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Slovenia

Basic Information

Area: 20,273 km²

Calling code: +386

Population: 2,023,358

Official Language: Slovene

Time zone: CET (UTC+1), Local time: 04:58

Overview

Slovenia (officially known as the Republic of Slovenia), is a country in Central Europe that reaches from the Alps to the Adriatic Sea and borders Austria, Croatia, Hungary and Italy.

According to the CIA Factbook, Slovenia covers a total area of 20,273 square kilometres and is the 154th largest country in the world. Estimates in 2010 put the population at 2,003,136 with 83% Slovenian, 2% Serb and the remainder a mixture of primarily Croat and Bosniak people. The official language of the Slovenia is Slovene, although Hungarian and Italian are also widely spoken.

The country has a population density of 99.6/km2 ranking it 104th versus other countries across the globe.

Slovienia gained independence from the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1991, adopting a new constitution that same year. As a parliamentary republic, it has 210 municipalities (that includes 11 urban municipalities) and 62 administative districts which are not self governed, but territorial sub-units of government administration. The current chief of state is President Danilo Turk who was elected to power in December 2007.

Slovenia’s largest and capital city is Ljubljana .

The official currency is the Euro which is comprised of 100 cents.

Slovenia participates in a number of international organisations including The United Nations, WTO and IMF.

Economy

The CIA estimated Slovenia’s GDP in 2009 at $48.6 billion and a GDP (PPP) $55.41 billion, ranking it 87th in comparison to the rest of the world. The country has the highest per capita GDP in Central Europe, estimated in 2009 by the CIA at $27,600.

Slovenia has established itself as a model of economic success since it’s adoption of the Euro in 2004. The country today enjoys a strong industrial base, skilled labour force and modern education system. Privatisation is happening slowly but surely and structural reforms have helped lower unemployment in the region. The national GDP is primarily driven by the services sector (66%) that includes transport, construction and communications, followed by the industry sector (31%) and agriculture (2.4%).

The country’s main industries are ferrous metallurgy and aluminium products, lead and zinc smelting, electronics, trucks, automobiles, electric power equipment, wood products, textiles, chemicals and machine tools. Slovenia’s agricultural sector continues to flourish, producing a significant proportion of the nation’s food requirements. An array of crops, vegetables and fruits are grown in flourishing farmlands alongside live stock.

Some of Slovenia’s main commodities include manufactured goods, machinery and transport equipment, chemicals and food and are exported primarily to Germany 19%, Italy 11%, Croatia 8% and Austria 7%.

Slovenia also imports a number of products, primarily machinery and equipment, manufactured goods, chemicals and fuels with 16% coming from Germany, 16% Italy, 12% Austria, 5% France and Croatia 4%.

Infrastructure

Slovenia has a well developed infrastructure which has enjoyed substantial investment from the government to ensure that the country can take advantage of geographical and trade potential. The country is connected by an extensive network of roads and highways that stretch for some 38,873 kilometres. Almost all of roads are paved and well maintained, carrying an estimated 36.7 million passengers in 2009.

Slovenia’s railways stretch for some 1,228 kilometres and are managed by the State Railway – Slovenian Railways. The railway links to both domestic and international destinations including major cities in Austria, Croatia, Hungary and Italy. It is estimated that the rail network moves over 16 million passengers and 17 million tonnes of freight per year.

The country has sixteen airports, seven of which have paved runways and three of which are international. Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport is the largest and busiest airport in Slovenia, located 19 kilometres north of the capital city of Ljubljana. The airport operates services to numerous destinations including Vienna, Prague, Munich and Paris and in 2007 handled a total of 1,524,028 passengers.

Slovenia is also home to the Port of Koper, the second biggest port in the Eastern Adriatic Sea that moved in 2007 over 15 million tonnes of cargo.

Workforce

The CIA Factbook in 2009 estimated Slovenia’s labour force at 945,000. 63% of the labour force work in services sector which is comprised of finance, real estate, education, transportation and communication. 35% work in the industrial sector which includes metal processing, automobiles, electric power equipment, wood products, textiles and chemicals. The remaining 2.2% work in agriculture producing vegetables, grain, fruits and meat products.

The labour force is predominantly Slovene with around 16% being made up of Serbs, Croats and Bosniak people.

Slovenia benefits from a skilled workforce that is a result of an established education system. The constitution grants free education to all of its citizens, and it is compulsory for children to complete primary and secondary education until the age of 15 years. State schools make up the majority of secondary schools throughout the country, although there are a small number of private accredited institutions. In the 2002 census it was revealed that 67% of the population had obtained at least upper secondary education. The government’s emphasis and investment into education has resulted in a high literacy rate of 99.7%.

The Slovenia Statisical Office reported in July 2010 that the unemployment rate was 10.5%.

Business Costs

Slovenia’s individual income tax rates work on a progressive scale of 16% - 41%.

Slovenia’s corporate tax rate has been reduced in recent years to encourage foreign investment and aid the development of businesses. In 2010 the rate was set at 20%, although companies in special economic zones pay only 10%.

The standard VAT rate in Slovenia is 20%, whilst a reduced VAT of 8.5% can be applied to food and other essential products. Exports from Slovenia are not subject to value added tax.

Slovenia operates a national minimum wage that is adjusted each year to account for inflation, wages, economic growth and employment. In 2010 the wage was set at €510 per month for adults in full time employment, rising to €530 in 2011.
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