Landscape of the European Chemical Industry 2020

Landscape of the European Chemical Industry 2020




€6.1 billion

Number of companies


Direct employees


National contact

Association of Chemical Industries of Slovenia (at Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia - GZS)

Darja Bostjančič




Chemical industry snapshot

One of the main pillars of the economy

The chemical industry is one of the main pillars of the Slovenian economy, generating €6,1 billion of turnover in 2018, some 20% of the country’s industrial output. It is an industry with long tradition, well educated, qualified, skilled and internationally savvy labour force and high export orientation.

And among the leading employers

Production of chemicals and chemical products, of pharmaceutical raw materials and preparations and of rubber and plastic products together employed 31,000 people. Labour force is well educated, skilled, qualified and internationally savvy.

Pharmaceuticals dominate in turnover

There are 800 chemical industry companies (97% of them SMEs[1]). The largest, though very few in number, are in pharmaceuticals, which account for 39% of chemical industry turnover.


[1] size defined according to the Slovenian Companies Act

Automotive is also an important customer

Overall, two-thirds of companies are involved in plastic processing. Many of these supply the automotive industry, provide plastic products for construction purposes or advanced plastic packaging products for industrial and consumer use.


The traditional chemical industry main products include pigments, coatings and paints, adhesives, artificial fibres, some inorganic basic chemicals and some types of consumer chemicals (e.g. cosmetic products).


The rubber processing industry produces tyres, rubber belts, environmental protection equipment and rescue products.

Geared up to export

The chemical industry is largely export-oriented: exports are 80% of sales by value, reaching 95% in pharmaceuticals. In rubber products 80% of output is exported, and for classic chemical products the share is 75%, falling to a slimmer 60% for plastics.

How are we doing?


  • Well-educated, qualified, skilled and internationally-savvy workforce
  • An extensive transport network and a convenient deep-sea port
  • A geostrategic position in Central Europe between the Alps and the Mediterranean
  • A gateway between Western and South Eastern Europe, with good knowledge of Balkan countries’ culture and markets

Our contribution to a competitive Europe

Encouraging applied R&D

The Research and Innovation Strategy of Slovenia 2011-2020 explicitly calls for efforts to promote and facilitate more applied R&D, responding to industry requests to bring more innovative products to the market.


Slovenian universities and R&D institutions are sound, and some institutions are recognised internationally, offering significant support to the chemical industry.

Tackling society’s challenges

Though some chemical companies have long worked closely and productively with R&D institutions, others need to make up for lost ground, while R&D institutions need better funding.


The Slovenian Industrial Policy 2014-2020 identifies chemical sectors whose technologies address key societal challenges, such as the environment, energy, sustainable production and consumption, food, human health and ageing.

Smart Specialisation Strategy

Slovenia’s Smart Specialisation Strategy (S4) priorities include Development of Materials (with smart multi-component materials and coatings) and Health (with biopharmaceuticals, diagnostics and therapeutics in translational medicine, cancer treatment, resilient bacteria and natural medicines and cosmetics).