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Slovenia Business Week no. 28/2005: Vizjak and Eurochambers Chief Discuss Chamber System Reform

Ways of reforming the Slovenian Chamber of Commerce (GZS) topped the agenda of talks between Economics Minister Andrej Vizjak and Christoph Leitl, the head of both the Austrian Chamber of Commerce and Eurochambers, in Ljubljana on Tuesday, 05 July

The meeting comes after Leitl has recently sent a letter to Prime Minister Janez Jansa in which he voiced concern over the government's plans to reform the GZS by abolishing mandatory membership.  

A reform of the chamber system is planned by the Economics Ministry, which maintains that chamber membership should become voluntary. The GZS opposes the proposal.  

Holding a news conference after today's meeting, Leitl voiced support for the Economics Ministry's efforts for a strong and efficient chamber, whose organisation, however, should be agreed upon in dialogue.  

While addressing the GZS assembly earlier in the day, Leitl refused to give advice on the way the chamber should be reformed. He though highlighted that the Austrian model, which is based on mandatory membership, has proved to be very successful.  

Commenting on the Austrian chamber, Vizjak said it could be hardly compared to the Slovenian one since it is much stronger, boasting over 100 business offices abroad and a very substantial support for companies.  

Vizjak also announced that a bill on chambers of commerce will be drafted within a month and voiced hope for dialogue with the GZS on the issue.  

Vizjak and Leitl also discussed the organisation of other Eurochambers members, of which one half practice voluntary membership and the rest mandatory.  

Eurochambers represents 44 national associations of chambers of commerce and industry, a European network of 2,000 regional and local chambers with over 18 million member enterprises in Europe.

Source: Slovene Press Agency STA

Author: STA