Slovenia's biggest trade fair gets under way
While the fair is considered one of the best platforms in Slovenia to forge business-to-business ties and make deals, it is also the annual venue for small businesses to air their grievances and put forward proposals for change.
They will get the chance to talk to senior officials as the event will be launched by Prime Minister Miro Cerar and feature several cabinet members until the end of the week, including Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek.
Small businesses have for years been pushing for lower taxes, flexible labour law, limitations of employer liability in the event of accidents, faster administrative procedures and better debt recovery rules.
The Economy Ministry will host ten panels at the fair and organise another nine events on various topics, with the ministry's Wood Industry Directorate and Intellectual Property Office to hold their own presentations.
Počivalšek has said the topics will include improving conditions for competition, the elimination of administrative barriers, labour legislation and tax reform. The ministry will also organise discussions on reviving city centres, women in business, and green tourism.
The Chamber of Craft and Small Business (OZS) will meanwhile hold a presentation and offer free consultancy services dedicated to civil law, tax and labour law, accounting and bookkeeping.
The OZS will also organise an event entitled Trade Street, where trade workers, such as electricians, glass workers, opticians and bakers, will be able to present their work.
The fair also has an international dimension, with the biggest presentations to be held by China, Croatia, India, Serbia, Taiwan, Venezuela, Canada, the UK, and, for the first time, Ukraine.
A new aspect of this year's MOS will be an event entitled A Juncture of Science and Economy, where cutting-edge technologies from various areas will be presented.
The area of bionics in Slovenia will be the topic in focus at the event. A presentation will be held on the development concept of the bionic man for educating future bionic engineers and on the development of bionic prosthetics and implants.
OZS data show there were almost 65,000 sole proprietorships and limited liability companies classified in 2015 as being engaged in the trades. They employed over 205,000 workers, up 4.2% over the year before.
Until 2012 the majority of the businesses were involved in the construction industry, but after the collapse of the property market the ratio has shifted in favour of services businesses, which now account for almost four in ten businesses engaged in the trades.