Ljubljana, 13 October (STA) - The FDI Summit 2011 opened in Ljubljana on Thursday with calls for new, less obvious ways to attract foreign direct investment, and for enhanced efforts to promote the country as a regional hub for regional markets with a combined 45 million consumers.
President Danilo Tuerk said in his keynote that the conference was timely. "At a time of financial and economic crisis, one looks for stability in the business environment and business relations; FDI is one of the most stable types of economic cooperation."
Tuerk urged participants to think outside the box, noting that SE Europe should not be considered only as a source of outgoing FDI for Slovenia, but also as a source of inbound investment.
"We have to open up...FDI is a two-way street and it is a good direction for the future," he said.
Moreover, Tuerk pointed to the need to reach out and move beyond SE Europe to more remote markets, both for inbound and outbound FDI, naming as an example Ukraine, which he visited this week and where there are several successful Slovenian investments.
Both Tuerk and Brane Krajnik, the CEO of The Slovenia Times, stressed in their keynote speeches that Slovenia's potential as a hub for a region of 45 million consumers should be better promoted.
Some investors avoid Slovenia because of its small size, but it has a quality workforce, good infrastructure and access to markets with 45 million consumers. Moreover, Koper offers the shortest route to the Middle East and Far East, Krajnik said.
The event, which runs until Friday, is organised by the English-language monthly newspaper The Slovenia Times in cooperation with the Public Agency for Entrepreneurship and Foreign Investments (JAPTI) and the Ljubljana Faculty of Economics.