Slovenia - Country Commercial Guide
Market Overview

Discusses key economic indicators and trade statistics, which countries are dominant in the market, and other issues that affect trade.

Last published date: 2021-10-06

Strategically located between Central Europe and the Western Balkans, with excellent infrastructure and a well-educated labor force, Slovenia is an attractive trade and investment partner for companies across a wide range of sectors.  After gaining independence from Yugoslavia in 1991, Slovenia rapidly registered dramatic gains in per capita and aggregate wealth, established a stable and well-functioning democracy, and significantly raised Slovenians’ standard of living.  Slovenia joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the European Union (EU) in 2004, the Eurozone and the Schengen Zone in 2007, and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development Europe (OECD) in 2010.  In recent years, Slovenia’s economic growth has outpaced that of most other EU member states, and it has enjoyed rising incomes, growing domestic consumption, falling unemployment, low inflation rates, and burgeoning consumer confidence.  Slovenia’s GDP grew by a 3.2 percent to EUR 48.4 billion in 2019.  Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the economy contracted by 5.5 per cent in 2020, but forecasts show a return to growth of 4.6 percent in 2021 and 4.4 per cent in 2022.  With a small domestic market of just over two million people, Slovenia’s economy is heavily dependent on foreign trade and susceptible to international price and currency fluctuations and economic conditions among its larger trading partners. 

Slovenia is not a major trading partner for the United States, accounting for less than 0.1 percent of U.S. exports (USD 274.6 million) and less than 0.1 percent of U.S. imports (USD 634 million) in 2020.  Seventy-five percent of Slovenia’s foreign trade is with the EU, primarily Germany, Italy, Austria, Croatia, and France.  Slovenia also has extensive trade ties with non-EU Western Balkan and Eastern European countries.  Outside the EU, Serbia and Russia are Slovenia’s largest export markets, and China its most important import partner.  U.S. exports to Slovenia consist primarily of mineral fuels and oils, nuclear reactor components, mechanical appliances, measuring equipment, and machinery, while Slovenia exports pharmaceuticals, electrical machinery and equipment, steel, glass, and glass products to the United States.  The United States was Slovenia’s 14th largest export market and twenty-third largest source of imports in 2020. 

Taking into account both direct and indirect investment, Bank of Slovenia data indicated that U.S. companies accounted for almost ten percent of total inward foreign investment in 2019, with EUR 172.3 million (USD 202.4 million) invested directly and an additional EUR 1.31 billion (USD 1.54 billion) invested indirectly through U.S. subsidiaries in other European countries.  This combined investment of EUR 1.48 billion (USD 1.74 billion) placed the United States as Slovenia’s fourth largest source of direct and indirect foreign investment, behind Germany (EUR 2.276 billion), Austria (EUR 2.275 billion) and Italy (EUR 1.505 billion).