What will be the focus of bilateral relations in 2019
Slovenia has shown strong growth together with a remarkable surge of its exporting industry throughout 2018. Based on these sound market conditions, trade relations between Austria and Slovenia have flourished and led to an increase in exports on both sides. Preliminary economic data shows that Austrian exports to Slovenia, this year, increased at an even higher pace than average export growth to global markets, the best prerequisite for an optimistic outlook into 2019 - Slovenia will continue to be one of Austria's most important neighbours and business partners.
At ADVANTAGE AUSTRIA we always strive to develop existing relations, tap into new possibilities and uncover hidden business opportunities. 2019 will be no exception - we've got a busy year ahead of us. For the very first time we will host AUSTRIA CONNECT SOUTHEAST EUROPE - a signature event bringing together the top executives of Austrian subsidiaries in the region. Our successful focus on mobility continues with the third Moving Slovenia in November 2019 and tourism is large on the agenda with delegations, trade shows and events. And there is much more...check out our website and follow us on Facebook!
American Chamber of Commerce - AmCham Slovenia
In 2019, AmCham Slovenia would like to see an even stronger transatlantic relationship. Transatlantic relations are extremely important and productive relations as they create some 25 million jobs on both sides of the Atlantic. They are good and despite their slightly different perspectives, the European Union and the USA are natural allies. We also believe that relations between Slovenia and the US are of key importance for our country. The US respects Slovenia as a proactive country and both political and economic relations between the two countries are good. We also believe that, as far as the transatlantic relationship goes, the business sector's voice should be stronger. It should speak up and change its way of thinking, it should focus on how the economy helps create jobs and how innovation and marketing contribute to prosperity, and thus make the transatlantic relationship even stronger.
The German-Slovene Chamber of Commerce and Industry - AHK Slowenien
At the German-Slovene Chamber of Commerce, 2019 will be all about bringing up the actual topics that concern the German and Slovenian economies, and the relations between both countries. We will further focus on the concepts of digitalisation and Industry 4.0, whilst highlighting artificial intelligence as the biggest challenge that will radically shape our future. At the Kick-Off Press Conference, we will present and evaluate the results of the survey on digitalisation in Slovenian companies. At this event, we will launch the wide range of activities and events that will follow in the framework of "Inspiration for the Digital Future" - a conference with renowned speakers, workshops, delegations to Germany, best practices and a special certification for Industry 4.0. Our activities and the guiding topic for next year will be summarised at www.akademija.industrija4.0.si.
To all our members and partners - we wish you joyful holidays and a good start to the new business year!
British-Slovenian Chamber of Commerce - BSCC
The date of the UK's exit from the EU is getting closer, while the two sides are finalising the withdrawal agreement. Our chamber eagerly awaits the confirmation of some kind of agreement between the UK and the EU, which will then pave the way for further negotiations on trade. The potential for trade and investment between the UK and Slovenia remains strong, and business needs certainty from the government on the future trade relationship as soon as possible. Our focus in 2019 will be to continue building strong trade relations between Slovenia and UK. We will focus on attracting more investment from the UK to Slovenia. We continue to help Slovenians startups and fast-growing companies set up in the UK and go global from there. Our role in supporting British exports to Slovenia will be through various market visits from UK businesses. We will also be helping Slovenian exporters enter the UK market, which remains the fifth largest in the world and second largest in Europe, where ease of doing business is one of the highest in the world.
Italian Trade Agency (ICE)
As neighboring countries, Italy and Slovenia share important bilateral relations: from trade and investment to tourist flows. In fact, Italy is Slovenia's second commercial partner with a 13.5% market share, whereas Slovenia is the main Italian partner from the former Yugoslavia plus Albania area, absorbing over a third of its total trade. The value of our bilateral trade reached EUR 7.6bn in 2017 - the highest value ever - and is continuing to grow in 2018 with a 9% increase in the first eight months, on a year-on-year basis. Italy is Slovenia's fifth largest investor with an FDI stock of over EUR 1.1bn at the end of 2017 and Italian citizens are the most numerous foreign tourists in Slovenia. We are confident that these solid relations will continue in the upcoming year as many Italian companies are showing a growing interest for the Slovenian market and vice versa.
In 2018 the Italian Trade Agency in Ljubljana organised several promotional actions that helped companies from both sides to link with each other, starting with trade missions of Slovenian operators to selected Italian Fairs and workshops, to the organisation and participation of several events in Slovenia in agri-food, design, consumer goods, the environmental and technological sectors. One of the latest events organised by the Italian Government was the third Slovene "Week of the Italian Cuisine in the World", with several gastronomical events in Ljubljana and Koper. In 2019, all the Italian institutions in Slovenia will continue to promote Italian excellence, not only through information and assistance on commercial and investment opportunities, but also in the fields of science, education and culture to further strengthen the good relationships between Italy and Slovenia.
Luxembourg-Slovenian Business Club (LSBC)
By Iztok Petek & Nataša Zajec.
In light of recent global trade tensions, it is obvious that we are facing the beginning of the end of neo-liberal euphoric globalism. Countries are putting their sovereignty and their own interests first and therefore prioritising their own needs over global issues. These changes are forcing countries to look at trade from a different perspective and consequently, bilateral trade agreements are on the rise.
As seen from the recent events in France, the ability to mobilise communities and oppose the hegemony of globalism, which only meets the needs of the wealthiest, is possible. It is becoming clearer that globalism brings profit only to corporations, with countries, people and the environment losing the game. At LSBC, the focus of bilateral relations has always been a win-win approach, seeking harmonisation between parties. In this sense, we are happy and proud to participate in the first LetzBiz - International Trade Days, taking place in December at the Chamber of Commerce Luxembourg. As one the most proactive bilateral chambers, LSBC was invited to contribute to the program with a presentation of its best practice. This is recognition for LSBC as an active co-creator and part of the landscape of the latest trends in the internationalisation of SME's.