Slovenian – French business forum

3 March 2023 –

SPIRIT Slovenia, in cooperation with the French Embassy in Slovenia, the French-Slovenian business club in Slovenia, and the Slovenian-French business club from Paris, organized a business forum aimed at fostering closer economic ties between Slovenian and French companies. The event was held on the side-lines of the World Nordic Skiing Championships in Kranjska Gora.

Mag. Dejan Židan, State Secretary at the Ministry of Economy, Tourism, and Sport, opened the forum by stressing the importance of reducing EU dependence on third countries. He pointed out that Slovenia is among the leading industrial countries in the EU, with the share of industry in the country’s GDP standing at 24 percent, compared to the EU average of 16 percent. He also mentioned several EU initiatives aimed at strengthening economic ties within the bloc.

Rok Capl, v.d. director of SPIRIT Slovenia, highlighted the agency’s efforts on the French market, noting that France remains relatively untapped among nearby markets despite its economic potential. He emphasized the need for Slovenian companies to explore opportunities in the French market.

The French Ambassador to Slovenia, Florence Levy, praised the traditionally strong ties between the two countries and emphasized the role of sports as a generator of business opportunities. She praised Slovenian companies in the sports industry and their top athletes, which she said could be an excellent starting point for establishing business relations with French companies and promoting Slovenia’s economy in the French market. She expressed her belief that there are many untapped opportunities for mutual cooperation and welcomed the joint efforts of the business community in Slovenia and France.

In addition to the keynote speeches, the business forum featured two round table discussions.

The first round table, led by the Slovenian-French business club from Paris, focused on how to encourage Slovenian companies to export to France. The panel included representatives from ROTO, d.o.o., MESI Medical, d.o.o., Inralighting, d.o.o., and SPI Šempeter who shared their experiences in doing business with the French market and highlighted potential obstacles and pitfalls.

The second round table was organized by the French-Slovenian business club, and its president, Tatjana Šikovec, presented the club’s activities and emphasized the strong ties between France and Slovenia. The club offers various events and activities for its members and aims to build a warm and friendly environment where members can get to know each other, share ideas, and forge friendships.

The round table discussion on French investors’ experiences with doing business in Slovenia generated significant interest among the attendees. Aleš Završnik from Ljubljanske mlekarne, mag. Aleš Bizjak from Poclain Hydraulics d.o.o., Bine Štamcar from CMA CGM, d. o. o., and Jure Konič from E. L’eclerc shared their experiences and highlighted the benefits of entering the Slovenian market, including an interesting and open market, consumers who favour innovations, highly qualified employees, and a friendly local environment.

Representatives of Business France, Mrs. Maja Razpotnik, and Beatrice Ducharme, also presented their activities and assistance to Slovenian companies in doing business on the French market, highlighting the various opportunities available to Slovenian businesses.

Overall, the business forum was a success in terms of presenting opportunities for strengthening business ties between Slovenian and French companies and stimulating economic exchange. The attendees gained valuable insights and information that can help them navigate the complex world of international business and explore new opportunities for growth and expansion.