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The American Chamber of Commerce in Slovenia – AmCham Slovenia, the Embassy of the United States of America in Ljubljana, the Centre for Entrepreneurship and Executive Development – CEED and the Public Agency of the Republic of Slovenia for Entrepreneurship and Foreign Investment – JAPTI hosted the U.S.-Slovenia Business Bridge Conference on April 7 and 8, 2011, in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

The conference was also supported by the Slovenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Economy, Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Slovenian Embassy in D.C.

The event – the first of its kind featuring such a broad range of participants and supporters – will help strengthen the U.S. – Slovenian business ties and highlight the opportunities for increasing trade and investment. The conference offered opportunities to the U.S. investors to interact directly with high-level Slovenian Government officials and to hear first-hand from companies already present in Slovenia about the investment climate and current trends. It also provided ample time for investors to network with Slovenian companies of interest.

The first day was held in a sign and devoted to the Investors´ day.

The Conference was inaugurated by the speaker Mitja Gaspari, M.Sc, Minister for Development and European Affairs, who expressed his criticism towards business environment and pointed out numerous challenges Slovenia might expect.

More optimism could be perceived from the speakers, participating at the Roundtable on Slovenian Investment Climate.

Tomaž Lovše, the President of AmCham Slovenia and owner of Diners Club Slovenia is convinced that Slovenia should succeed, especially within the financial service sector. Matej Potokar, Senior Director of Microsoft Business Solutions for the CEE Region told that the Slovene subsidiary has been proclaimed as the best in the world, furthermore he himself above all confides in excellent manpower.

Jasna Mihelj Coustaury from Telsima d.o.o., Member of Aviat Networks Group pointed out that they are extremely pleased with their developmental centre of which main advantage are its efficient and loyal employees.

Romana Dobnikar šeruga, Editor in Chief, Delo d.d. laid stress on the fact that we need foreign investors and that we are definitely open for proposals.

Investment opportunities were introduced by Matej Skočir from JAPTI (the Public Agency of the Republic of Slovenia for Entrepreneurship and Foreign Investment) Borut Jamnik, the President of KAD – Kapitalska družba d.d. (Pension Fund Management) and PDP – Posebna družba za podjetniško svetovanje, d. d. (Special Company for Enterprise Consult). Speaker was Matej Golob Matzele, the General Manager of PDP.

Roundtable on Opportunities by Sectors was attended by Dr Ivan Eržen, the State Secretary of Ministry of Health of the Republic of Slovenia, Dr József Györkös, the State Secretary of Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology of the Republic of Slovenia, Nina Mauhler, M.Sc, the Acting Director-General of the Railways and Cableways Directorate at the Ministry of Transport of the Republic of Slovenia and Marko Makovec, the Foreign Policy Advisor to the Prime Minister.

The summit of the first day of the Conference, attended by more than 150 people, was the gala dinner with the honorary speaker

H.E. Borut Pahor, Prime Minister of the Republic of Slovenia

and Governmental Ministers

Dorijan Marušič, Minister of Health of the Republic of Slovenia

Dr Patrick Vlačič, Minister of Transport of the Republic of Slovenia

Dr Roko Žarnić, Minister of Environment and Spatial Planing of the Republic of Slovenia

Among special guests attending the dinner were H.E. Joseph A. Mussomeli, U.S. Ambassador to Slovenia, and three ex Ambassadors Jackovich, Robertson and Ghafari.

Lorraine Hariton, Special Representative for Commercial and Business Affairs came as a special guest from the United States Government.

On the second day of the Conference the Cross U.S.-Slovenia Investment Opportunities for Entrepreneurs took place, where

Lorraine Hariton, Special Representative for Commercial and Business Affairs at the US State Department


Jerry Colonna, Finance Capital Expert

shared their experiences with the entrepreneurs.

There were also Case Studies – Cooperation between U.S. investors and Slovene entrepreneurs discussed.


Davor Jakulin, Founder and CEO of ATech elektronika

Laszlo Czirjak, Founder and Partner at iEurope

Boštjan špetič, Founder and CEO of Zemanta,

Jerry Colonna, Finance Capital Expert

An interesting topic about Fundraising 3.0 was addressed to the guests as well Speaker: Jure Mikuž, Managing Director and Partner at RSG Kapital

and about challenges working in the U.S. as an entrepreneur (logistics challenges) Speaker: Aaron Luster, Consular Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Slovenia

The noteworthy project – the conference with altogether of more than 260 participants, has entirely succeeded, nevertheless we hope for even more business to be as well carried out.