22:50 2 November 2021
Post by: WBJ

Ambassadors’ Corner 4

Božena Forštnarič Boroje, Slovenian Ambassador, about high-speed internet accessibility, growth forecasts, and inflation rates.

Ambassadors’ Corner 4

WBJ: Even before the pandemic struck, the internet was the lifeline of most economies. Now, even more so. How much money has been invested in the internet in your country? How many people have access to high-speed internet (above 25 Mbps download) in your country? And how tech-friendly is your country?

Božena Forštnarič Boroje, Slovenian Ambassador: Between 2019 and 2021, some €200 million is being invested in the building of broadband optical networks with internet speeds of up to 10 gb/s in rural parts of Slovenia as part of the RUNE project, co-funded by the EU and EIB. In Q1 2020, 90% of households with at least one person aged 16-74 years had internet access. The share was 89% in the east and 91% in the west part of Slovenia. Overall, 93% of households in densely populated areas, 91% in intermediate areas and 88% in thinly populated areas had internet access. Overall, 80% of households accessed the internet via fixed broadband connections. Of those, 54% did not encounter any problem while using these connections in Q1 2020.

WBJ: How does the growth forecast for Q4 2021 look for your country? What are the industries that have been performing well, that have been underperforming and the industries that seem to hold a lot of promise in your country?

Most short-term indicators point to a relatively high year-on-year growth. The outlook for economic growth remains favorable. GDP growth of 4.6% is forecast this year. Exports were less affected by the pandemic. The volume of trade in goods and manufacturing production in May were well above comparable levels before the Covid outbreak. Confidence in manufacturing and construction remains high compared to 2020. Preliminary data on turnover in trade and service activities for May and data on sales based on data from the fiscal verification of invoices for June also point to growth. This is due to the easing of measures in these sectors, which has led to an improvement in confidence indicators in trade and service activities. Tourism-related industries expect the slowest/longest recovery.

WBJ: Poland recorded the highest inflation in 20 years in August, according to the early estimates by its central stats office. How high/low is the inflation in your country? What are the causes? 

August inflation stood at 2.1%. The largest factor: energy prices. Problems in supply chains and increasing cost pressures associated with rises in commodity prices, import prices and producer prices of industrial goods have driven a rise in prices of non-energy industrial goods. Service prices have been rising due to higher commodity prices, rising labor costs amid growing labor shortages and the drive to make up for losses as demand strengthens following the long shutdown. 

high-speed internet accessibility
growth forecast
božena forštnarič boroje
inflation rates

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