Economic Diplomacy event on 25 January 2019

On 25 January 2019, the SDBP  and the National Council of the Republic of Slovenia co-organised the extremely successful “Economic Diplomacy – small players on the global market: ” event. We are very happy and grateful to all the audience and to the active participants in the discussions. 

The purpose of the event was to open a debate key business opportunities for Slovenia outside its geographical boundaries. It is vitally important that Slovenia could be ranked among Europe’s more successful and reliable trading partners and thus fully utilize its economic position. The Netherlands and Slovenia have a lot in common: They are both relatively dependent countries depend on exports, are strategically well-placed and have a skilled workforce, which is why partners can be interested in each other. In addition to the President of the DS of the Republic of Slovenia, Alojz Kovšce, a number of distinguished guests attended the event: Marc W. van Rijnsoever – President of the Slovenian – Dutch Business Club, dr. Miro Cerar – Slovenian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Aleš Cantarutti – State Secretary at the Ministry of Economic Development of the Republic of Slovenia, Alenka Suhadolnik – Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for Economic and Public Diplomacy.

In his opening address, the President of the National Council Alojz Kovšec emphasized the importance of the internationalization of Slovenian companies and how important it can be the role of political decision makers in opening doors to companies around the world.

Our president, Marc van Rijnsoever gave the following speech (english translation underneath):

“Spoštovani g. predsednik državnega sveta Alojz Kovšca,
Spoštovani g. zunanji minister dr. Miro Cerar,
Spoštovani g. državni sekretar Ministrstva za razvoj in tehnologijo mag. Aleš Cantarutti,
Spoštovana ga. odpravnica poslov Kraljevine Nizozemske Ida de Kat,
Spoštovana ga. častna spoštovana ga. častna konzultka Republike Slovenije v Kraljevini, Nizozemski Karin van Rooyen,
Spoštovana ga. mag. Alenka Suhadolnik,
Spoštovana ga. Mojca Markizetti,
Spoštovani g. Jernej Tovšak,
Excellence, spoštovane gostje,

Lepo, da ste se odzvali na povabilo,

Vsem dobro jutro, goede morgen….. v slovenskih gorah sem se namreč naučil, da se pozdravljamo v svojem jeziku.

Najprej bi se rad zahvalil g. predsedniku Državnega sveta, da nam je omogičil organizacijo tega posveta.

SDBP je bil ustanovljen leta 2003, z namenom, da se v njem srečujemo predstavniki gospodarstva, ki so naklonjeni prijateljstvu in sodelovanju med obema državama. Je bilateralna organizacija, ki je prisotna v obeh državah in tako izraža čezmejni duh razmišljanja.

Tako Slovenija, kot Nizozemska sta majhni državi, zato se oboji zavedamo, da moramo odpreti svoja vrata in širiti svoje poslovanje preko državnih mej. Bil sem prijetno presenečen, ko sem pri sodelovanju s High Tech Campusom v Eindhovnu, Philipsovem mestu razvoja, opazil, da so bili od 10 izbranih start-upov iz celotne Evrope kar trije iz Slovenije. Takšen podatek samo dokazuje, da imate Slovenci velik potencial tudi v razvojno inovativni dejavnosti. Na Nizozemskem gradijo vaši mladi državljani dobro ime Slovenije, seveda pa je potrebno to ime in znanje tudi ustrezno prezentirati in se učinkovito predstaviti na tujih trgih.

S tem namenom SDBP podpira projekt Rotterdam od business school. Študentje te fakultete želijo z izdelanim poslovnim načrtom pomagati slovenskim podjetjem pri vstopu na nizozemski trg. SDBP je v tem projektu most, ki povezuje podjetnike obeh držav.

V mojih očeh je Slovenija država z visoko stopnjo znanja in idej, zato lahko slovenska podjetja pogumno vstopajo na tuje trge. Pri tem je odveč strah pred velikimi gospodarstvi. V rezultatih se namreč lahko enakovredno kosate y njimi.

Obstaja angleški izraz »business makes politics« (gospodarstvo ustvarja politiko), danes pa se sprašujemo, kako lahko politika pomaga gospodarstvu. Na tem dogodku bomo diskutirali, kako lahko slovenska ekonomska diplomacija pomaga pri vzpodbujanju medsebojnega gospodarskega sodelovanja in razvoja med obema državama.

Upam, da bomo imeli konstruktivno diskusijo ter da bodo sklepi tega dogodka prenešeni v Državni zbor. Kot rezultat naše skupne aktivnosti pa si želim, da bom pogosteje slišal slovenske besede tudi v nizozemskem gospodarskem okolju.”

 

National Council – Speech, 25.1.2019 (Marc W. Van Rijnsoever, President SDBP)

 

“Dear Mr. President of the National Council Alojz Kovšca,
Dear Mr. Foreign Minister dr. Miro Cerar,
Dear Mr. State Secretary of the Ministry of Development and Technology mag. Aleš Cantarutti,
Dear Mrs. Deputy Chief of Mission of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the Republic of Slovenia Ida de Kat,
Dear Mrs. Honorary Consul of the Republic of Slovenia to the Kingdom of the Netherlands Karin van Rooyen,
Dear Mrs. mag. Alenka Suhadolnik,
Dear Mrs. Mojca Markizetti,
Dear Mr. Jernej Tovšak,
Excellence, respected guests,

I am pleased that you responded to the invitation,

All good morning, goede morgen … in the Slovenian mountains I learned to greet each other in your own language.

First of all, I would like to thank the President of the National Council, to enable us to organize this consultation.

The SDBP was established in 2003 with the aim of set up a meeting platform for representatives of the business, looking forward to friendship and economic cooperation between the two countries. It is a bilateral organization being present in both countries and which thus expresses the cross-border spirit of thinking.

Slovenia, like the Netherlands, is a small country, so both of us are aware that we need to open our doors and expand our business across national borders. I was pleasantly surprised when working at the High Tech Campus in Eindhoven (the research city of Philips),  I noticed that out of 10 selected start-ups from all over Europe the organization selected not less than three from Slovenia. Such data stresses that you Slovenians have a great potential in the developmental and innovative area as well. In the Netherlands, your young co-citizens are building a good image of Slovenia which name and knowledge must also be properly presented and effectively explored on foreign markets.

For this purpose, the SDBP supports the project initiated by the Rotterdam Business School. Students of this faculty now assist Slovenian companies to approach the Dutch market through preparing a business plan. In this project, the SDBP acts as a linking-pin between the businesses from both countries.

In my eyes, Slovenia is a country which has a high level of knowledge and ideas, so Slovenian companies can boldly enter foreign markets. There should be no hesitation in respect of bigger economies. Looking to your track record, you can equally match them.

There is an English term ‘business makes politics’, but today we are discussing how politics can help the business. At this event, we will discuss how Slovenian economic diplomacy can help to promote mutual economic cooperation and the development between the two countries.

I hope that we will have a constructive discussion and that the conclusions of this event will be transferred to the National Assembly. As a result of our joint activity, it would be great if I can hear the Slovene language more often in the Dutch economic environment.”

National Council – Speech, 25.1.2019 (Marc W. Van Rijnsoever, President SDBP)

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