The Slovenia Times

Private and Public Sector Urged to Join Forces at EXPO Milan



Economic Development and Technology Minister Zdravko Počivalšek stressed that it rarely happens that such an important event takes place so close to Slovenia and on top of that in a country that is Slovenia's second biggest trade partner and its main tourist market.

The Slovenian pavilion is located between the Austrian, German, Italian and Swiss pavilion, which provides an additional opportunity for effective promotion.

The fair is expected to feature 144 countries representing 94% of the world's population and 53 will have their own space. Organisers expect at least 20 million visitors, of which six million who are not from Italy.

Počivalšek called on business representatives to join forces with the public sector for the best possible presentation of the country. The state will contribute around EUR 5m, which should help business to be represented as effectively, smoothly and rationally as possible.

A serious effort from both sides will be needed in the face of competition from successful European countries that are investing a lot into the fair, the minister noted, pointing out that the 1,910 square metres available to Slovenia will need to be filled with attractive content for six months.

The Slovenian Ambassador to Italy Iztok Mirošič is hoping for synergies between the public and private sector as well, pointing out the EXPO is an ideal opportunity for Slovenian companies wishing to tap the Italian market.

While trade between the two countries amounts to EUR 6bn, it is mostly limited to the north of Italy. The good thing is that cooperation also got stronger during the crisis, meaning the neighbour remains a market with potential for Slovenia, where Italian companies are moreover the third biggest foreign investor.

The Slovenian community in Italy is to participate in Slovenia activities too, which the ambassador said was important, as they can contribute a lot to furthering economies ties.

Mirošič also called on tourist workers to try to get part of the foreign visitors of the EXPO to visit nearby Slovenia. Transport links could be a problem, but railways operator Slovenske železnice is trying to at least secure a link via Venice for the duration of the fair.

The SPIRIT state agency for the promotion of enterprise and tourism is preparing visits for several business delegations and an investment and tourism conference. Also available will be the Expo Business Matching platform.

SPIRIT is presently engaged in active cooperation talks with more than 50 companies, while it has invited many more to participate.


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