Conference looks at ways to further boost exports
SID exports and development bank head Sibil Svilan told the conference, organised by publisher Delo and Institute of Strategic Studies, that too modest added value in exports was a key structural issue in Slovenia.
If Slovenian companies wish to catch up in this respect, they need to focus on markets where growth is much higher that in Slovenia, Svilan argued, while highlighting green technology as a major field where Slovenian creativity could unfold.
This will require a lot of adjustment, Svilan added and this was echoed by Janez Škrabec of engineering company Riko, who said green projects demanded patience.
The chairman of aluminium producer Talum, Marko Drobnič, meanwhile presented Talum's search for opportunities on fast growing markets.
"We gained tremendously while sustaining only relatively minor scratches," Drobnič said. He also mentioning a turn "from selling material to selling services" as one of the recipes behind the company's success.
Senior OECD economist Sebastien Miroudot noted that this strategy was being pursued by many established foreign companies.
They have recently been strengthening the sale of services and products at the same to so as to increase added value. A failure to expand operations can relegate you to history pretty fast, Miroudot said.
The OECD official also focused on the importance of human capital as an engine of smart development. Thus an effective education system is crucial, but given the fast changing labour environment this system also needs to include older people.
Meanwhile, adaptability was also explored at length in a separate panel, with Alan Šćuric of Atlantic Grupa linking the Croatian multinational's success to the readiness to adjust to the needs and wishes of clients.
Also on hand was Foreign Minister Miro Cerar, who highlighted the mechanisms that allow that state to help exporters.