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1st National conference on the internationalisation of the Slovenian economy

Brdo pri Kranju, 6 April 2018 – The 1st National conference on the internationalisation of the Slovenian economy was held today, co-organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia and SPIRIT Slovenia – Public Agency for Entrepreneurship, Internationalization, Foreign Investments and Technology. The conference, which is aimed at presenting the role of the state and its supportive environment in the field of internationalisation, was opened with an introductory speech by Foreign Minister Karl Erjavec.

 

He outlined the role of economic diplomacy in the Ministry’s activities, stressing that it has become one of the key foundations of Slovenian foreign policy. “The Declaration on Foreign Policy has three objectives: security, friendly relations and prosperity,” underlined the Minister, adding that the third one requires a successful economy.

 

He also explained to the participants that the network of 54 diplomatic missions and consular posts has 22 economic advisers, stressing the goal of at least one economic adviser at each mission. He also commended the work of honorary consuls and their contribution to positive economic cooperation.

 

“With sufficient financial means, we would like to further expand the network of diplomatic missions and consular posts; however, I am pleased that we were able to open two new embassies, in Abu Dhabi and Sofia, last year,” said the Minister, explaining that the Ministry had thereby largely followed the interests of the economy.

During the panel ‘Assistance provided by the supportive environment in the internationalisation of the Slovenian economy and best practices abroad’, the participants were also addressed by State Secretary Iztok Mirošič, who stressed the importance of providing information to SMEs and of coordinating stakeholders to ensure internationalisation. “Members of the diplomatic service are the first to caution about the difficulties and opportunities in a foreign environment and to address them,” he added.

 

The main trends of internationalisation of the Slovenian economy were outlined, and during the panel discussion, answers to the question “Is the internationalisation of the Slovenian economy heading in the right direction and what are the main challenges in the future?” were sought together with some prominent Slovenian companies.

 

Director-General Alenka Suhadolnik took part in the round table titled “How can Slovenian embassies abroad and foreign chambers of commerce in Slovenia be useful to the Slovenian economy,” and outlined the instruments of economic diplomacy, including a detailed presentation of the competences and activities of the Directorate for Economic and Public Diplomacy, and the tasks of economic advisers abroad.

 

During the remaining round tables, representatives of the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia, banks and companies outlined the support provided by banks to the Slovenian economy in foreign markets and the current calls for applications published by the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology on internationalisation and the possibilities for the internationalisation of companies through investments, while representatives of SPIRIT Slovenia explained the supportive instruments in light of the opportunities and traps on foreign markets.

 

The conference brought together more than 300 participants, decision-makers from major export-oriented Slovenian companies, stakeholders in the supportive environment for internationalisation, representatives of foreign embassies in Slovenia and key investors. During the conference, at a special stall, the Ministry presented to the interested public some instruments of economic diplomacy that are applied in support of the internationalisation of the Slovenian economy.