German punctuality, Balkan creativity and Mediterranean charm are core assets of the Slovenian economy. Slovenia is often cited as the ideal transition economy. Its GDP per capita places it on the cusp of Western Europe, the workforce is well trained, punctuality is a virtue, and communications and transportation infrastructure are good.
Like all other Western economies, Slovenia is continuing the shift toward the service economy, and industrial and manufacturing sectors are in decline. A glance at a list of Slovenia’s largest companies shows a diversified economy, as these companies deal in energy services, pharmaceuticals, financial services, wood industry, automobile production, breweries, and the manufacturing of household appliances to keep the Slovenian beer cold.
Even before the Slovenia’s independency, the economy had developed important global brands – have you ever heard of Elan skis? Other than that, Slovenia boasts a surprising number of international renowned brands like PipiStrel aircraft, awarded by NASA, motor homes Adria Mobil, Akrapovič exhaust systems, a world-class Gorenje household appliances with their impeccable design?
Slovenia also boasts exceptional levels of expertise and knowledge. Slovenian companies strive for innovation and excellence of their products, thus maintaining the trust of consumers in the quality of Slovenian brands. Besides that, Slovenians are proud of gender equality, having the lowest gender pay gap of any other country in the EU.
SPIRIT Slovenia is public agency for entrepreneurship, internationalization, foreign investments and technology. One of their core goals is connecting different stakeholders of the support environment and promoting the development of its services, and creating an environment in which enterprising and innovative individuals bring their ideas to fruition, which leads to successful market realisation.
Slovenia is a traditionally export-driven economy, its trade is orientated towards other EU countries, mainly Germany, Austria, Italy and France. Slovenian business culture is Germanic in its respect for protocol, hierarchy, formality, and division between work time and leisure time, but more Southern in its relations with employees.
Above all, there is the famed Slovenian work ethic. Working in meetings and events is full on. It’s much more 24/7 and a lot less than 9 to 5. It’s requires a yes-we-can attitude, an ability to run with the punches and, of course, a 24-hour smile. That’s professionalism, Slovenian-style!
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[Partial sources: UKOM, Spirit Slovenija, Slovenia – Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture, by Jason Blake, photo: STB]