The Slovenia Times

Economy Ministry to carry on with efforts to attract FDI


The ministry, which will get more money than initially envisaged in the 2018 and 2019 budget plans, will continue attracting new investments. A bill to stimulate investment has already been drafted to that effect.

Additionally, Brexit is seen as an opportunity to bring companies from the UK to Slovenia. Aiming to promote Slovenia, the ministry will host a promo event in London on 1 December in partnership with the British-Slovenian Chamber of Commerce.

Cantarutti listed Japanese robotics group Yaskawa Electric as a prime example of opportunities arising from the UK's leaving the EU.

The Japanese company, which is already present in Slovenia, will, according to Cantarutti, implement an investment planned for a town north of London in Slovenia's Kočevje instead.

Meanwhile, MPs welcomed the planned increase in funds for the ministry, but pointed out challenges persisting in drawing EU funds, the question of supply and demand in tourism, and encouraging regional development.

According to budget plans, the funds at the ministry will total just shy of EUR 157m this year, while almost EUR 200m is to be allocated to the ministry next year and just over EUR 226m in 2019. The figures for the next two years are higher than initially planned.

MPs also welcomed the favourable macroeconomic trends, with IMAD boss Boštjan Vasle reiterating that the government think tank forecast a 4.4% expansion of economy for Slovenia for this year and a further 3.9% growth of GDP for 2018.

However, opposition MPs pointed out that EU funds should be drawn more efficiently, arguing that all ministries should be more engaged in the efforts.

Cantarutti on the other hand said that all was going according to plans, with 28 of the planned 38 calls for applications being published this year. The tenders totalled EUR 283m of the planned EUR 366m.

The ministry is trying to direct the tenders in the wood processing industry, which was labelled as very important industry with great potential by all participants in the debate.

"Our role is to encourage companies to apply to calls. And this year their response exceeded expectations. It is an important field and systemic solutions have to be sought for the industry. I believe the minister will manage to make some moves in the field by the end of his term," Cantarutti added.


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