The Slovenia Times

Maribor business execs debate FDI


The ambassador said that Maribor had a great location and an industrial tradition, and was as such very attractive to potential investors.

Therefore, the event was also attended by representatives of Manchester, which, like Maribor, is also the second largest city with an industrial past.

The first British company to invest in Slovenia was automotive components maker GKN Driveline, which now employs about 400 people in Zreče, some 40 kilometres south-west of Maribor.

Head of operations Andrej Poklič said that the company's success was built on development of not only products and processes but above all people.

He said that the Maribor area was very suitable for this kind of industry, because it provides opportunities to cooperate with universities and various institutes.

Matej Skočir of the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology said that Slovenia's economy was growing also due to foreign investments. Touching on Brexit, he said that it created some level of uncertainty, but it could also provide additional opportunities.

Maribor Mayor Andrej Fištravec, who has invested a lot of effort into attracting Chinese investment, said that Maribor also wanted to attract investment from the West.

He said that the German store chain Tedi was planning an eight-hectare logistics centre for Central and SE Europe in Maribor.

Also present at the event were Magna Europe vice-president Dieter Althaus, bank NKBM board member John Locke, Jolanta Gabriel, the head of the Slovenian EBRD office, and the CEO of TAM Europe Bryan Zhao.

The panel shared a view that Brexit will have more negative than positive effects. The panellists thus jokingly called on the UK to repeat the Brexit referendum, like Slovenia is doing with the Koper-Divača second rail vote.



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