Ljubljana, 16 December (STA) - Atlantic Droga Kolinska, Belinka Perkemija, TKK and iSystem Labs were honoured on Wednesday as best foreign investors for their excellent business performance and contribution to the development of the Slovenian economy. The awards are given out annually by the SPIRIT investment promotion agency and the economy ministry.
With its proactive and dynamic approach, Slovenia increased the inflow of FDI in 2019 to over EUR 16 billion, which currently represents 33% of its GDP and 65.5% of all foreign direct investments in the country, Economic Development and Technology Minister Zdravko Počivalšek stressed in his keynote during the online awards ceremony.
"Slovenia has a clear vision of attracting socially responsible and sustainability-oriented foreign companies with investments with a higher added value which will contribute to a rise in competences of our labour force, to innovation and technological development as well as to balanced regional development."
The minister announced that SPIRIT and his ministry would present a new, three-pillar programme of investment development in the coming weeks.
The programme will focus on a support environment for innovation, on support for companies in their international efforts, and on financial incentives.
Acting SPIRIT director Tomaž Kostanjevec said he was happy the FDI Awards have become one of the main business events in the country.
"Foreign investors are a vital and strategic part of the business environment. You bring excellence, advanced technologies and rich experiences to the country," he said.
Atlantic Droga Kolinska, owned by Croatia's Atlantic Grupa since 2010, received the award in the category of best employer.
Belinka Perkemija, part of the Helios group since 2014, was rewarded in the green category, being a traditional chemical company which is environmentally minded.
Construction materials producer TKK, in Belgium's Soudal 100% ownership since 2013, won in the creative category, and iSystem Labs, a member of the iSYSTEM group, in the smart category.
The jury shortlisted several companies which meet these criteria: at least a 10% stake owned by a foreign company in the past year, added value per employee above Slovenia's average, ending the year with a profit, and having at least ten employees. They must also have all taxes paid and have not yet received the FDI Award.
First FDI Awards were introduced in 2006 as part of Slovenia's broader strategy of attracting foreign director investors, one of the government's priorities.