Second International Industry Fair begins in Celje
Počivalšek said that the Slovenian metal industry accounted for a third of Slovenia's exports, the main export markets for the metal industry being Austria, Germany, Italy and France.
The minister said that Slovenia's future challenges would be circular economy, promoting development partnerships, internationalisation of companies and digitalisation of SMEs.
Počivalšek added that various incentives were available to Slovenian companies, including a new micro loan scheme by the Enterprise Fund, worth EUR 12m, and vouchers for small companies worth a total of EUR 22.7m.
The opening was also addressed by Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GZS) president Boštjan Gorjup, who noted that Slovenia belonged to countries in which industry was the key engine of economic development.
"Out of nothing, we need to make something which we could sell on foreign markets. Challenges are ahead of us, as we are entering the era of Industry 4.0," he added.
The International Industry Fair, aimed at the professional public, began in 2017 by joining the former Forma Tool, Plagkem and Welding and Foundry fairs. After the International Crafts Fair it is the second most profitable event hosted by the Celje Showground.
The exhibitors at the fair are set to showcase around 100 new products. This year, the keynote speaker is Tomas Ibler of Fanuc, the Japanese robotics conglomerate. He will give a talk on the future of robotic automation.
Welding and cutting techniques will also be presented at the fair, with an emphasis on specialised industrial application.
Blue NAO Evolution, a humanoid robot measuring 60 cm in height, will also be featured. The robot is used by students of Maribor's Faculty of Mechanical Engineering to learn how to operate service or humanoid robots.