Trieste, 22 March (STA) - Prime Minister Borut Pahor hailed Monday's opening of a new branch office by Slovenia's top bank, NLB, near Trieste as a show of the ambitions of Slovenian financial and business sectors.
Taking part in the opening ceremony in the Italian town of Villa Opicina just kilometres from the Slovenian border, Pahor said that the move shows that Slovenian financial institutions are keen on entering a broad range of foreign markets.
The prime minister also called for cooperation between Slovenian and Italian businesses. Slovenia is looking to tap into the comparative advantages of our Italian friends and would like to put on offer its advantages in SE Europe.
Pahor opened the branch office together with NLB chairman Bozo Jasovic and the general manager of the new branch office Andrej Bratoz.
The branch office employs 28 people and focuses on business ties with companies and other banks in northern Italy.
NLB, which has run a branch office in the centre of Trieste since 1998, chose the new location in a energy-saving building in Villa Opicina in order to build new ties with Italian companies, Jasovic said.
The opening of the new branch represents an upgrade of existing cooperation, he said, adding that the bank took a keen interest to business in the border region which boasts a sizeable Slovenian minority.
The event also saw the participation of representatives from regional authorities and Slovenia and Italian business officials as well as representatives of the Slovenian minority in Italy.
Among those in attendance was Premier of the Friuli Venezia Guilia region Renzo Tondo and Trieste Mayor Robert Dipiazza.
Diapazza labelled the opening of the new NLB branch office an important sign for Trieste. Slovenia is a dynamic country with which cooperation is necessary, he added.