Economy of Slovenia
Slovenia today is a developed country that enjoys prosperity and stability as well as a GDP per capita at 83% of the EU28average. It was the first new member of the European Union to adopt the euro as a currency in January 2007 and it has been a member of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development since 2010.
Slovenia has a highly educated workforce, well-developed infrastructure, and is situated at a major transport crossroad. On the other hand, the level of foreign direct investment is one of the lowest and the Slovenian economy has been severely hurt by the European economic crisis, which started in late 2000s. Almost two thirds of the working population are employed in services.
Slovenia's trade is orientated towards other EU countries, mainly Germany, Austria, Italy, and France. This is the result of a wholesale reorientation of trade toward the West and the growing markets of central and eastern Europe in the face of the collapse of its Yugoslav markets. Slovenia's economy is highly dependent on foreign trade. Trade equals about 120% of GDP (exports andimports combined). About two-thirds of Slovenia's trade is with other EU members.
This high level of openness makes it extremely sensitive to economic conditions in its main trading partners and changes in its international price competitiveness. However, despite the economic slowdown in Europe in 2001-03, Slovenia maintained a 3% GDP growth. Keeping labour costs in line with productivity is thus a key challenge for Slovenia's economic well-being, and Slovenian firms have responded by specializing in mid- to high-tech manufacturing. Industry and construction comprise about one quarter of GDP. As in most industrial economies, services make up an increasing share of output (57.1 percent), notably in financial services.
The traditional primary industries of agriculture, forestry, and fishing comprise a comparatively low 2.5 percent of GDP and engage only 6 percent of the population. The average farm is only 5.5 hectares. Part of Slovenia lies in the Alpe-Adria bioregion, which is currently involved in a major initiative in organic farming. Between 1998 and 2003, the organic sector grew from less than 0.1% of Slovenian agriculture to roughly the European Union average of 3.3%.
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