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Slovenia to Host US-Slovenia Business Conference in April

Ljubljana, 21 March (STA) - An investment conference dubbed $US-Slovenia Business Bridge$ will take place in Ljubljana on 7 and 8 April. The aim of the conference is to strengthen business ties and find opportunities to increase investment and trade, US Ambassador to Slovenia Joseph Mussomeli told a press conference on Monday.

Development of trade and economic relations between the two countries is a top priority, Mussomeli said, adding that while political relations were already very good, economic relations were quite poor.

The conference will offer potential American investors an opportunity to see Slovenia's well developed infrastructure and educated workforce, while in turn, Slovenian businessmen will get to know American business practices and investors.

Slovenia implements the rule of law, while corruption is low compared to the rest of the world, Mussomeli highlighted.

Director of the Slovenian Public Agency for Entrepreneurship and Foreign Investments (JAPTI) Igor Plestenjak said that the US foreign direct investment (FDI) in Slovenia stood at EUR 69.2m in 2009, making 0.68% of all FDI in Slovenia.

Plestenjak was confident that the conference would give answers to "why Slovenia has less US investment compared to other central- and East European countries, whether we promote our advantages and weaknesses well enough to the US businessmen and what prevents Slovenians from entering the US market".

Head of the American Chamber of Commerce in Slovenia (AmCham) Tomaz Lovse said that "Slovenia now enters a new period when it will have to build economic growth also with an increase in FDI".

As a main disadvantage in this area Lovse said that "Slovenia is losing credibility - on the one hand it declares itself open to FDI, but when matters become more serious, we find plenty of obstacles and doubts".

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