April 10, 2019 / 9:31 AM / 9 days ago

Slovenia plans to raise exports by almost 30 pct by 2025

BRDO PRI KRANJU, Slovenia, April 10 (Reuters) - Slovenia plans to increase exports to 50 billion euros ($56.34 billion) by 2025 from last year’s record 39 billion euro by supporting exporters and ensuring a stable and competitive economic environment, the country’s economy minister said.

Zdravko Pocivalsek also told an export conference on Wednesday that Slovenia wants to attract more foreign direct investment, which rose by 7 percent last year to a total of 14.7 billion euros.

Earlier this week, Japan’s Yaskawa opened a robot factory in Slovenia that will be export-oriented.

“We have to increase the number of companies that are exporting, disperse our exports to states outside the European Union and focus on products that will bring higher value added,” Pocivalsek told the conference.

Slovenia exports about 80 percent of its production, with 80 percent of those exports going to the other EU states, mainly Germany, Italy, Croatia, Austria and France.

Its main exports include cars, car products, pharmaceuticals and household appliances. The 100 largest export companies account for about as much as 56 percent of all exports.

Pocivalsek said that exports are expected to rise by about 5 percent this year and FDI should reach about 0.5 percent of gross domestic product. The statistics office said on Tuesday exports in the first two months of 2019 rose by 12.5 percent.

Slovenia hopes to diversify exports by increasing sales to Africa, Asia and South America over the coming years to ensure stability of its economy.

“If we would not search for new markets, innovations, new ideas, we can be surpassed by others,” Prime Minister Marjan Sarec told the same conference. ($1 = 0.8875 euros) (Reporting By Marja Novak)

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