The Slovenia Times

Conference focuses on internationalisation of business

Economy Minister Matjaž Han addresses the Slovenian Global Forum. Photo: Bor Slana/STA

Corporate officers, government officials and diplomats gathered for annual Slovenian Global Forum on 3 June to discuss ways of helping Slovenian companies succeed abroad.

"We want to strengthen the potential of Slovenian businesses to reach new opportunities in the world," said Economy Minister Matjaž Han.

"Slovenia is an export-oriented society, there is no Slovenian economy without export," he said, adding that such forums were an opportunity to reflect on past work and the current situation, and on possible improvements.

Economic diplomacy is striving to help businesses through promotion on foreign markets, said Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon. "This is a period in which we can open more doors for business, including through the UN Security Council," she said.

Cohesion Minister Aleksander Jevšek highlighted another aspect of economic policy - balanced regional development.

He said the University of Maribor would receive €120 million for Innovum projects under the existing operative programme of cohesion policy. In the future they will "find an additional EUR 150 million for the development of technologies, innovation and especially for the cooperation between Maribor's corporate sector and university," Jevšek added.

Inter-ministerial projects have to be coordinated and stakeholders have to cooperate effectively, said Melanie Seier Larsen, managing director and partner at Boston Consulting Group.

"It is important that all activities are accompanied by efforts for the development of a more supporting business environment for improving the situation and competitiveness of Slovenian companies, including start-ups, as well as for attracting the most innovative companies in the world," she said.

"This includes addressing the known challenges in fields, such as infrastructure, public finances, fiscal policy and labour legislation," said Seier Larsen. She also called for a better gender balance on management boards, adding that otherwise a lot of potential was needlessly lost.

Dewesoft president Jure Knez believes that to increase innovation in Slovenia "we mostly do not need resources but rather favourable legislation, which is now actually in the works". "I believe that with dialogue we will be able to put Slovenia at the forefront of the European Union and the world," he said.

The forum, formerly known as the conference on the internationalisation of Slovenian business, was organised for the sixth time by the Economy Ministry and partners.


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