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Slovenia Business Week no. 37/2004: CEI Days at Celje Trade Fair

About 250 companies from 12 European countries presented their activities as the Days of the Central European Initiative (CEI)

About 250 companies from 12 European countries presented their activities as the Days of the Central European Initiative (CEI) at the Celje International Trade Fair on Thursday, 9 September.

Slovenia is presiding over the 17-member CEI for the first time this year. Since the association includes EU states as well as aspiring members, the head of international cooperation at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia, Tanja Rupnik, said that this is an opportunity Slovenian companies may not miss.

Some 98 percent of Slovenian companies are small and mid-sized enterprises, which are typically too weak in terms of finance and staff to compete on equal footing in Europe. CEI is an opportunity for these companies, according to Rupnik, to make business contacts and start internationalising.

A CEI business conference was also held at which the role of the organisation and its association of chambers of commerce (CECCI) were presented by CEI deputy secretary general Leonardo Baroncelli and Carlo Spagnoli of Unioncamere, the association of Italian chambers of commerce.

The CEI is made up of Slovenia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary, which together with Austria and Italy form the EU constituency of CEI. The non-EU members comprise Albania, Belarus, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia, Moldova, Romania, Serbia-Montenegro and Ukraine.

The Celje fair is the largest trade fair in Slovenia and one of the biggest in Europe. In its 39th edition this year, it is featuring more than 1,700 exhibitors from 34 countries.

Source: Slovene Press Agency STA

Author: Branka Murn