Slovenia remains attractive for Austrian investments

Ljubljana – Slovenia remains an attractive investment destination for Austrian companies despite the pandemic, shows a survey conducted by the Austrian trade office Advantage Austria Ljubljana among its members. Investments are being postponed due to Covid-19, but most companies think that Slovenia will keep its investment allure in 2021.

The annual survey, conducted at the end of last year among Austrian companies present in the Slovenian market, indicates that 71% of them believe Slovenia will remain an attractive environment for new investments this year.

“This is a considerably lower share than in recent years but still high,” Advantage Austria Ljubljana head Wilhelm Nest told today’s online press conference.

“Slovenia is attractive to Austrian investments mostly due to its EU membership, geographical location, qualified workforce, access to South East European markets and security situation in general,” he said.

The epidemic has had zero or little effect on the majority of Austrian manufacturers in Slovenia. Companies active in the services sector have had it worse though.

Austrian companies are mostly optimistic when it comes to 2021 business forecasts. Some 20% think the situation will improve and another 44% believe that it will remain the same. More than a third expect the situation to take a turn for the worse.

Two-thirds anticipate growth in income and orders. Most plan to retain the current number of staff and continue with investments. “That is definitely good news,” Nest said.

However, Slovenia would be even more attractive to investors if there was less red tape, he added. The survey participants also highlighted the need for a more predictable economic policy and lower taxes. Advantage Austria Ljubljana receives similar responses regarding what could be improved every year.

The annual survey is conducted among more than 1,000 Austrian subsidiaries in Slovenia that employ some 20,000 people.

Austrian companies have so far invested about EUR 3.6 billion in Slovenia, making Austria by far the biggest foreign investor in Slovenia.

Nest is confident Austrian investments in Slovenia will continue. “I can’t give any information, but we’ve received a few messages by Austrian companies saying they would like to open a company here or are searching for a business partner.”