EUR 634.4 million for economic development, tourism and sport this year
This year, the Ministry of the Economy, Tourism and Sport, together with the implementing organisations and SID Bank, will offer over EUR 634.4 million in new financial incentives to the economy, tourism and sport, of which EUR 304.9 million will come from its own resources. With the planned investment of development funds, the Ministry continues to strengthen the competitiveness and added value of the Slovenian economy.
Last year, the Ministry, together with the implementing institutions and SID Bank, offered over EUR 700 million in development funds to the economy and tourism, supporting almost 5,000 projects.
At the presentation of this year's development incentives, the Minister of the Economy, Tourism and Sport Matjaž Han said that helping the economy to mitigate the energy crisis is important for its survival and maintaining competitiveness. "But to improve competitiveness and raise added value in the long term, we need to continue investing in the further development and growth of businesses, their digital and green transition and increased productivity."
This year, the Ministry, together with measures from the earmarked assets of implementing organisations and SID Bank, will offer the economy, tourism and sport sector just over EUR 634.4 million in new development incentives. Of these, around half, or EUR 304.9 million, will be offered to target groups by the Ministry of the Economy, Tourism and Sport together with the implementing organisations from its own budget and from European funds managed by the Ministry.
"We have prepared the schedule of planned calls for tenders with the aim of providing companies and other beneficiaries with the most predictable possibility to benefit from public funds and better and timely investment planning," said Minister Han, adding: "We will focus our actions on enhancing productivity, the green and digital transition, research and development, changing business models, strengthening competences and increasing added value."
The Ministry's actions will support the following eight areas:
- New intervention loans to mitigate the effects of the energy or Ukraine crisis, for investment and working capital – a total of EUR 110 million, or 36.1 per cent of the funds available. This involves setting up new financial instruments with the Slovenian Enterprise Fund and SID Bank on the basis of the Act Determining the Aid to the Economy to Mitigate the Consequences of the Energy Crisis;
- Economic restructuring of coal regions – EUR 83.1 million or 27.2 per cent;
- Research and development – EUR 33.9 million or 11.1 per cent;
- Entrepreneurship and internationalisation – EUR 29.3 million or 9.6 per cent;
- Sport – EUR 16.8 million or 5.5 per cent;
- Promotion of the wood processing industry – EUR 13.0 million or 4.3 per cent;
- Promotion of tourism development – EUR 10.7 million or 3.5 per cent;
- Circular economy – EUR 8.2 million or 2.7 per cent.
Currently, five measures or calls for tenders have been published and have deadlines for submission of applications this year, specifically: Promotion of economic investment by micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the area inhabited by members of the indigenous Slovenian national community in Hungary, Introduction of sustainable and circular business models in start-ups and SMEs, Voucher system of small value incentives for SMEs, Incentives for research and development projects and Sustainable development of tourism infrastructure in tourist destinations. The Ministry will launch 23 new calls for tenders in all four quarters of this year.
A further 17 measures worth EUR 329.5 million are expected to be launched by the implementing institutions and SID Bank (the SID Bank measures covered in the plan only include those resulting from the payment of funds by the Ministry of the Economy, Tourism and Sport).
The 28 measures this year are financed from the integral budget of the Republic of Slovenia and European funds (Recovery and Resilience Plan, old and new Cohesion envelopes). The Ministry will thus offer companies over 62 per cent of grants, almost 34 per cent of repayable incentives and just over 3 per cent of the so-called combination of grant and repayable funding.
Indicative Tender Plan
Companies and other beneficiaries can find a timetable of this year's planned publications and the indicative orientations of each call for tenders on the website of the Ministry of the Economy. The Ministry will update the timeline throughout the year. The field of sports, handicrafts and other planned adjustments to the portfolio of development incentives will be introduced or amended in the relevant plan in the spring.
Allocated development funds to the economy in 2022
In 2022, the Ministry, in partnership with the Slovenian Enterprise Fund, the public agency SPIRIT Slovenia, the Slovenian Regional Development Fund and SID Bank, offered over EUR 700 million of development funds to the Slovenian economy. This has supported almost 5,000 projects in the economy and tourism. This does not include additional measures to help the economy during the energy crisis, adopted by the intervention legislation at the end of 2022.
"In this way, we have stimulated the investment cycle of companies to boost productivity, high-quality technological equipment, digitisation and green transformation. In tourism, we have launched an investment cycle to raise the quality of accommodation capacities and restructure major ski resorts into year-round mountain resorts. This strengthens the competitiveness and added value of the Slovenian economy," said Minister Han.
The Ministry quickly put the Recovery and Resilience Plan (RRP) into practice in 2022, with 98 per cent of the European RRP funds being tendered. In this way, the Ministry has given beneficiaries enough time to implement their projects, as EU funding is only available until 2026. As for the expiring 2014-2020 Cohesion Envelope, which made approximately EUR 0.9 billion of EU funds available to the economy, the Ministry had already disbursed 97 per cent of these funds by the end of 2022. The Ministry expects that the available cohesion funds from the previous financial period will be used successfully.