Yugoslavia falling away as a result of the Yugoslav wars.
However, since the mid-1990s, the economy has steadily improved. The country’s GDP has shown good growth. Compared to other new EU countries, the country has a low proportion of foreign investment, and to change this, in 2002 all restrictions on foreign investment were removed. As a result, investments have increased, while Slovenian investments in neighboring countries, mainly in the Balkan Peninsula, have increased.
Agriculture plays a secondary role in the country’s economy. The small farming units still dominate, often in the form of part-time farming. About 2/3 of the country’s agricultural area is occupied by meadow and pasture land. The most important cultivation area is in the fertile plains landscape in the north-eastern part of the country. Agriculture is the most mechanized here and you grow wheat, maize and potatoes, among other things. In the river valleys, mainly wine and fruit are grown and in the southern part of the country there are bands of other hop crops.
Slovenia was formerly Yugoslavia’s foremost sub-republic, and forestry plays a far more important role than agriculture. Most of the forest area is located in the northern parts of the country, which are also used for hunting (including deer and deer).
Raw material supplies and energy supply
The mining industry is of little importance in Slovenia. Lignite is mined in Velenje in the north with the country’s only remaining mining operation. Aluminum, crude steel and smaller amounts of other metals are produced by refining.
In 2014, Slovenia’s energy needs were covered by 33 percent of oil, 24 percent of nuclear energy, 19 percent of renewable energy sources (water energy and biofuels), 15 percent of coal and 9 of natural gas. The goal is to reach 25 percent energy supply from renewable sources by 2020. Nuclear energy is produced at the power plant in Krsko, which is jointly owned with Croatia.
The manufacturing industry is the most important sector of the Slovenian economy. The leading industrial branches are the electronics industry, the chemical industry and the wood and food industries. In addition to these, metalworking and the engineering industry are also important.
With the exception of 1992, the country has had a negative trade balance since 1989. Among the export goods are machines, electric motors, transport equipment, pharmaceuticals and raw materials. The most important import goods are machinery, manu- facturing, food and raw materials. According to Countryaah, leading trading partners are Germany and Italy.
Tourism and gastronomy
Tourism has increased significantly since the end of the Yugoslav war, and Slovenia is now visited annually by over 1.5 million tourists. These come mainly from Italy Austria and Germany. and contributes about 8 percent of export earnings.
The most important tourist destinations are the beaches along the Adriatic Sea, the foothills of the Alps in the north and the over 6,000 limestone caves. The latter are mainly found in the south-west Karst. The largest and most talked about are the several kilometers deep caves in Postojna and Skocjan.
The Slovenian food tradition leans heavily on influences from the large, nearby kitchens; njoki (potato dumplings), the ravioli-like žlikrophy and rižota for the thoughts to Italy. Austria is reminded in the form of clobasa (sausage) and Hungary in golaž and palačinke (pancakes filled with nuts or jam). Soups are often served, e.g. gobova kremna juha (creamy mushroom soup), istrski bread (fish soup from Istria) or jota (soup with beans, pork and cabbage). Burekis a standard offering in street kitchens and consists of puff pastry meat, vegetables or fruit. The desserts are heavy, Central European pastries with raisins, apples and nuts, e.g. potica and gibanica.