At Brdo pri Kranju today, Prime Minister Marjan Sarec addressed the attendees of the 2nd National Conference on the Internationalisation of the Slovenian Economy, at which discussions are being held on ways to increase the number of exporters and export markets, and added value.
He began by noting that the discussion was focused on one of the country’s most important topics – how to create, and how to export what is created.
“Business is an opportunity, and requires innovation and proactiveness. Anyone who does not constantly seek new markets, innovations and ideas will be quickly overtaken by others.”
He noted that for many years, the European Union as a whole has not been an external market for Slovenia, but an internal market, where the market operates smoothly and the contacts are very good. “The markets within the EU are important, but what is even more important is that the European Union as a whole has to be more forceful on foreign markets.”
He tied this to the upcoming 16 + 1 summit, which will be held tomorrow and Friday in Dubrovnik and where the leaders of 16 European countries and China will talk about possibilities for cooperation with China, which is simultaneously both a partner and a major competitor of the EU. He also mentioned opportunities on various other “third-country” markets such as Russia, India and the USA. “If we limit ourselves to our own back yard, then we will not be successful. It is not just Slovenia, but the EU as a whole that is facing a major test.”
He noted that in the future, overall EU policy, particularly after the European elections, will have to establish a European Commission and institutions that will stimulate rather than hinder the economy.
He also referred to the words of President of the Slovenian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Boštjan Gorjup, noting that the three-billion-euro increase in exports is primarily attributable to the business sector. The contribution of the politicians lies primarily in that they adopted measures that supported the business sector.
“Politicians have the responsibility, beyond the cameras, political talking points and two-month cycles, to act responsibly and especially sometimes not to say certain things. Only in this way will we be successful – if we work harder, talk less and emphasise the successes when they occur. Therefore we shall continue to endeavour to help the business sector as much as possible, through measures designed to achieve stability and a predictable business environment, including through reducing taxes on labour. We always come back to the fact that organisations, leadership and proactiveness are important. Only by working hand in hand can we achieve this.”
The 2nd National Conference on the Internationalisation of the Slovenian Economy is co-organised by two ministries, the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology (MEDT) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), the Spirit promotional and development agency and the Slovenian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI). The organisers’ target for this year’s conference is a formula whereby Slovenia would achieve EUR 50 billion in exports and EUR 60,000 in added value per employee by 2025. The event is attended by decision-makers at Slovenia’s major export firms, stakeholders in the support environment for internationalisation, representatives of foreign embassies in Slovenia, and leading foreign and domestic investors. The main focus of the national conference is on the importance of internationalisation for the Slovenian business sector, presentations of support from Slovenian institutions (MEDT, MFA, Spirit and CCI) for establishing footholds for Slovenian firms in the international sphere, networking among all of the stakeholders in the support environment for internationalisation and representatives of Slovenian firms, and streamlining the main operational guidelines in the future.