3.2.2015 20:28

Private and Public Sectors Urged to Join Forces at EXPO Milan

Ljubljana, 3 February - The need to use the synergies between the public and private sectors was one of the things highlighted as Slovenia's promotional activities at the EXPO Milan 2015 were presented in Ljubljana on Tuesday.

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 pavilions, 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.

Minister Počivalšek called on Slovenian business representatives to join forces with the public sector for the best possible presentation of the country. The state will contribute around 5 million euros, 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 Slovenia and Italy amounts to 6 billion euros, 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 Slovenian activities too, which the ambassador said was important, as they can contribute a lot to furthering economies ties.

Ambassador 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 Slovenian railways operator Slovenske železnice is trying to at least secure a link via Venice for the duration of the fair.

The SPIRIT 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 Slovenian companies, while it has invited many more to participate.