Ljubljana, 27 July (STA) - The Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GZS) called on the Economy Ministry on Tuesday to draw up a long-term strategy for the internationalisation of Slovenian companies, to support exporters and to introduce measures promoting exports.
The GZS has drawn up a list of proposals to encourage internationalisation, which will be presented to the ministry shortly, head of the GZS's Competitiveness Centre Ales Cantarutti told the press in Ljubljana.
The first phase involves a long-term strategy and an action plan for internationalisation. Slovenia already has a strategy in this field, but it lacks concrete goals and a vision for the future, Cantarutti said.
The GZS also wants the ministry to support exporters, especially by encouraging companies to help each other when entering new markets and introducing the concept of "Slovenian House", a meeting point of Slovenian businesses abroad.
The third part of GZS's proposals focuses on measures for boosting Slovenia's exports, which should include market research, funding programmes, promotion of the trade mark Made in Slovenia and training courses for entrepreneurs.
The GZS sent ten Slovenian business delegations abroad and hosted 12 foreign delegations in the first half of 2010. Another 18 Slovenian delegations are expected to go abroad by the end of the year, including to a business forum on green technologies in the US and a conference on nanotechnology in Israel.
The chamber is also planning a visit to India, one of the six markets where Slovenian companies increased exports last year despite the crisis, and Russia, where Slovenian exports recorded one of the biggest drops, Cantarutti said.
GZS boss Samo Hribar Milic meanwhile stressed that exports were an important driving force of the economy in crisis, generating about 30% of all corporate revenue. The 100 biggest Slovenian companies generate about 56% of exports.
Slovenian exports peaked in 2008 with EUR 19.8bn and recorded a 19% drop last year. In the first months of 2010 exports picked up, recording a 10.5% growth rate year-on-year.
Slovenia's top export market is Germany, followed by Italy, France, Austria, Croatia, Serbia, Russia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Poland and Hungary.