Ljubljana – The organisers of the Slovenian Expo 2020 pavilion invited Slovenian companies to join the world exposition in Dubai with an online event on Wednesday. “Expo 2020 will likely be the only major international event for a long while, thus we would like for Slovenia to use it well,” said Tomaž Kostanjevec, director of the SPIRIT agency.
Kostanjevec noted the Covid pandemic-related adjustments and cancellations of regular international events, adding that Expo 2020 in Dubai “will in fact happen”. He said the organisers were exceptionally well prepared and their safety protocols suited to the expected 25 million visitors.
Matic Volk, Slovenia’s commissioner general for Expo, noted that Slovenia was among the first countries to complete its pavilion in Dubai. Of a record 194 countries taking part, 83 will have their own pavilions.
With the pavilion in place “we have a good foundation, that we now need to upgrade with a programme and content basis and obviously with all the business opportunities that the event creates,” said Volk.
The Slovenian Expo team is working on a lively programme of activities at the pavilion. Apart from the daily programme, a Slovenian business lunch will be held three times a week, themed events will be held once a week and visits by departmental delegations once a month, along with an investment conference, regional presentations and Slovenian Day at Expo on 8 February next year.
Theme-based events will be divided into 11 sections, linking with the main Expo event themes such as climate and biodiversity, digitalisation and artificial intelligence, food and the countryside, water sources and cultural and creative industries, said Saša Leban of SPIRIT, a pubic agency.
Jaka Perharič said companies would be able to get involved via a business or entrepreneurial package, each comprising a week-long presentation in principle. The entrepreneurial package is suited to companies showcasing products and the business one to those looking for new markets or business partners. The entrepreneurial package is valued at EUR 5,000, VAT excluded, and the business one at EUR 10,000.
Six companies will also get the opportunity to become exclusive partners. The EUR 100,000 package will allow for a 28-day showcase and will thus make the company even more visible.
Companies wishing to be take part in Expo will be offered financial incentives in the form of vouchers from the Slovenian Enterprise Fund. The voucher will cover up to 60% of the eligible costs for companies’ appearances in international forums abroad or in business delegations abroad. They can get EUR 300-3,000 in incentive for the former and EUR 300-5,000 for the latter.
Perharič said they would like to offer companies assistance in establishing contacts. “We would like to create an environment where they will be able to pre-agree meetings and then put the icing on the cake in our pavilion,” he said.
In doing so they will also be able to count on support from the organiser and the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, they will be able to engage local staffers, and benefit from a special app set up by the organizer that will link potential partners by means of artificial intelligence.
Aleš Cantarutti, director-general of the Slovenian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the doors of the organisers of the Slovenian Expo presentation were always open and companies could turn to them with any question.