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invites you!

American investors are welcome in Slovenia.

The Wall Street Journal news organization was not involved in the creation of this content. Slovenia invites you! 1 Produced by ÄŒasnik Finance, d. o. o., Slovenia.

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Embrace the challenge, create partnerships and lead: Slovenia – A Green Reference in the heart of Digital Europe


am delighted to address the distinguished readers of The Wall Street Journal from Slovenia, a country of 2 million inhabitants and 20,000 sq. km that borders Austria, Italy, Hungary and Croatia. My country is home to innovative and hardworking people and has an exceptional number of world-class athletes that includes NHL hockey star Anže Kopitar, NBA basketball magician Goran Dragić and the 2015 Alpine Skiing World Champion Tina Maze, who triumphed at Beaver Creek, as well as the 2016 Overall World Cup Winner in Ski Jumping Peter Prevc. Slovenia – a young state that thinks big – is a member of the EU, NATO and the OECD, and has close ties with its international environment. The urge to explore opportunities around the globe has a long tradition in our national history. With our profound ambition to truly globalize our businesses the US remains our top overseas objective. Our economy is strongly export driven and we are pleased with our positive statistics in trade, services and tourism with the US. Slovenians are known for their drive toward innovation and passion for the development of new technologies. The traditions of a good educational system, our knowledgebased society, a sense for rule and discipline, the qualities of persistence and creativity, respect for work, and profound respect for nature are among the key drivers of our nation’s progress. Our cooperation in science and technology is creating an ever-greater footprint. A great example is the Slovenian ultra-light aircraft producer Pipistrel, which was awarded a NASA prize for the most energy-efficient product. Another example is the software company Celtra that developed technology for displaying interactive ads on mobile phones and also gained recognition also through American business awards. The country unified its strengths in its ambition to become a green reference point in digital Europe. This project was first presented during my December 2015 visit to the US.

Anže Malovrh/ STA

On that occasion Memorandums of Cooperation were signed between my Government and Microsoft, Oracle and IBM. Our industries are following suit. It is thrilling that our automotive components producers have pre-developer status with premium automotive manufacturers. There are some flagship Slovenian components that make these premium products even more innovative and competitive, such as high-tech Akrapovič’s exhaust systems for motorcycles and automobiles, or Hidria’s glow plugs with integrated pressure sensors for diesel engines. We are keen to deploy even more technologies in the global green mobility sector, as we are confident that the US could also greatly benefit by relying ever more on our technological solutions. To name just a few state-of-the-art Slovenian products in this emerging cluster I would cite the development of new generation of lithium-sulfur electric batteries at the National Institute of Chemistry and Elaphe in-wheel-electric motors. US investments in my country are spread throughout the banking sector, hi-tech companies and producers of machinery and equipment. Let me conclude with the wish that my address will contribute to a greater number of American investors choosing Slovenia for their operations and that it will encourage American tourists to discover what Slovenia has to offer. My country is predominantly a green and pleasant environment for living in or visiting. Situated at the heart of Europe, it offers the perfect starting point from which to visit our neighbouring countries quickly and easily. Miro Cerar Prime Minister of Republic of Slovenia

Slovenia invites you! 3

IBM, Microsoft and Goodyear firmly established in Slovenia


ome 65 thousand companies in Slovenia attained 91.3 billion dollars of income in sales in the past year, which is four percent more than in the previous year. Of this, 33.8 billion dollars were generated in foreign markets; eight percent more than the previous year. According to data from the GVIN portal, there are 172 companies funded by American capital among the 65 thousand companies active in Slovenia. However, the actual number is higher. Since some were founded by American companies operating in other countries, mostly European, not all American companies in Slovenia were included in the GVIN portal statistics. We examined the operations of three established companies in Slovenia that receive American capital; Goodyear Dunlop Sava Tires, Microsoft and IBM Slovenia.

Microsoft and IBM, the American IT giants, both have premises in the 290-foot Crystal Palace, located in the Slovenian capital, Ljubljana. It is the tallest building in Slovenia and is located on the American Street.

Goodyear has invested 257 million dollars in Slovenia

Editor: Sabina Petrov invites you!

November 2016

Technical Editor: Maša Marolt

On the cover: Lake Bled

Photography Processing: Sandi Baumkirher

Photography: Irena Herak

Translation: PSD, d. o. o. (www.psdtranslation.com/en)

4 Slovenia invites you!

Urban Štebljaj

Goodyear Dunlop Sava Tires, with headquarters in Kranj, close to the Slovenian capital, Ljubljana, is one of the leading manufacturers of tires in south-east Europe and has been a subsidiary of the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company since 1998. The company has around 1,400 employees and manufactures and markets the Goodyear, Dunlop, Fulda, Sava and Debica tire brands for automobiles, pick-up trucks and other trucks, plus tires for industrial and construction machines, motorcycle tires and inner tubes. On average, 80 to 90 percent of tires manufactured in Slovenia are sold to European and other countries within the Goodyear sales network. Goodyear’s Slovenian company is directly responsible for marketing and sales through different

Project Manager: Monika Klinar Telephone: +386 1 30 91 480 E-Mail: monika.klinar@finance.si Advertisement Marketing: Telephone: +386 1 30 91 590 E-Mail: oglasi@finance.si Circulation: 30.300

Publisher: Časnik Finance, d. o. o., Bleiweisova cesta 30, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia www.finance.si Director and Editor in Cheif: Peter Frankl

OPERATION OF IBM SLOVENIA in USD million Total profit/loss 3






0 -1 -2 2013



Source: GVIN database


Since 1998 the Goodyear corporate group has invested over 257 million dollars in Goodyear Dunlop Sava Tires, Kranj. Today this is a modern, high-performance and fully-equipped plant where high-tech tires of the largest dimensions are manufactured.

Archive Goodyear

Total income 75

in USD million Total income

Total profit










0,5 2013



Source: GVIN database


Total profit/loss








0 -20 -40




distribution channels (independent tire dealers, Vulco franchise and distributors) to the following markets: Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, Macedonia, Montenegro and Kosovo. Since 1998, Goodyear has invested over 257.2 million dollars in the company. This continuous investment has made possible today’s modern, high-performance and fully-equipped plant, in which the largest high-tech tires are manufactured. This has yielded encouraging results, as Goodyear Dunlop Sava Tires received the Ford Q1 certificate in 2015, among other accolades. This is a worldwide sign of excellent quality, and Ford awards it only to their best suppliers.

Microsoft will continue to grow in Slovenia next year

Microsoft has been present in Slovenia since 1994. They currently employ 85 people and cover Slovenia and Albania. “Our customers are large, small and mediumsized companies in the private and public sectors. We ended the current business year at the end of June here at Microsoft and are satisfied with our achieved business results. We are also planning growth for the current year. This will be achieved with an innovative approach and improvement in processes and services, as well as in the digital transformation of organizations of all types and sizes. Without digital technology it will be difficult for organizations to keep up regardless of their size,” Microsoft stated regarding their achieved results and goals.


Source: GVIN database

IBM Slovenia opened the first two IBM Data Centers in Slovenia

Archive Goodyear

Goodyear Dunlop Sava Tires received the Ford Q1 certificate, awarded by the Ford Motor Company only to their best suppliers.

6 Slovenia invites you!

IBM Slovenia, which has 202 employees, operated well last year and attained all planned strategic goals. IBM Slovenia has been operating for almost a quarter century, and has been a presence in the Slovenian market through representatives for over 70 years. IBM Slovenia consider the opening of the first IBM Data Center in Slovenia, the transfer of the latest cognitive IBM solutions into local space (cognitive computing, Watson), the signing of the intent on cooperation with the government of the Republic of Slovenia as some of the company’s major achievements over the past year. IBM Slovenia achieved most income by selling hardware, technological solutions and software. They strengthened their market shares in key strategic fields - analytics, security and mobile solutions, and hardware. They also expanded and educated their network of business partners, who develop adapted solutions for customers based on IBM technology.                                    Sabina Petrov


among the top five slovene exporters

Slovenia’s presentation

A country in the center of Europe, on the Venice-Vienna axis


lovenia is a country with a population of two million people, located in the center of Europe. Slovenians are a Slavic people who travelled during the great migration of nations in the 6th century to reach the westernmost limit of their diaspora. This means that Slovenia is only a stone’s throw away from some of the tourist icons of the old continent. It takes only a little over two hours to get to Venice, a beautiful coastal city, from Ljubljana to the west. Extend the drive for another two hours and you will find another tourist pearl - Florence in the center of Tuscany, the birthplace of the Renaissance. In the other direction, Slovenians need only three and a half hours by car to taste the original Sacher cake in Vienna or enjoy a pint of beer in Prague, the Czech capital, only three hours later.

Slovenia has many extraordinary things to show you

It can be misleading to present a geographically small country by economic numbers – after all, Slovenia is just over 20 thousand square kilometers in area. Many people will probably be unimpressed when they hear that this member of the European Union since 2004, which has had the Euro as its currency since 2007, has only a 41 billion dollar gross domestic product (GDP). This is about the same as one of the medium-sized multi-national companies. But Slovenia still has many exceptional things to show, from biotechnological innovation to sports and cultural achievements, all of which seems hard to believe of a country with only two million people. There is also a wealth of exceptional natural beauty in Slovenia, the third most forest covered country in Europe, right after Fin8 Slovenia invites you!

Slovenians are sports enthusiasts and love to spend their free time in nature. Running, cycling, skiing and hiking are among the most popular sports in Slovenia.

land and Sweden. Several thousand brown bears live in Slovenian forests, along with wolves and lynx. Slovenia holds an interesting position as it is located at a crossroads of European corridors running from east to west, and from north to south. Beyond the 1,370 kilometers of state border, Italy, Austria, Hungary and Croatia are Slovenia’s neighbors. In the west, Slovenia is bounded by the Adriatic Sea, the northernmost bay of the Mediterranean, and has 46.6 kilometers of sea coast. The Port of Koper, with its extensive container terminals, is Slovenia’s international cargo port and an important link on the maritime routes between the Mediter-

Vienna Ljubljana

Republic of Slovenija Capital city: Ljubljana Residents: 2 million Surface area: 20,273 kilometers Length of coastline: 46 kilometers Urban population: 50% Currency: EURO Member of: EU, NATO, OECD GDP per capita: 20,891 USD GDP growth 2016: 2.3% GDP growth 2017: 2.9%

ranean, Near and Far East, the markets of Central and Eastern Europe and the USA. The Port of Koper has transshipped the most containers in the Northern Adriatic for several years in a row and has the second largest car terminal in the Mediterranean.

Ernest Hemingway wrote about the Isonzo front

Jurij Pivka/www.slovenia.info


Having been in existence for only 25 years, Slovenia is one of the younger European countries. That’s why older generations still think of it in the context of the former socialist state of Yugoslavia, of which Slovenia was a part from 1945 to 1991. The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia came into existence in 1945 after the Slovenes, with the help of the other Yugoslav nations and in cooperation with Slovenia invites you! 9

Useful links Embassy of the Republic of Slovenia Washington D.C. Božo Cerar, ambassador E-mail: sloembassy. washington@gov.si http:// washington.veleposlanistvo.si The Consulate-General of the Republic of Slovenia in Cleveland Andrej Gregor Rode, consul-general E-mail: sloconsulate.cleveland@gov.si http://cleveland.konzulat.si The Consulate of the Republic of Slovenia in New York Erik Horvat, honorary consul E-mail: slovenia.nynj@gmail.com The Consulate of the Republic of Slovenia in San Francisco Thomas J. Brandi, honorary consul E-mail: tjb@brandilaw.com The Consulate of the Republic of Slovenia in Pittsburgh Petra Mitchell, honorary consul E-mail: Petram77@gmail.com The Consulate of the Republic of Slovenia in Florida Gregory S. Chan, honorary consul E-mail: gchan@stu.edu The Consulate of the Republic of Slovenia in Houston Sandra Prat Wilkens, honorary consul E-mail: sloconsulhouston@gmail.com The Consulate of the Republic of Slovenia in Michigan Yousif B. Ghafari, honorary consul E-mail: sloveniaconsulmi@ghafari.com The Consulate of the Republic of Slovenia in Illinois John P. Vidmar, honorary consul E-mail: slovenianconsul.chicago@gmail.com The Consulate of the Republic of Slovenia in Denver Srečko Vidmar, honorary consul E-mail: lucky.vidmar@gmail.com SPIRIT Slovenia Public Agency www.spiritslovenia.si www.investslovenia.org The Bank Assets Management Company www.dutb.si Slovenian Sovereign Holding www.sdh.si Slovenian Tourist Board www.slovenia.info

10 Slovenia invites you!


Cleveland, the most “Slovenian” city in the USA, has the only polka museum in the world - the Polka Hall of Fame. One of the squares in Cleveland is also named after the American polka king Frank Yankovic, who sold more than 30 million records during his career.

Cleveland is the most “Slovenian” city in the USA According to unofficial estimates, there are 300,000 to 600,000 people in the US with Slovenian origins. 175,099 Americans defined themselves as of Slovenian origin in the 2000 US census. Three quarters of Slovenians in the US live in six states - Ohio (58,402), Pennsylvania (19,006), Illinois (15,519), Minnesota (10,420), California (9,489) and Wisconsin (9,108). There was a massive migration of Slovenians to the US in the 19th century and the first decades of the 20th, and then another wave of immigrants followed in 1945. Cleveland is the most “Slovenian” city in the USA, so much so that it is called the “American Ljubljana”. Cleveland not only has the largest Slovenian population, but also a considerable number of Hungarians, Slovaks and Macedonians; but it’s said that no one has made such an important mark on the city as the Slovenians. They are particularly proud of the only polka museum in the world – the Polka Hall of Fame. Frank Yankovic, the king of American polka, sold over 30 million records in his career and also received a Grammy. One of the squares in Cleveland is named after him.

the Allies, including the Americans, expelled the armed forces of Hitler’s Nazi Germany. The former Kingdom of Yugoslavia, which had been created in 1918 at the end of World War I, was invaded by the Axis in 1941. Before 1918, Slovenia was a part of the Habsburg Monarchy for about a thousand years. The Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Kingdom of Italy clashed during World War I in the Battles of Isonzo in the high mountains of the western part of Slovenia. The world-renowned American writer Ernest Hemingway, who was a war correspondent at the time, wrote about the Isonzo front in his book, A Farewell to Arms. The Republic of Slovenia became independent on June 25 1991. Due to its rapid economic development in the 1990s, the new nation became a member of NATO in April 2004 and entered the European Union on May 1 of the same year. Slovenia was the first of the ten new countries in the European Union to adopt the Euro, which has been the nation’s official currency since January 1 2007. Slovenia’s accession to the OECD came about six years after entering the European Union.

Economic growth is driven by exports

Exports were one of the most important factors of economic growth following Slovenian indepen-

dence, and this aspect of the economy has been growing almost ever since. The only exception was in 2009, when Slovenian exports decreased by 16.6 percent due to the effects of the world economic crisis. Some 65 thousand companies in Slovenia attained 91.3 billion dollars of income in sales in the past year, which is four percent more than in the previous year. Of this, 33.8 billion dollars were generated in foreign markets, which is an eight percent increase over the previous year. The most important products for Slovenian exports are road vehicles, medical and pharmaceutical products, and electrical equipment and devices, which represent one third of goods exported. Germany, Italy and Croatia are in the first three positions among the foreign trade partners of Slovenia. Slovenian companies generated 20.6 percent of all sales in foreign markets on the German market, which translates to 5.53 billion dollars, while 11.2 percent of their income, or over three billion dollars, came from Italy, and an 8.5 percent share in Slovenian export income was generated on the Austrian market, accounting for more than 2.23 billion dollars’ worth of goods.             Sabina Petrov

Slovenia invites you! 11

Slovenia seeks investors in the USA Merrill Lynch International, Wiltan Enterprises, Apollo Global Management and the American family-owned Weiler Corporation all invested in Slovenia during the last year


o interest investors in projects in Slovenia, the Public Agency for Entrepreneurship, Internationalization, Foreign Investments and Technology SPIRIT Slovenia organized several investment conferences in the past year. Last year it compiled and published a special catalog featuring the Top 100 investment opportunities for foreign investors in Slovenia. Slovenia is searching for buyers of national companies and claims of the Bank Asset Management Company and investors in real estate, industrial zones, tourist projects and even castles in countries that are traditional foreign trading partners, such as Germany, Italy and Russia. “But also in countries that are large capital exporters or are increasing the extent of exit investments, such as Japan and the United States of America,” explains Matej Skočir, head of the internationalization and foreign direct investment sector of SPIRIT Slovenia. Slovenia is particularly searching for investors interested in Slovenian tourism, processing industry, the automotive industry and banking.

Slovenian investment conference in New York

Slovenia organized an investment conference in December last year during a working visit of Slovenia’s Prime Minister, Miro Cerar, who was accompanied by a strong economic delegation. The Slovenian prime minister spoke at the New York Athletic Club to members of the European American Chamber of Commerce about the advantages of investing in Slovenia. He pointed out that the geographical position of the country at the crossroads between East and West Europe is Slovenia’s main advantage. Slovenia is small in territory but exports more to Germany than Canada or Mexico, the Slovenian Prime Minister pointed out. As well as the location, he also mentioned the Slovenian infrastructure, the highly qualified and motivated work force and the high level of innovation in entrepreneurship as some of his country’s other 12 Slovenia invites you!

advantages. He added at the same time that he is aware of the urgent need to continue removing administrative obstacles and changing work legislation.

US investments have significantly increased in the past year

According to SPIRIT Slovenia the USA wants to be a major investor in Slovenia and the possibilities for increasing investment in Slovenia are many and extensive.

Jure Makovec Aleš Beno

The Slovenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs adds that 43.6 million dollars of direct foreign investments from the USA were received by the end of last year. This is an 81 percent increase compared to the end of 2014. The Ministry also stressed that such investments are welcome from the perspective of new capital, new knowledge and technologies. Slovenia is definitely a quality location for capital-intensive investment, mostly for companies with a higher added value that would develop new products and technologies, according to the Slovenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. According to the data of the nation’s central bank, the Bank of Slovenia, the total value of direct foreign investments in Slovenia was over 11.3 billion dollars two years ago. Austria is the most important foreign investor in Slovenia. Austrian investors accounted for 3.8 billion dollars’ worth of investments in Slovenia two years ago, which was 33.6 percent of all foreign investments in Slovenia.

NKBM, the second largest Slovenian bank, is 80 percent owned by the Apollo Global Management investment fund as of this year. Along with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Apollo paid almost 280 million dollars to the state.

Elan and Swatycomet in American hands since last year

The sports equipment manufacturer, Elan, and the grinding wheels company, Swatycomet, are examples of Slovenian companies that received American owners during the past year. Both companies produce most of their income in foreign markets. After years of insecurity and financial issues Elan, founded in 1945, was bought by Merrill Lynch International, owned by the Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Wiltan Enterprises, owned by VR Global Partners and managed by VR Capital.

Swatycomet, the manufacturer of grinding wheels, who sell their products in 75 countries, were bought by an American family business, the Weiler Corporation, in December last year. Chris Weiler, the President/CEO of Weiler said that they were impressed by the personnel and development department of Swatycomet, along with the high level of technological knowledge demonstrated by the company.

Elan focuses on ski and snowboard production for the winter sports sector, their maritime division manufactures sail boats, and Elan Invent is the leading brand in sports facilities equipment. Since 2009 Elan has also been manufacturing wind plant components in partnership with Siemens Wind Power.

Weiler Corporation opens the door to the USA to Swatycomet

Swatycomet, the manufacturer of grinding wheels, was bought by an American family business, the Weiler Corporation, in December last year. At the handover, Weiler’s President and CEO Chris Weiler said that they were impressed by the Swatycomet personnel and development department, along with the high level of technological knowledge demonstrated by the company. “We tested their products with American customers and responses were very good. We also bought them because we want to enter the European market with our products through a large gate, which is better than own company establishment. We can provide a well-developed sales network in America and our marketing skills to our new company.” Slovenia invites you! 13

Irena Herak

In addition to its location at the crossroads of East and West Europe, the advantages of Slovenia for investors include its excellent infrastructure, highly educated and motivated workforce and high rate of innovation in entrepreneurship.

As Chris Weiler has already pointed out, the takeover of Swatycomet is a merger of equals. “We have fewer employees; there are 560 of us and Swatycomet has 900, but we are very similar regarding income and margin, considering the different products and technologies. Swatycomet produced an income of 97 million dollars last year and we are about a 110 million company. Swatycomet is one of the larger Slovenian exporters. They generate 94 percent of all income in foreign markets. They have sold products to 75 countries this year, mostly in EU countries where they generated 60 percent of their income. Their largest markets are Germany, the UK, France and Austria. They produced their first million Euro income in the USA in the first half of the year. Swatycomet sells grinding wheels there as professional hand tools, and they have already received their first orders from ironworks for grinding tools. They are also reaching out to rail track maintenance companies.

American capital in NKBM bank

This year American capital entered Slovenian bank space. Along with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the Apollo investment fund became the owner of the second-largest bank in Slovenia in April of this year. The new owners paid almost 280 million dollars for the 100 percent share. Of this, Apollo owns 80 percent and EBRD has 20 percent. NKBM was previously owned by the Slovenian state during a recovery process which required 1.2 billion dollars of taxpayers’ money. “We are looking forward to taking the leading role in the future growth and development of the bank as future owners with EBRD in 14 Slovenia invites you!

order to become national and regional champions,” concluded Gernot Lohr, Senior Partner at Apollo Global Management at the conclusion of the three year NKBM sale process.

Deficiency in a rigid bureaucracy and political interference in the economy

And how would Goodyear Dunlop Sava Tires and Microsoft, who have been operating in Slovenia for decades, describe business and life in Slovenia, with its advantages, particularities and business traps? “Despite the fact that Slovenia offers several economic advantages due to the country’s inclusion in the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA), favorable geostrategic location, relatively well-developed infrastructure, high level of education of personnel with proficient foreign language skills and general security, Slovenia also has some deficiencies. High income taxation (especially in the higher pay grades), non-flexible work legislation and rigidity of bureaucracy may also limit economic development,” said a spokesperson at Goodyear Dunlop Sava Tires. Microsoft states: “Business in Slovenia is probably significantly different than in the USA. The Slovenian market is much smaller, with Slovenia having only 2 million people, so you can imagine that communication in Slovenia is very direct and the means of communication much more personal. Business people in Slovenia are optimistic but cautious in their businesses. We think that the main obstacles to the development of the Slovenian economy are political interference in the economy, unfavorable tax legislation and a lack of government initiatives for promoting entrepreneurship.”                                    Sabina Petrov

Slovenia invites you! 15

Innovative products from Slovenia in the US


ustomers in the US purchased over half a billion dollars’ worth of products from Slovenia in the past year. Or over two percent of all goods which Slovenian companies sold in foreign markets in 2015 to companies for further use in their production, and to end customers. Companies that use software and measuring instruments manufactured by the Slovenian total solution company Dewesoft include the vehicle manufacturing giant GM and agricultural machinery manufacturer John Deere. Dewesoft also developed the software for NASA which enabled communication between the Space Shuttle and Earth. General Electric (GE), the multinational conglomerate energy giant, uses special steel products in its production which are manufactured by the Slovenian Steel Group (SIJ). The Slovenian aluminum product manufacturer Impol points out that customers encounter one of their products whenever they prepare a coffee out of a capsule as advertised by the American movie star George Clooney. Movie star and comedian Bill Murray promotes a product by Fructal, producer of

16 Slovenia invites you!

Klemen Razinger

Bill Murray, movie star and comedian (left), promotes the vodka from Slovenia with buckwheat flavor - Slovenia Vodka. He created a sensation at the opening of a new bar and restaurant in Brooklyn in September when he became a bartender and served buckwheat flavored vodka - Slovenia Vodka - to the astonished customers who managed to get into the bar.

Ana Roš, one of the stars of this year’s series of the Netflix documentary Chef’s Table, presented the rich culinary offerings of Slovenia to American gourmets.

Barbar Reya

Samo Vidic

The Talking Tom fun app was developed by a young Slovenian company Ekipa7, predecessor of the international Outfit7 company, and has been downloaded by more than two billion users worldwide.

juices, nectars and spirits. This is Slovenia Vodka which, with its unique buckwheat flavor, has been available to US spirits enthusiasts since spring 2013. The founding father of the Slovenia Vodka project is the chef and owner of several restaurants Peter X. Kelly. After an exciting visit to Slovenia, he started the buckwheat flavored Slovenia Vodka project with his friends and partners - actor Bill Murray, ballet dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov and American-Slovenian businessman Emil Gaspari. The stylish bottle is made in Steklarna Hrastnik. Steklarna Rogaška, the largest Slovenian glassworks, has been exciting US customers for many years. Chef Ana Roš from Hiša Franko reminded American gourmets about the extremely rich Slovenian culinary offerings. Ana Roš was one of the stars in Netflix’s popular documentary Chef’s Table. In addition to the culinary masterpieces of Ana Roš in Chef’s Table, viewers were also astounded by the pristine nature of the Soča River valley in Western Slovenia. Talking Tom and Friends is also among the products that originate in Slovenia. The fun app, which was downloaded by over two billion people to their devices, was developed by a young Slovenian company Ekipa7, the predecessor of international company Outfit7. The Elan skis are made by the Slovenian company Elan, with American owners since last year (more on page 13), and are sold across the globe. Years ago, Elan made a revolution with carving skis and later they also presented the innovative amphibio skis. They are special because the left and the right ski differ.                              Sabina Petrov

Slovenia invites you! 17

ABC Accelerator Is Connecting the W Program with a Business Model Tha Never in the history of business has it been as easy to reach investors as it is now, as well as getting the opportunity to present your business model or getting public support based purely on your entrepreneurial ideas. We live in the era of fast growing companies but even faster failing ones. Young people chasing exits, celebrating every percent of the company that’s been sold as a quick fix, which might mean life or death for your company. It’s the never ending circle of inevitable. It’s the era of buzz words, viral marketing and knowledge that’s just a click away. Some would say: “What a wonderful

Courtesy of WeWork

time to be alive!” However, it isn’t as romantic as it might sound. The easy money is out and the trust factor is in, and this is something that the Acceleration Business City recognized as a must, if you want to succeed in the startup world. The first self sustainable business accelerator was born, introducing a new business model that doesn’t invest in businesses – it invests in people, because people are the ones that will make it happen. Each startup is unique and each presents an opportunity to co-create a better today. But in the field of startups arising on a daily bases, how safe it is to invest? By

creating entities all around the world and connecting the east and west, ABC family’s approach guarantees to each startup that undergoes any of it’s entities programs the following: “From stage zero to stage hero”. The founder Dejan Roljič, who has been living his entrepreneurial life early on from age 16, working with coworkings, incubators, accelerators and entrepreneurial hubs from Shanghai to San Franciso, noticed that there’s a certain lack of personal approach within the industry and decided, after his second startup exits, to create a privately funded accelerator that will

World – the First Virtual Acceleration at Is Self-Sustainable solve the pain: not just to startups but to entire ecosystems, starting with investors. He introduced a new and personalized selection process, where each individual’s needs are being met and the decision is made based on the team itself. Having in mind that once accelerated startups need to focus solely on their work, ABC Accelerator became a first accelerator in the world offering free accommodation to startups. Making connections with the industry’s specific experts, mentors and investors from the time startups join ABC Accelerator, makes the program tailored to each startup’s needs. Being positioned in the heart of the rapidly growing startup ecosystem, ABC Accelerator’s location in Ljubljana’s Business Trade Center – an area with 22 million visitors per year and more than 4500 companies, presents a perfect testing ground for both B2B and B2C businesses, allowing startups from all around the world to test their products in a small but diverse environment before entering global markets. It’s a city within a city, and Ljubljana being Europe’s green Capital presents a perfect country to live in. Accelerated startups have the opportunity to reach ABC Global Home Silicon Valley, where ABC Accelerator joined forces with WeWork and has positioned itself as a community builder, providing shared workspace, community, and services for entrepreneurs. On the other hand, ABC Global Home Silicon Valley provides investments, corporate connections and legal advice, already connecting startups with investors from Europe to USA, becoming a part of the exchanging startup community. It seems ABC really is becoming a bridge between Europe and USA, offering

Siniša Kanižaj/ABC Accelerator

startups from both sides of the Atlantic to expand into each other’s market. But ABC didn’t stop just there. Instead, it offered a different business model for them in Munich, Germany, focused on companies wishing to expand into the German market. But what differentiates the Acceleration Business City (the brand name for all entities) is not the fast growth or the fact that it took only 18 months for ABC Accelerator to successfully invest in 58 startups, and it’s able to invest in 60 startups per year by setting up it’s own ABC First Growth venture capital fund, which set them on the road to become the first selfsustainable accelerator. In fact, it’s the virtual platform; ABC team members consisting of professionals and startup enthusiasts believe that in three years time the acceleration process will change. You will be able to attend live events, lectures, conferences and reach your investors and mentors via virtual reality. It’s a project involving hundreds

of mentors, investment partners and corporations and it represents ABC’s next next big step. It influences everybody, from corporations to individuals. It is indeed a great time to be alive, and with offices opening in Asia, ABC has connected all the world. Startups and Small Companies will always exist, because the need for innovation will always be the force pushing humanity in new directions. It’s a matter of adapting and co-creating a better tomorrow. So why not start with ABC! Edina Dyachenko


Economic cooperation between the US and Slovenia is booming

The value of trade in goods exceeded 900 million dollars last year


ast year, Slovenia classified the USA among the priority markets in which the nation wants to strengthen economic cooperation. This September, a Slovene political-economic delegation under the management of the Minister of the Civil Service, Boris Koprivnikar, sought out new business opportunities across the Atlantic when they visited several companies in Silicon Valley. The delegation visited the IBM SW Executive Briefing Center, Cisco, HPE, Nasa, BCG Digital Ventures Center, Microsoft, Salesforce, Uber, Celtra, Tesla, LinkedIn, Facebook and Google. They also visited Stanford University and attended the official opening of the ABC Accelerator in Silicon Valley. An equally important economic delegation accompanied the Slovenian Prime Minister, Miro Cerar, during his visit to the United States of America last December. 20 Slovenia invites you!

900 million dollars exceeded for the second time

Last year, the United States of America was ranked 15th on the list of foreign trade partners of Slovenia. Trade in goods between the two countries exceeded 920 million dollars. Data from the Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia shows this trade increased by 17.4 per cent compared to 2014. The trade of goods between the USA and Slovenia has thus exceeded the 900 million dollar mark for the second time in the last decade. It first happened in 2011 when the value of the trade of goods between the two countries came close to 910 million dollars. The Slovenian total trade of goods exceeded 52 billion dollars last year, of which sales by Slovenian companies in foreign markets accounted for more than 26.77 billion dollars. Other important export partners of Slovenia in the past year were Germany, where Slovenian companies created 20.6 per cent of the entire sales abroad or 5.53 billion dollars; Italy, where Slovenian exporters produced 11.2 per cent of their income or more than 3 billion dollars; and Austria, which accounted for an 8.5 per cent

The USA is the second most important export market outside the EU for Slovenia, right after the Russian Federation.


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the USA, amounting to 106 million dollars in total, was in travel, other business services and compensation for intellectual use.

Movement of trade between US and Slovenia is booming Slovenian export to USA Slovenian import from USA (in USD million)

Possibilities for cooperation still underexploited

550.99 369.83

2005 06








14 2015

Sources: CCIS and SURS

share of Slovenian export income. Slovenian exporters sold more than 2.23 billion dollars’ worth of goods to Austria last year.

“Interest in economic cooperation between the USA and Slovenia has increased lately,” says Ajša Vodnik, executive director of AmCham Slovenia.

Service exchange increased by almost one third The value of the service exchange between the USA and Slovenia reached 257 million dollars last year, a 30 per cent increase compared to the previous year. Slovenian exports of services to the USA, with transport, travel, telecommunications, computer and IT services dominating the field, accounted for almost 151 million dollars. Data from the Slovenian central bank, the Bank of Slovenia, shows that the largest share of services included in Slovenian imports from 22 Slovenia invites you!

Which sectors offer most opportunities?

Jure Makovec

Slovenian companies exported almost 551 million dollars’ worth of goods to the USA in the past year, and imported 295.7 million dollars’ worth. Slovene exports to the USA increased by 12.9 per cent in 2015 (19 per cent more than two years ago), and imports increased by a quarter after they dropped by 32 per cent the year before. Slovenian trade with the USA showed a 1.7 per cent share last year in total. “Since many Slovenian products ‘roam’ to the USA through third countries, the exact number on the value of trade of goods between the USA and Slovenia is practically impossible to determine,” commented Marko Jare, head of the International Business Centre at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia, regarding goods trade between the countries. He also added that the USA is the second most important export market outside the European Union for Slovenia, right after the Russian Federation, where Slovenian exports in 2015 dropped by one fifth compared to the previous year.

Aleš Beno

Dynamic exchange of goods between the USA and Slovenia

“Slovenian exports to the USA doubled in the past six years,” points out Marko Jare of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia.

“The most successful Slovenian companies servicing the American market are the ones who export innovative products (or services) of excellent quality to the USA, with modern design and appropriate (competitive) prices, and which also meet American regulations,” says Marko Jare from the Slovenian Chamber of Commerce. And how well are Slovenian companies using the possibilities offered by the US market? According to SPIRIT Slovenia, which monitors the internationalization of Slovenian companies and operates within the Slovenian Ministry of Economic Development and Technology, “Slovenian companies could take more advantage of the possibilities offered by the American market.” The Slovenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has issued a similar statement: “Slovenian companies are still not sufficiently realizing the great potential offered by this large and distant market. This is despite the fact that this is a market Slovenian companies, with specific specialized products, actually need. Since the distance and transport costs are no longer an obstacle, the US market is becoming increasingly more interesting to Slovenian businesses”. According to SPIRIT Slovenia, the following Slovenian industrial sectors have the most appeal to the American market: car industry, healthcare equipment, environment protection equipment, computer hardware and software, ICT, chemical and pharmaceutical industry and biotechnology, metal production and processing, agroindustrial industry, green technologies sector (water power, solar power, wind power, electric mobility). They also add that possibilities in the USA are also opening up in digitalization and in technologies pertaining to renewable energy sources. Energetics (photovoltaics) and green or environmental technologies are also industries of interest.

More business with mutual knowledge

“For the USA and Slovenia to make greater use of the business opportunities available to both countries, mutual knowledge is very important,” states the Slovenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. They add: “It is crucial for America to learn about Slovenia and the opportunities it offers - through tourism and through individual successful Slovenian companies operating in

the American market and via the positive reports of American companies already operating in Slovenia. Economic delegations organized annually by the American Chamber of Commerce in Slovenia, otherwise known as AmCham Slovenia, and SPIRIT Slovenia are also welcome, along with participation at international trade fairs, which are the contact points for companies from across the globe.” The American Chamber of Commerce in Slovenia also sees the possibilities for additional increases in economic cooperation between the USA and Slovenia in the potential of Slovenia, a green reference country in the digital Europe initiative. “It brings an extraordinary opportunity for the Slovenian economy and the country to become the reference for a complete digital ecosys-

tem,” emphasized Ajša Vodnik, executive manager at AmCham Slovenia. She says that the interest in economic cooperation between the USA and Slovenia has been increasing lately, and concludes, “We are glad that we are meeting new investors in the market. But there are still many opportunities for growth. Particularly regarding US investment in Slovenia. We are also happy about the Slovenian stories going on in the USA. Among others, the opening of the ABC Accelerator Global Home in Silicon Valley, which will enable the greater expansion of innovative companies to Silicon Valley, the cradle of innovation and digital transformation”.                                     Sabina Petrov

Slovene imports from the USA by product groups in the past year

Slovene exports to the USA by product groups in the past year

Share (in %)

Share (in %)


Mineral fuels and oil


Machines, mechanical devices, their parts


Iron and steel

Electrical machines and equipment


Glass and glass products

Rubber and rubber products


Aircraft and their parts 02


Electrical machines and equipment

Optical, measuring and control instruments



Pharmaceutical products


Plastic mass and rubber products


Machines, mechanical devices, their parts





Source: Export window

11 5 5 05




Source: Export window

LITOSTROJ STEEL LTD., Production of Quality Steel Castings Litostrojska cesta 44, P.O. BOX 296, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia T: +386 1 513 12 00 F: +386 1 505 66 96 E: foundry@litostroj.com, W: www.litostroj.com Litostroj Steel is a specialized producer of complex, individual, machined and preassembled heavy castings made of steel and special alloys in weight up to 60 tons, focused on supplies of components for hydro, gas and steam turbines, pumps, valves and shipbuilding to the global market for nearly 70 years. Litostroj Steel’s experience, references, knowledge and tradition in manufacturing high tech cast components contributes to better services of hydro and thermal power plants in the United States and Canada, saving the resources and protecting the environment. Reliability and fulfillment of expectation have contributed to the good reputation which we have established with final users in the North American market being engaged and contributing to growing and developing hydro and thermal power market in last 20 years.

We are especially proud of manufacturing and supplying Francis and Pump Storage runners for biggest US hydropower facilities such as Hoover Dam, Blenheim Gilboa and Lewiston as well as more than 100 sets of 7FA and 9FA CDC and TS for gas turbine stations. PHOTO: Hydro and Thermal Power Component

Slovenian exporters

Sales to the USA increased by one tenth in the first six months of the year


he Slovenian economy has strong connections with the international business environment. In the first half of the year, Slovenian companies sold almost 14 billion dollars’ worth of goods in foreign markets and purchased imports valued at more than 12.8 billion dollars. Data from the Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia shows that Slovenia increased its export business in the first six months by 4.5 percent compared to the previous year, and its imports by 1.8 percent. Most sales in Slovenia are generated by industrial companies. They sold over 22.4 billion dollars’ worth of products and services last year. That is 3.9 percent more than in 2014. Over 73 percent of the nation’s income from industrial products and services sales was generated in foreign markets last year. Data from the Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia shows that 873 Slovenian companies

were exporting to the USA last year and 770 the year before, while 6,251 purchased imports from the USA last year, and 6,007 the year before. Slovenian exporters created 287 million dollars in sales on the US market in the first six months of this year, which is 10.1 percent more than in the same period last year. We checked the levels of success in the USA of various Slovenian exporters.

Impol present with its products in the USA for half a century Impol is a Slovenian manufacturer of aluminum products and can boast some 190 years of history. The company made over 610 million dollars of sales income last year, and has been a presence in the USA for more than 50 years. “We have been selling our products to the USA under our own brand since 1990, when the Impol Group founded the Impol Aluminum Corporation.

Jure Makovec

“We have increased the sales of aluminum products to the USA in the past six years by 35 percent,” said Edvard Slaček, Chief Executive Officer of Impol Group.

24 Slovenia invites you!

We mostly export products with high added value to the American market. Our most important product group is aluminum rods for use in the automotive, electrical and aviation industries. The USA is the ninth largest export market for Impol, and we generate 3 percent of our sales there,” said Edvard Slaček, Chief Executive Officer of Impol Group. The Impol Group increased the sales of their products in the USA by 35 percent in the past six years. “High product quality, reliability of aftersales support and quick supply are crucial for succeeding in the American market. Customers also appreciate the helpfulness of sales staff and help in finding technical solutions,” explains Mr. Slaček.

Boxmark Leather are a manufacturer of leather seat covers and generate most of their income in the automotive industry. The company hired 600 new employees in the past year. They export outdoor furniture, manufactured in cooperation with the Slovenian company Talum, to the US market. “We also export leather seat covers for the automotive and aviation industries to the USA. We manufacture these in Slovenia and send them to the USA through our German partner. In Boxmark Individual we manufacture for the shipping industry. We create the leather interiors of small boats for individual projects as well as the interiors of yachts for serial projects. We also equip the interiors of cruise ships for large corporations (tourist cruise ships) as well as ferries. Our latest projects are a worldwide innovation: leather flooring for the aviation industry which meets all of that industry’s strict standards,” states the Director of Boxmark Leather in Slovenia, Marjan Trobiš. Boxmark acquired so many new businesses during the past year that the company increased their income by 15 percent, almost reaching the 168 million mark. “The USA is one of our crucial markets for further expansion of our business, and it has proven to be a long-term growth market,” says Mr. Trobiš. He adds that market presence is very important for success in the American market. “We are constantly investing in trade fairs and other business meetings. This way we also familiarize ourselves with customer needs and can consequently offer them high-quality products which meet their demand. I can say that our quality convinces every customer,” says Marjan Trobiš, the Director of Boxmark Leather in Slovenia.

Gorenje has been exporting home appliances to the USA since 1987

Manufacturer of home appliances Gorenje has

Aleš Beno

Boxmark Leather will expand their business in the USA

made over 681 million dollars of income by selling in foreign markets and is a major presence in the American market with Asko, the global premium brand of home appliances. “We have been exporting to the USA since 1987. Asko home appliances are available across North America, which is one of Asko’s main, oldest and largest markets. We market our washing machines, dryers and dishwashers in the USA through our exclusive distributor Sub-Zero, who are synonymous with prestige cooling-freezing and cooking appliances of the highest range, and are the representatives for the Sub-Zero, Wolf, Cove and Asko brands,” explains Franjo Bobinac, President of the Management Board for the Gorenje Group. The Gorenje Group will increase its sales in North America by 35 percent compared to last year. “We plan to grow even further with our distributor. In 2017 we will introduce completely new platforms or generations of dishwashers, washing machines and dryers to the market. They will have supreme Scandinavian design, exceptional adjustment and precision, attention to detail and numerous unique functions,” announces Mr. Bobinac.

“The USA is one of our key markets for further expansion of business,” asserted Marjan Trobiš, Director of Boxmark Leather, manufacturers of leather car seat covers.

Port of Koper wants direct shipping lines with the USA

The Port of Koper, the only Slovenian international cargo port, plans to transship 21.4 million tons of goods this year while creating 218 million dollars of sales income in the process. Last year American goods were mostly transshipped for import. “This totaled almost 820 thousand tons, consisting mostly of coal and gas oil. Clients for the goods or services originate from our Slovenia invites you! 25

Jure Makovec

“We will increase our sales in North America by 35 percent this year with our premium Asko brand,” estimates Franjo Bobinac, President of the Management Board of the Gorenje Group.

continental background in Central and Eastern Europe,” the port management explains, while also pointing out that they will try to increase quantities in other areas of goods as well. “Mostly for our strategic cargo, which is containers and vehicles, and we will also strive to establish direct shipping lines with the USA.” On the question of how important is the flow of goods from and to the USA for the Port of Koper and how important is the Port of Koper for the flow of goods from the USA to Europe and from Europe to the USA, the Slovenian port management responds: “Due to the geographic position of the Port of Koper western and north-western European ports have the advantage in trade of goods between the European Union and the USA. The sea route from these ports is shorter for the USA and they also offer a widespread network of direct shipping lines that the Port of Koper still does not have at the moment. Regardless of this, the opportunity or the advantage of Koper is in the proximity to Central-European markets, mostly for distribution and cargo where quantity justifies the costs of direct sea transport.”

the early nineties with steel rods, tool steel and special steel manufactured by SIJ Metal Ravne. “We also founded our own trading company, Kopo International, due to the large distance involved and to provide easier control over the market. As well as tool and special steel from SIJ Metal Ravne, Kopo also successfully markets stainless and special sheets from SIJ Acroni. To ensure better customer care and faster supply, a challenge for most European exporters, we also opened our own warehouse,” explains Mr. Radjenovič.

At Power-Gen International, Orlando, in December

The company oriented its market activities towards end customers in the automotive, food, recycling, nuclear and oil and gas industries. According to the company’s spokesperson, SIJ Group steel is used by all the larger manufacturers of

The Port of Koper, the only Slovenian international cargo port, transshipped almost 820 thousand tons of American goods in the past year, mostly coal and gas oil.

The Slovenian Steel Industry (SIJ) steel group will sell steel products worth upwards of 70 million dollars on the American market this year, giving a more than 10 percent increase to the company’s entire sales income. “This puts SIJ Group in first place among Slovenian exporters to the USA,” emphasized Dušica Radjenovič, Sales Director at SIJ Group. The US market is one of the most important export markets for SIJ Group. They entered it in 26 Slovenia invites you!

Archive Port of Koper

SIJ Group will sell more than 70 million dollars’ worth of steel products to the USA

Archive SIJ Group

“We will sell more than 70 million dollars’ worth of steel products, which puts us in first place among Slovenian exporters to the USA,” says Dušica Radjenovič, Sales Director at SIJ Group.

industrial knives in the USA. “We have successfully begun to enter the energy market and we earned the trust of General Electric (GE) and Siemens USA as a certified supplier. We are also established as an important supplier for special stainless containers for nuclear waste. The US is our largest market for special VOD (vacuum oxygen decarburization) steel rods, an area in which we expect our largest growth in the coming year.” This year the SIJ Group will sell over 22 thousand tons of steel products to more than 80 different American and Canadian customers. “Customers grow with us, they remain loyal because they trust our quality and they appreciate quality sales and the logistics service of our local team,” emphasizes Dušica Radjenovič, Sales Director at SIJ Group. Shee concludes, “The recent inclusion of Slovenia on the DFARS list of authorized suppliers will definitely contribute to further growth of our sales in the US market as we managed to acquire seven new customers just because of that. SIJ Group will also have a strong presence at the world’s largest energy fair, Power-Gen International in Orlando this December, where we will present our SINOXX and SIPREME brands, which we use to sell steel for the energy sector.”                   Sabina Petrov

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Slovenia is a tourist wonderland

In the rich subterranean world of Slovenia visitors can also meet a “dragon�


ith only 20,273 square kilometers of land area, Slovenia offers many diverse experiences at the meeting place of the Alpine, Pannonian, Karst and Mediterranean worlds. Visitors to Slovenia can experience the refreshing mountain air, picturesque sea coast, magical woods, numerous spas, natural and cultural sights, and the urban pulse in cities where medieval and modern architecture interlace. The friendly attitude of the local population is an additional favorable element adding to the ambience of homeliness and hospitality. In addition to the beautiful natural environment, tourists also appreciate Slovenian cuisine and 28 Slovenia invites you!

adrenaline junkies can find a whole load of thrills. A major advantage of the country is that Slovenia can offer visitors vast possibilities in a relatively small area and in a short space of time. It’s possible to cross the country within a few hours. This means you can be drinking coffee in the mountains in the morning and take a swim in the warm Adriatic Sea in the afternoon.

Postojna Cave has attracted 37 million visitors

The greatest tourist attraction in Slovenia, visited by 37 million people over the past 200 years, is located below the ground. This is Postojna Cave, with its abundance of stalac-

Ljubljana, the Slovenian capital, visited by a million tourists from all over the world, this year proudly wears the Green Capital of Europe title.

tites and stalagmites, pillars, drapes and other interesting forms created by water as it slowly deposits limestone over millennia. Postojna cave has been formed by the Pivka River for two million years and is the only cave in Europe which tourists can visit by train. This year Postojna Cave is at the center of world public attention because of another phenomenon - the hatching of 64 proteus (or human fish) eggs in the cave aquarium. Some 22 of the young survived.

“Dragons” live in the rich subterranean world of Slovenia


The news about “dragons” in Slovenia spread around the world with the speed of light and the international media visited Postojna Cave to report on the rare event. A particular source of pride at Postojna Cave was that the New York Times was one of the first news organizations to arrive on the scene. At the end of May, exactly four months after the human fish (a type of rare, cave-dwelling salamander) hatched its first egg, the first “dragon” emerged before the infra-red cameras that biologists and other scientists used to constantly monitor events in the cave aquarium. Statistical information that only two animals successfully develop from 500 hatched eggs confirms that this really is an extraordinary event. The infrared recordings also present a priceless heritage for biologists and the public as a proteus hatching has never before been recorded.

From Bled to the Soča River in the Slovenian Alps

One of the most recognizable symbols of Slovenia is the glacial Lake Bled at the edge of

This development project of a modern private hospital in a perfect location halfway between Ljubljana and Maribor, Slovenia’s largest cities, is designed to accommodate a complete range of medical service providers for the growing private patient market in the Alpe-Adria region.

Iztok Medja/Postojnska jama

The greatest tourist attraction in Slovenia, visited by 37 million people over the past 200 years, is Postojna Cave. Visitors can experience an unforgettable train ride through the first section of the cave.


the Slovenian Alps. With its legendary island in the middle of the lake, hotels and bathing locations and numerous natural and cultural sights, Bled has been attracting visitors from all over the world for a long time. Lake Bohinj is not far from Bled and is a synonym for tranquility and untouched nature. This remarkably beautiful location, with its crystal clear water under Alpine mountains, provides a peaceful haven for visitors. Kranjska Gora is another pleasant place to be during winter and summer. It’s a great spot to enjoy sports in nature, from hiking, cycling and paragliding to sledding and skiing. The emerald Soča is Slovenia’s most beautiful river, and from here you can see all the way to Mt. Triglav. This tallest of Slovenian mountains is particularly mysterious and magical. Such is its national significance that it is featured on the Slovenian coat of arms and flag. News about Slovenian “dragons” or proteus, which hatched 64 eggs in Postojna Cave aquarium, spread around the world like lightning. The same happened with videos of the first “dragon” being hatched four months later.

30 Slovenia invites you!

Indulgence on the Slovenian coast

The Slovenian coast provides a counterpoint to the country’s mountainous regions. Within a coastline of only 46.6 kilometers there is a surprising number of places well worth a visit. The towns of Piran, Izola and Koper stir the imagination with their medieval appearance. Koper will thrill you with its picturesque city

slo-Marovt d.o.o.

Technical Excellence at Competitive Price Marovt is a family-run group that manufactures precision forging components for the automotive industry and improves the competitiveness of its partners. Marovt d.o.o. was established as a family business in 1971 and is currently managed by the second generation of the Marovt family. In 1989, an important milestone in the company’s development, they began to co-operate and supply their first components to the automotive industry, which represent an important portion of their sales today.


High-alloy Steels Marovt is engaged in the production of precision forging components for the automotive industry. In recent years high-alloy steel components used in the high-temperature applications have been the company’s niche products. The complex forging elements manufactured by Marovt are completely machined using top modern CNC machines. They can produce different forging part from 0.01 kg till 1 kg weight. The

permanent control of the forming process allows the production of forging components within very narrow tolerances, which provide a high degree of rationalization in the mechanical processing. Marovt’s highly-qualified engineering personnel enable the company to co-ope-

rate in the development of components for its partners in the automotive sector, a process which helps the customer optimize their product - both technically as well as price-wise. Adhering to 4.0 Industry Guidelines Marovt became involved in the digitization of its production very early on, and nowadays it follows the development guidelines regulated by Industry 4.0. A comprehensive on-line control system of all machines and production lines has been established, thus facilitating the full traceability of all manufactures within the production system. In addition to the digitalization, the company invests in the production automation and robotics, which will enable it to meet its target of zero-error production in the future. The development and implementation of the aforementioned systems is undertaken jointly with its

Moderne Tehnologije d.o.o. and Inkolteh d.o.o. subsidiaries, which ensure that global trends are transmitted directly into the production and the workplace. Partner For Your Future With more than forty-five years of tradition, Marovt is certainly the most trustworthy partner, as it is evidenced by their references. Their products are delivered directly to the world's most prestigious car manufacturers, which regard them as a long-term development partner. This is what provides Marovt with the motivation to follow their slogan Partner For Your Future!

Tomo Jesenicnik/www.slovenia.info

The mysterious and magical valley of Slovenia’s beautiful emerald Soča River, with views up to Triglav.

center; Izola is a lovely seaside town with a long fishing tradition; while Piran, with its narrow streets and closely-packed houses, is a protected cultural-historic monument considered to be the most romantic destination on the Slovenian coast. Portorož is the most vibrant city on the Slovenian coast, with its many modern hotels with pools and restaurants offering excellent sea food. Numerous events are organized, 32 Slovenia invites you!

and there is a wealth of bars and casinos for the entertainment of guests. The Slovenian coast also has a special connection between nature and man - the Sečovlje Salina Nature Park, which was first mentioned in the 13th century. It combines salt production, history and abundant treasures of flora and fauna along with opportunities for unique indulgence in the exquisite thalasso spa set amidst the idyllic environment of fabulous Salina.

Ubald Trnkoczy/www.slovenia.info

Indulgence in relaxation oases

The opportunities offered by Slovenian natural spas are particularly abundant and diverse. These qualities, combined with the technical expertise on hand make the spas extremely appealing to foreign guests. Spas are located in every corner of Slovenia, and each has a different but high-quality program. Terme Radenci is noted for its Radenska mineral water and Terme 3000 for its unique black thermal water. Donat Mg mineral water, with its high magnesium content, is a trade mark of the famous Rogaška Slatina spa, and Terme Čatež offers relaxation and entertainment for all ages. Without a doubt, Slovenian healing water spas have something for everyone.

City of Piran, a protected culturalhistoric monument, is considered to be the most romantic destination on the Slovenian coast.

Wandering the city streets

City life lovers will enjoy Ljubljana, a dynamic capital with a rich history, charming architecture and over ten thousand cultural events per year. It has a distinctly centralEuropean character in the winter and a Mediterranean serenity in the summer. Ljubljana is proud to have been awarded the title the Green Capital of Europe this year. Maribor, the second largest city in Slovenia, which boasts the oldest grapevine in the world, and Maribor-Pohorje, the largest ski resort in Slovenia, are also lovely cities, offering many opportunities for relaxation, fun and wellness.      

Saša Suhadolnik, Sabina Petrov








1 Pipistrel I Panthera, the first serially produced four-seat aeroplane with a modular choice of power train (piston, electric or hybrid) in the world I www.pipistrel.si; 2 Talking Friends I Talking Tom app. I www.outfit7.com; 3 Lumar I Lumar Black Line Pure S I www.lumar.si; 4 Elan I Amphibio skis I www.elan.si; 5 Akrapovič I Akrapovič Evolution Line (Titanium) for the Ducati 1199 Panigale I www.akrapovic.com; 6 Gorenje I Oven interface I www.gorenje.com; 7 Adria Mobil I Matrix Supreme motorhome I www.adria-mobil.com

Connect to Slovenian Business Excellence Slovenia boasts a surprising number of internationally renowned brands like household appliances producer Gorenje, motor homes producer Adria Mobil, ski manufacturer Elan, and names like skier Tina Maze, philosopher Slavoj Žižek, composer and musician Slavko Avsenik and his Oberkrainer ensemble, etc. Some world famous products such as the 35 mm slide frame, the perfume atomizer, alpine carving skis, the first hybrid yacht and the best selling Talking Friends smart phone application were created in Slovenia. Slovenia is a traditionally export-driven economy. The Slovenian education system meets the highest standards and produces a highly qualified and diverse workforce. Advanced technological solutions, ongoing investments in R&D, highest quality production processes, spirited innovation and widespread ecological awareness in the greenest of Europe’s natural environments are firmly integrated in the development and production strategies of an increasingly wide array of ambitious, forward-looking Slovenian companies.

Contact us: SPIRIT, Slovenian Public Agency for Entrepreneurship, Internationalization, Foreign Investments and Technology Verovškova ulica 60, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia T: +386 1 5891 870 E: invest@spiritslovenia.si, slopartner@spiritslovenia.si

If you are searching for a supplier or planning to set up or relocate an export business, choosing Slovenia could be the best decision you ever made. Slovenia offers a supportive environment for emerging businesses looking to thrive internationally through its technically-savvy workforce and pro-business infrastructure. Slovenia’s appeal is not low-cost manufacturing but the reputation of its technology- and innovation-driven industries. Why not grow your business by taking advantage of Slovenia’s business potential and benefit from our services tailored to meet the needs of your company? All our services are free of charge and include: • business specific information on industries, legislation, taxes and incentives, • data bases with investment projects and industrial sites, • information on Slovenian suppliers, • organization of fact-finding missions, • links with industry and local authorities, and • counselling and advice in practical matters. www.sloveniapartner.eu


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Slovenia’s time-tested qualities make it a prime location for greenfield production, regional HQ, distribution and logistics centre or R&D facility. We provide support for foreign investors looking to take advantage of the country’s strengths. We continue to work with businesses under our aftercare programme to ensure your investment is a success.

Photos: 1 Ljubljana, © Dunja Wedam, www.slovenia.info, 2 ©Port of Koper, 3 Bled; ©Franci Ferjan; www.slovenia.info, 4 ©Krka - R & D center in pharmaceutical companies


Financed by the Ministry of the Republic of Slovenia for Economic Development and Technology.


Peter Podlunšek

Tim Gajser

is an aerobatics pilot who was the first Slovenian to enter the elite Master Class of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship this year. Entering the master class in aerobatic flying is comparable to racing drivers competing in Formula 1 or motorcyclists in MotoGP.

is a young (20) Slovenian motocross rider who became the world champion in the elite MXGP class this year. Last year he was the world champion in the MX2 class.

Anže Kopitar

Tina Maze

is the most successful Slovenian alpine skier, being a world champion and Olympic champion. She won 11 times in the 2012/13 season and collected a record number of points (2,414).

became in 2006 the first Slovenian ice hockey player to compete in the NHL. He won the Stanley Cup with his team the Los Angeles Kings in the 2011/12 and 2013/14 seasons. This year he became the team captain of the Kings.

Goran Dragić

is a Slovenian professional basketball player who has been playing in the NBA since 2008. He started his career with Phoenix Suns, and has been playing for Miami Heat since last year.

ph oto mo nta ge: Igo rČ

Martin Strel is a professional marathon

swimmer who was the first to swim the entire length of the Mississippi River, a feat which took him 68 days, and the entire length of the Danube River, which took him 58 days. He also took just 66 days to swim the entire length of the Amazon River.

Slovenian sports


Profile for Dejan P.

SLOVENIA invites you!  


SLOVENIA invites you!  


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