Slovenian companies at the Expo Milan 2015 world exposition
Ljubljana, 17 April - Today, the business opportunities and events for Slovenia's participation at Expo Milan 2015 were presented at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia. Participants were also addressed by the Minister of Economic Development and Technology, Zdravko Počivalšek, the President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia, Samo Hribar Milič, and Jerneja Lampret, the Commissioner-General for the Slovenian Expo section.
The world's biggest promotional event in 2015 will be held from 1 May to 31 October 2015. According to the expectations of the organisers, the world exposition in Milan will be visited by 20 million people, of which every fourth person will be Italian. The theme of this world exposition will be food and the event will be held under the theme Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life. Slovenia will appear under the slogan "I feel SLOVEnia, Green. Active. Healthy".
World expositions are primarily aimed to present countries to the general public, but the organisers in Italy emphasise that this year they also want to emphasise networking and business collaboration between the companies. Italy is an important economic partner for Slovenia (Italian tourists account for most visits to Slovenia and it is the second most important foreign trade partner, as well as the third largest foreign investor), therefore Slovenia's presentation at Expo Milan 2015 is of exceptional importance and an opportunity for the Slovenian economy.
The goals Slovenia wants to achieve are to strengthen exports, economic collaboration and business partnerships, enhance the recognition of the "I feel SLOVEnia" brand and increase the reputation of Slovenia, as well as Slovenia's recognition as a green tourist destination focused on sustainable tourism.
Italy is an important economic power (G8 member). According to the data of the Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia, bilateral trade in goods amounted to EUR 5.9 billion in 2013 (Slovenia's exports to Italy reached EUR 2.5 billion, imports from Italy EUR 3.4 billion).
The inclusion of the economic and business component in the presentation of the Republic of Slovenia at EXPO Milan 2015 requires efficient and harmonised work, as well as coordination of all participants in the business sector. For this purpose, the Slovenian pavilion will also feature a Business Centre which will be available for all Slovenian companies from the start and until the end of the exposition (info point and support for companies, organisation of companies' presentations, organisation of business meetings, business catalogue, monitoring the operations and activities at the European Commission's pavilion, EXPO organiser, the Milan Chamber of Commerce and twelve business centres of individual companies (Italy, France, Germany, Great Britain, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Russia, India, China, the USA, Brazil and Poland). The Business Centre will be officially opened by the Minister of Economic Development and Technology, Zdravko Počivalšek, at the opening of the world exposition on 1 May 2015.
To find new business opportunities, collaboration with potential business partners from all over the world and for general promotion, companies can be included in Slovenia's presentation at the Expo in different ways: e.g. they can be presented at the pavilion (through displays, on the stage, in the catalogue) - promotional packages, they can be entered in the business matching platform - a database with more than 20,000 companies from around the world, or they can join business delegations.
Currently, the EXPO BUSINESS MATCHING PLATFORM includes 42 Slovenian companies. Later or during the exposition, Slovenian companies will be able to register in this database. Taking into account target markets and business goals, the Expo organiser will arrange business meetings for Slovenian companies with potential business partners.
During Expo Milano 2015, business delegations in collaboration with the public agency SPIRIT Slovenia and the following partners will be organised: Embassy in Rome, Consulate in Trieste, Economic Office in Milan, SPIRIT Representative Body in Milan, EEN (EU Missions for Growth), Slovenian Regional Economic Union, ICE Istituto per il Commercio Estero (MOU), PROMOS, Slovenian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Activities Associations as well as other partners. More information about organised business delegations will be available on websites: www.exposlovenia.si and www.izvoznookno.si. Further information about business delegations is also available in the appendix to the press release, which also indicates business events organised by the European Commission, EU Missions for Growth.
With regard to promotional opportunities at the Slovenian pavilion, SPIRIT Slovenia published a public call for partnership packages. More than 150 companies responded with proposals and ideas for presentations. Taking into account the spatial and conceptual limitations, more than 30 companies were included; some are presented in the pavilion, others via different project communication tools. Most of the companies collaborating on the project are connected to the exposition's themes of tourism, "green" stories, active leisure time - Sava Turizem, Hit, Postojnska jama, Elan. The project also includes the main Slovenian modern "gazelles" - Pipistrel and Akrapovič - and many others, including start-up companies that are focused on the Italian and global markets.
Slovenian companies will also be included in the presentation of Slovenian Businessmen Clubs Abroad (e.g. Slovenian-Italian Business Club).