Slovenia Looks to Expand Presence in U.S. Market at Dallas Business Conference

With the help of NBA superstar Luka Dončić, Slovenian officials aim to score big at the annual Slovenia Business Conference in Dallas, promoting their export-oriented economy and strengthening business ties with the U.S. market.

Dallas is once again playing host to the Slovenia Business Investment Conference and the Slovenian Tourism Workshop from April 6 to 7. The events, which present economic, tourism, and investment opportunities on both sides, will take place at the American Airlines Center.

Dallas is the natural choice for the conference due to the popularity of Slovenian basketball player Luka Dončić, who plays for the Dallas Mavericks. Slovenia will be featured during the Mavericks’ home game against the Chicago Bulls on April 7 at the second annual “I Feel Slovenia Night.”

Besides being an NBA superstar, Dončić also is the ambassador of Slovenian tourism.

“I would love to see ‘I Feel Slovenia Night’ in Dallas become a regular thing. I think Luka is a reason for people in Dallas and NBA fans throughout the world to have a curiosity about Slovenia,” ESPN’s NBA reporter Tim MacMahon said.

With a population 332 million people, Slovenian officials say the U.S. presents an important market with many opportunities for the Slovenian economy and tourism.

Slovenia is a central European country and is bordered by Italy to the west, Austria to the north, Hungary to the northeast, Croatia to the southeast, and the Adriatic Sea to the southwest.

The Ministry of the Economy, Tourism and Sport, together with SPIRIT Slovenia, the Slovenian Tourist Board (STB) and other partners, will organize an economic delegation, the business investment conference and tourism workshop.

Slovenian tourism officials said this year’s event is a continuation of last year’s success undertaking and part of a multiyear continuous promotion of Slovenia, its economy, investment opportunities, and tourism on the U.S. market.

Matjaž Han, the minister of economy, tourism and sport, emphasized that “Slovenia’s economy is strongly export-oriented. The past crises have shown that we need to continue to internationalize our economy while diversifying our economy and tourism investments to markets outside the EU.”

Han also noted that “The United States is identified as our priority market with many opportunities, and Texas is the second-largest economy in the US and the 10th-largest in the world.” He believes that for Slovenian companies to penetrate this market, “a permanent presence of several years is needed.”

According to Han, “Through a joint, coordinated and integrated approach to promoting Slovenia and strengthening economic cooperation we want to help our companies.” In other words, a coordinated effort is necessary to assist Slovenian companies in establishing a foothold in the U.S. market.

The event will include several business and promotional activities linking business, science, tourism, and sport.

SPIRIT Slovenia will organize the business investment conference at which participants will learn about the Slovenian and Dallas business and investment environment, open opportunities and examples of good practices of Slovenian companies in the U.S. market.

That will be followed by individual business talks and networking between Slovenian and American companies.

The Slovenian Tourist Board will simultaneously hold the “Texas feels Slovenia” tourism workshop, where at least 40 US tour operators and travel agencies will be introduced to approximately 15 Slovenian tourism providers and destinations. The workshop will feature Ljubljana, which is an attractive tourist destination to visit year-round. The mayors of Ljubljana and Dallas will also present partnership possibilities between the two cities.

The mayors of Ljubljana and Dallas will present the possibilities for partnerships between the two cities, organizers said.

On April 7, the Slovenian delegation will visit several U.S. companies and hold business talks with potential American business partners, consulting firms, and other representatives of the American business community.

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