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Japanese companies keen to do business with Slovenia

Thursday, 01/12/2022

Ljubljana, 26 November (STA) - Japanese companies are very interested in doing business with companies in Slovenia, including investment-wise, Naritaka Nakaishi, director-general of Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) European office, has told the STA in a recent interview. Much depends on the business environment and the availability of high-end engineers though.


Talking with the STA on the sidelines of the Slovenia-Japan Forum organised in Ljubljana by JETRO, its Slovenian counterpart SPIRIT and the Japanese Embassy, Nakaishi listed several reasons why Slovenia is a market of interest to Japanese companies.

"Slovenia is an advanced industrial country with efficient infrastructure and located as the strategic gateway to East Europe. Another reason is the abundance of English-speaking and highly skilled labour force," he said.

Compared to other countries in Central Europe, Slovenia's competitive advantage is also that it has high-value-added industries because of its close ties with Western European technology and markets. "It also has flexibility to adjust to international culture differences."

JETRO finds that Japanese investors in Slovenia are satisfied with the skilled labour force. "There is, however, a significant problem with the visa procedure for the expats from Japan. We often hear that they have problems to get or to extend their visa. It can take up to one year and during this period they are not allowed to go abroad, even in the EU. It makes their operation very difficult."

Many Japanese companies are looking for startups and innovative companies which have deep technologies and brand-new business models. JETRO has launched a platform called J-Bridge to promote collaboration between Japanese enterprises and innovative overseas companies. "We would like to advise such companies to use the platform," said Nakaishi.

During the visit to Slovenia the Japanese delegation also visited the Koper port. After the Covid pandemic and Russia's invasion of Ukraine disrupted global supply chains, companies are looking to secure diverse logistics routes.

"We think that the Koper port can be one of the leading transportation routes, especially for Japanese companies operating in Central and Eastern Europe. According to Luka Koper, imports from Japan have been increasing every year and almost all Japanese automotive manufacturers are using the port. The rail expansion is definitely a positive development in terms of thinking 'green'," Nakaishi said, referring to the construction of a new rail track between Koper and Divača. (Source: www.sta.si)

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