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Foreign direct investment in Slovenia up 5.4 pct in 2017

LJUBLJANA, Oct 19 (Reuters) - Accumulated foreign direct investment (FDI) in Slovenia totalled 13.7 billion euros ($15.74 billion) in 2017, or 31.6 percent of GDP, up by 5.4 percent from the previous year, the country’s central bank said on Friday.

“The largest inflow of foreign direct investment in 2017 was recorded in manufacturing, financial and insurance activities,” the bank said in a report.

It gave no details of specific cases but last year Canadian car parts maker Magna International began building a paint factory in Slovenia while Japan’s Yaskawa started constructing a robot plant - both among the biggest new investments in the small European Union country.

The bank’s report said the average gross wage in firms with FDI was 10.1 percent above the national average. It added that firms in full or partial foreign ownership also had higher profits and value-added per employee.

The biggest foreign investors in Slovenia come from Austria, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Germany and the Netherlands.

The southeast European nation is trying to attract more FDI to increase value-added and productivity, which is 20 percent below the EU average at present. ($1 = 0.8704 euros) (Reporting by Marja Novak Editing by Mark Heinrich)