Region/Countries: Europe, Slovenia Industry: Biosciences / Medical Devices Date: April 2018

Why this is important to Wisconsin businesses: Trends including an aging population, growth in private health care, and increasing life expectancy are creating opportunities.

Since 2017, Slovenia’s economy has developed dynamically. GDP growth is projected to exceed 5 percent in 2018, and further growth of 3.8 percent is expected for 2019. The country has benefited from strong economies in its chief EU partner countries, strong domestic consumption, and increasing investment. Slovenia has developed a strong position as an exporter, with export growth of 10.6 percent in 2017, and further projected growth of 9.2 percent in 2018 and 7.5 percent in 2019.

After a recession from 2009 to 2015, the Slovenian market for medical technology is recovering. With an average growth rate of 7 percent, it is expected to reach a market volume of $174.6 million. Other instruments and appliances accounts for the biggest share of this growth, followed by orthopedic devices, catheters, cannulas and needles, infrared devices, artificial joints, electro-diagnostic equipment, dental instruments, furniture for doctors, and X-ray equipment.

The public share of health spending amounted to 72 percent in 2015, less than in Germany and the Czech Republic (85 percent in each case), but notably higher than in Hungary (67 percent). In 2017, plans for an increase of public funding for health care  were announced, with planned investments of $94.4 million in secondary and tertiary health care through the end of 2018. Specific projects include the expansion of the emergency department of Ljubliana’s clinic and the procurement of medical technology for regional clinics in Novo Mesto, Celje and Slovenj Gradec.

Imports dominate the Slovenian medical technology market, and 20 percent of these imports come from the U.S. The Slovenian government's plans to replace outdated hospital equipment is creating opportunities for new and innovative products. Trends including the aging population, growth in private health care, and increasing life expectancy are also creating market opportunities. The highest import growth was recorded in medical furniture, followed by electro-diagnostic equipment, wheelchairs and x-rays.

Further information on the sector can be found on the website of the Slovenian Ministry of Health:

PTZ is the Slovenian association of manufacturers and distributors of medicine technology:

Trade fairs are a good opportunity to review local manufacturers, competitors and find potential business partners. Medical Slovenia is an annual international trade fair that takes place in April in Gornja Radgona: