The Slovenia Times

Benefiting from the Past



According to Tourist Information Center of Ljubljana, Serbs are the fourth most important visitors of Ljubljana in the first half of 2011. They come after Italians, Germans and British and before Austrians. The data showing that Serbian tourists like to come to Slovenia again is significant in many ways. It means that Serbs feel good and comfortable in Slovenia again. Prior to the break-up of Yugoslavia, Serbian tourists and businesspeople favoured Slovenia, for most part due to the similarity in language and the Slovene welcoming attitude to people from all around former Yugoslavia as well as other parts of the world. Serbian tourists always found in Slovenia expected intimacy and enjoyed Slovene hospitality. A very intimate connection also stems from the fact that a number of Serbs have relatives living in Slovenia whom they come to visit.
In the near future Serbs will come to Slovenia not only as tourists but as a workers and as investors. Currently, only a small number of people from Serbia come to work in Slovenia and those are mostly in the metal industry. In the near future there will be many free positions in medical sector (such as nurses and doctors); mechanical engineering; and IT industry. However, it is important that Serbia continues its path towards joining the EU as this will allow Slovenian companies to count on a long-term workforce. Especially since in Slovenia companies are increasingly knowledge-based - they focus on investments in HR competencies and what needs a lot of additional training.
Serbs will also come to Slovenia as investors if Slovenian attitude changes towards foreign direct investment. Prior to the recession Slovenian companies were among five most important investors in Serbia. This is due to the similarity in language and knowing and understanding the Serbian market; and past and present culture in Serbia.
There are many companies in Serbia which look for market enlargement in Slovenia such as Next, the company that makes fruit juices. For Serbian companies the main reason to come to Slovenia is the similarity in language and knowledge of the market, as well as understanding Slovenia's history and culture. On the other side, it is important that Slovenes see Serbia as a future EU member state as soon as possible as this will open minds and generate new business ideas.
On the other side investing in Slovenia is also a responsibility for the image of the investor country. Some previous investments by Serbian companies, such as those in IT industry, cannot be seen as success stories and possibly we can learn some lessons from the past. During the time of Yugoslavia, Slovenian and Serbian companies preferred to cooperate in joint ventures on both domestic and foreign markets. I think now is the right time to rethink common strategy of cooperation on joint ventures for the near future.
In the time of recession both countries have to open their minds as wide as possible, try to make most from the good experiences from the past and cooperate as though they are already both members of the EU community.


More from Nekategorizirano