The Slovenia Times

Kočevje wins Golden Rock for development breakthrough


According to the company Planet GV, which manages the selection, Kočevje has achieved a turnaround over the past few years like few other Slovenian towns have.

Although it still faces a number of challenges, it has managed to convince Japanese corporation Yaskawa that there is no better place in Europe to build a new robotics factory.

"If Slovenia builds its future on combining the digital and green, then Kočevje can become a role model for this development paradigm. It is literally a place where bears and robots live side by side," the jury said.

Addressing an accompanying event which focussed on how municipalities can attract investment, Mayor Vladimir Prebilič recounted how the municipality approached Yaskawa when the Japanese were selecting a location for a new plant in Europe.

"It's right that we sometimes go out of our comfort zone and are a bit aggressive," he said.

The Kočevje municipality has been praised by the Golden Rock jury for encouraging the development of young technological companies, social entrepreneurship, cooperatives and circular economy.

It also has a strong programme for the youth with a very active youth centre, and is innovative in management.

Situated in a forested region, Kočevje has recognised wood as its main asset, which remains at the centre of its development strategy, the jury noted.

The Golden Rock award has been conferred annually since 2012 based on an analysis of extensive statistical data and municipalities' strategic documents.

So far, the award has been conferred on Podčetrtek, Ljubljana, Šentrupert, Škofja Loka, Postojna and Idrija.


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