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Minister Cerar attends business conference on smarter exports

At Ljubljana BTC’s Crystal Palace, Foreign Minister Dr Miro Cerar today participated in a conference entitled “Export smarter: How to enhance the value of Slovenian exports”, organised by the newspaper Delo and the Institute for Strategic Solutions.

Minister Cerar at the business conference “Export smarter: How to enhance the value of Slovenian exports” | Author Foto: STA

In his address, the Minister welcomed the positive feedback from the business sector, a testament to companies’ recognition of the efforts invested by the Foreign Ministry, the Directorate for Economic Diplomacy, and the entire diplomatic and consular network in recent years to provide a dynamic and proactive service to businesses. Despite limited human and financial resources, economic diplomacy aspires to provide innovative services tailored to business needs, said the Minister.

Dr Cerar assessed support for greater diversification of Slovenia’s exports and reducing its dependence on the EU, which attracts as much as 80% of Slovenia’s trade, as one of the primary tasks of economic diplomacy. To this end, 14 outgoing business delegations have been organised to European, Asian and African markets, and joint commission sessions have been held with Ukraine, Egypt and Russia, with several more being scheduled for the coming months. We constantly endeavour to coordinate all of our efforts with all stakeholders involved in doing business in foreign markets, the Minister explained. While Slovenia will undoubtedly continue to conduct most of its business in the immediate and near neighbourhood, not to seize business opportunities elsewhere would, in his opinion, be a grave mistake.

At this juncture, it is impossible to ignore the economic slowdown, which will make survival on increasingly competitive international markets even harder for everyone. For this reason, it is all the more important that Slovenian exporters get ready to face the imminent challenges; at the same time they should feel that the State is there to help and that they are able to rely on its support. To increase the number of export-oriented companies, a government programme to promote the internationalisation of Slovenian businesses in the 2020–2024 period is being drafted. This is oriented towards innovative SMEs, which have a lot to offer in foreign markets but need additional leverage from the State.

The conference gathered businesspeople and representatives of economic and state institutions from Slovenia and abroad. In three panels, they discussed enhancing exports through a strong brand, the opportunities for growth in global supply chains and scouting human resources that boost competitiveness in international markets. Promoting entrepreneurship and the exchange of best practices, such events help the breakthrough of Slovenian companies onto foreign markets, said Minister Cerar in thanking the organisers.