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Škrabčeva domačija
30. 5. 2012
New Partnership in the Global Race

The aim of the excellently attended international conference named “Russia and Slovenia - New Partnership in the Global Race” is to find synergies and build new partnerships in the global race.

Slovenian-Russian economic relations have outgrown the framework of bilateral cooperation. Companies from both countries are becoming partners in international projects and gaining importance in situations where we are still facing the economic crisis. At the conference, distinguished guests and key protagonists of Slovenian-Russian cooperation in economy and banking tried to answer the questions of whether periods of crisis are really strengthening economic ties between Slovenia and Russia, what the future role of banks will be like in the development of economic cooperation, whether we have outgrown traditional practices and ways of working together, and what the new forms of business cooperation will be like.

After the initial welcome speeches, which were given by Mr Janez Škrabec, President of the Slovenian-Russian Business Council, Mr Valentin Mihova, Department Director for Sberbank and Mr Samo Hribar Miliča, President of the Slovenian Chamber of Commerce, the conference was opened by Dr Gregor Virant, President of the Slovenian National Assembly. In his speech, Dr Gregor Virant stressed that, over the past 20 years, we have managed to lift Slovenian-Russian relations to a new and higher level. “In our attempts to strengthen economic cooperation, we have always placed a strong focus on relations at a cultural and political level. Today, Slovenian-Russian relations are rich, varied and versatile in all fields. Russia represents an important economic and strategic partner for Slovenia. With slightly less than 930 million euros in merchandise trade, Russia is currently in 12th place of all of Slovenia’s most important trading partners. In addition to this, 6.3% of all of Slovenia’s foreign direct investments are in the Russian Federation.”

H. E. Doku Zavgajev, Ambassador of the Russian Federation in Slovenia, stressed that Russia has already been recording continuous economic growth for a number of years and that, in the future, it hopes to take a leading role in the field of technology on a global level. He also pointed out that both the Russian government and the Slovenian government are striving to improve conditions for business and investment in order to open new opportunities for business connections. Mr Valentin Mihov, Director of Strategy and Development for Sberbank (which is now under the ownership structure of Volksbank International) presented this important Russian bank which wants to strengthen its position in the European market and provide adequate support to companies.

The European context of cooperation with Russia was presented by Mr Matjaž Šinkovec from the Permanent Representation of the Republic of Slovenia to the EU in Brussels. The EU-Russia Partnership for Modernization: the EU and Russia agreed to build stronger ties and to deepen cooperation in the economic, social, political and cultural spheres. Valentin Mihov (Sberbank), Eduard Vajno (AvtoVAZ), Janez Škrabec (Rico), Jožef Bradeško (SID), Metod Dragonja (NLB Moscow), Uros Slavinec (Helios) and Dušan Bušen (ACS) all sat down at the round table to share their experiences and views of the promising cooperation between the two markets which are connected by an aspirational culture and value framework. They unanimously stressed the importance of partnership alliances, which are regarded as key factors when entering the Russian market, which is where all the global competition is currently pouring in. Another factor of utmost importance is the support received from banking institutions that back up such propulsive projects.

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