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Business and Investment Opportunities for Slovene Companies in the USA

Friday, 16 May 2014, Pittsburgh

“The Slovene companies possess the knowledge to become a part of supply chains of multinationals, it is only important for you to be proactive”

On the last day of AmCham business delegation, organized by AmCham Slovenia together with SPIRIT Public Agency, the members of delegation visited the global headquarters of company Westinghouse. They were addressed by Ron Lewis, vice president of the corporation, in charge of America and new projects. Among other things he pointed out that the Nuclear Power Plant Krško was an important location and that they highly appreciated the depth of knowledge held by Slovene engineers and companies. He emphasized the importance of proactivity of Slovene companies, which could, with the knowledge they possess, become a part of supply chains of big multinational firms.

More information on Slovenian site

Check photo gallery on AmCham Facebook Page

Thursday, 15 May 2014, Pittsburgh

AmCham business delegation in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: “Honorary Consulate and first investments will increase confidence and thereby create new opportunities”

AmCham business delegation program continued today in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. City of Pittsburgh in the fifth place in terms of economic growth in USA, it has exceptional business infrastructure, dynamic environment for successful business operation in the U.S. market and good conditions for a high quality of life. The delegation with 20 representatives of Slovene companies today first attended a Business conference, organized together with Pittsburgh Regional Alliance. Petra Mitchell, Honorary Consul of the Republic of Slovenia and Suzi Pegg, representative of the Regional Alliance presented the business environment of the Eastern Pennsylvania region and highlighted the rich tradition of Pittsburgh manufacturing and its dynamic business environment that offers many opportunities.

More information on Slovenian site

Check photo gallery on AmCham Facebook Page

Wednesday, May 14, 2014, Akron

Tide helps all ships sail easier, so cooperation and competition are key words to attract foreign investors and excellent companies in Akron and Ohio- Successful visit of the delegation of AmCham in Akron – the capital of polymers

Gregg P. Cramer, vice president of Greater Akron Chamber of Commerce joined the business delegation today and presented the business environment of city of Akron as well as the key industries, which are strongly connected to the city development: polymer, automobile and aircraft industry. Delegation then continued the visit in the Akron Global Business Accelerator. Dr. Anthony Margida, Director of the Accelerator, presented together with his team one of the most successful entrepreneurial accelerators in the part of the USA.

Sam. D. DeShazior, deputy director for economic development of Akron, who has already visited Slovenia said, that Ljubljana is for one of his favorite cities and that he could compare these cities in many ways – especially in the hard-working people of Akron, where they hold their great industrial heritage of tire manufacturing giants.

Ajša Vodnik, M.Sc., Director of AmCham Slovenia, said in this regard: »The results of the Akron Accelerator are impressive. In the last five years, the companies in the accelerator have generated $181 million, 639 jobs and gained $86 million of investment funds and that places them among the top 20 USA accelerators. This is another argument for AmCham Slovenia to link and enable Slovene entrepreneurs to enter such an ambitious and success-focused environments.«

More information on Slovenian site

Check photo gallery on AmCham Facebook Page

Tuesday, 13 May 2014, Akron

“Soft landing” for slovenian companies in Akron, Ohio

Official signing of Economic Development Collaboration Agreement between Akron Development Corp, Ohio, USA & AmCham Slovenia.

As a part of the AmCham business delegation in the American States of Ohio and Pannsylvania, there was the first meeting with representatives of Akron, their chamber of commerce, entrepreneurs and accelerator representatives.

Mag. Ajša Vodnik, Director of AmCham Slovenia signed, on behalf of AmCham Slovenia, the Agreement of cooperation in economic development with Roberto Y. Bowman, President of Akron Development Cooperation, representing Akron, Ohio.

The goal of both partners is to mutually enable easier market entry to companies who do that with help of both partner organizations. In that way Slovene companies will enter the USA market easier, as well easier entry of American companies to Slovene market, and help to those who wish to set up a center for Central and Eastern Europe in Slovenia. Ajša Vodnik expressed a great pleasure to see that even in such an important and demanding market as American, Slovene companies can now with help of AmCham and partners get the »soft landing«, all that with support of people who know Slovenia, quality of Slovene companies, and show us affection.

More information on Slovenian site

Check photo gallery on AmCham Facebook Page

Monday, 12 May 2014, Cleveland

20 representatives of Slovenian companies, brought to Cleveland by the American Chamber of Commerce – AmCham Slovenia in collaboration with the SPIRIT Slovenia – Public Agency, recognized together with the local business partners an immense potential for economic cooperation and a strong economic support of the diaspora.

In the context of AmCham business delegation in the states of Ohio and Pennsylvania, Slovene entrepreneurs and businessmen met some important representatives of local business and S-ABA (Slovenian American Business Association) representatives.

Mag. Ajša Vodnik, Director of AmCham Slovenia pointed out in her introduction that she is very pleased that the starting point of the delegation is Cleveland and thanked for exceptional hospitality to all the successful American entrepreneurs with Slovene roots: “Slovenia must be aware of its extreme potential and richness it has in you, bonds are already created, we only need to take a better care of them and upgrade them also with a greater economic cooperation.”

More information on Slovenian site

Check photo gallery on AmCham Facebook Page

Sunday, 11 May 2014, Cleveland

Interest for Slovenia – exists!

Executive Director of AmCham Slovenia Ajša Vodnik, M.Sc., is today in the company of Slovene business delegation, consisting of 20 members who are aware of an immense importance and opportunity in the American market. They are currently in the first out of three cities they will visit in the next week – Cleveland. They will be later also hosted by business people, developers, business accelerators representatives, entrepreneurs, potential business partners,… in Akron and Pittsburg. In all three cities they will be given a special attention by the Mayors, who are often the key players in the economic development of this rapidly growing part of the USA.

More information on Slovenian site

Check photo gallery on AmCham Facebook Page

Friday, 9 May 2014, Ljubljana

Business and Investment Opportunities for Slovene Companies in the USA

American Chamber of Commerce – AmCham Slovenia in collaboration with public agency SPIRIT Slovenia is organizing the first business delegation in Ohio and Pennsylvania.

20 representatives of Slovene companies, who are aware of the great importance and opportunity of the American market, will visit two states and three cities.

Each federal state offers specific opportunities, therefore we will, according to the previously created links and interests, visit partners in Cleveland, Akron and Pittsburgh.

We will meet businessmen, developers, representatives of business accelerators, entrepreneurs, potential business partners in all the cities, as well we will be hosted by mayors of all the three cities, we will also be hosted by mayors of all three cities, as they are often the key players in the economic development of this rapidly growing part of the USA

Cleveland, Ohio is with the broader Cleveland area the 12th largest business region in the USA and with its 396.815 inhabitants the 45th largest city in the USA in terms of population. »The Economist« estimated Cleveland to be one of the most pleasant cities in the USA. It is also interesting that the largest share of 300.000 Slovenes living in the North America lives in Cleveland. Economic sectors: automobile, aircraft industry, biomedicine, food processing, metal manufacturing, IT

75 biomedical companies, 45 technology companies and 7 business incubators

Opportunities for: global brands, small and medium enterprises and start-ups

Advanced network of supporting development agencies and economic partners

Operating costs: real estate, labor, taxes = lower in the Cleveland area than in most other U.S. cities.

Advantages for the companies: proximity of the American and Canadian market, developed transport links, logistics, two commercial airports, talented workforce – 27 universities, strong and growing economy, low taxes and investment incentives, interesting developing projects, access to various sources of energy.

The delegation will not be hosted only by the businessmen, but also by Mayor Frank G. Jackson, who is promoting Cleveland as a center of new product development, innovation and improvement of production processes and has developed a 10-year initiative: „Sustainable Cleveland 2019„ – guideline of the Mayor, for the city to become a technological city of future.

Akron, known also as the capital of polymers, highlights the quality of industrial infrastructure and educated workforce as its greatest advantage. It represents a development environment for niche, high-tech industries. The forecast is 4.3% annual growth.

In the 60s this was one of the richest industrial cities in the USA, known for its exceptional purchasing power. However in the 70s it suffered a serious decline and the worst social conditions due to the relocation of industry to the south of the USA. In the 80s they reached a turning point by ambitious development policy, activated entrepreneurship and focused on the knowledge left from the powerful polymer industry. They set up an accelerator, bio-medical corridor, Austen Bio Innovation Institute. They were attractive for staff from the East Coast and began to establish so called “technology bridges”. Akron became the fastest growing city between Chicago and East Coast and is the recipient of the title “economic – recovery model” of city (The Brookings Institution).

One of the key actors in the city transformation is Mayor Donald Plusquellic, one of the U.S. mayors who has received the most awards. Among others, he received the Urban Hero Award and Global Leadership Award. Mayor Plusquellic has already visited Slovenia twice and believes that his economic – recovery model is applicable in Slovenia too. In addition to his reception in Akron, there will be an important visit to the global headquarters of Goodyear, the largest U.S. investor in Slovenia. In addition to that, we will visit an accelerator, which has an important role in growth of Akron to become one of the world’s centers of polymers.

The last stop of the business delegation will be the second largest city in Pannsylvania – city of Pittsburgh, which is according to several studies of quality of life one of the nicest cities in USA. It still holds the nickname of the steel city, although today its economy is based on education, healthcare, financial industry and high-tech companies. Today it has 305.704 residents. There are 1.600 technology companies in the wider region, among others Google placed a large campus here as well. Moreover, many large global financial institutions placed their headquarters in Pittsburgh, including PNC Financial Services – the 6th largest U.S. bank.

We look forward to meet Mayor William Peduto, who has been the mayor since 2013 and has rich experience in transforming Pittsburgh into a modern city of growth, as he was preciously a member of the city council. The new development strategy for Pittsburgh: “Community based development”, which includes residents in the city development plan and encourages investment into niche industries. A significant visit will be given also to the world’s headquarters of Westinghouse in Pittsburgh, a company present also in the Slovene market, with few Slovene companies in their supply chain as well.

During the visit of Pittsburgh we will attend the opening of the Honorary Consulate of Slovenia with Petra Mitchell appointed as the honorary consul, otherwise a president and CEO at Catalyst Connection since 1994 (previously known as Southwestern Pennsylvania Industrial Resource Center, SPIRC). It is a private nonprofit organization that helps the industry to compete in the global economy.

Mag. Ajša Vodnik, Executive Director of AmCham Slovenia is extremely excited about the excellent cooperation with American partners, including the representatives of all the cities as well as the Consul General of Republic of Slovenia Mr. Jurček Žmauc, the Embassy of Republic of Slovenia in USA and economic counselor Mr. Gorazd Renčelj. We are delighted to have support also from H.E. Dr. Božo Cerar, Ambassador of the Republic of Slovenia to the USA, who believes that this delegation is an important step towards closer bilateral relations between Slovenia and USA.

Tomaž Klemenc, Acting Director of SPIRIT Slovenia believes in the opportunity of the American market and is therefore very pleased for SPIRIT to be a supporting partner of AmCham Slovenia in the organization of this exceptional business delegation.

Other supporters of delegation are Embassy of Republic of Slovenia in USA; US Embassy in Slovenia; S-ABA; CEED