By Peter Tase
On September 1-2, The Republic of Slovenia, one of the twenty eight member countries of the European Union, will be the host of the 2014 Bled Strategic Forum that will take place in the majestic city of Bled and this year’s theme is “The Power of Trust.” The keynote speakers and panelists will look into different aspects of international politics, current events and unyielding issues of international commerce.
Slovenia is perhaps the best location to host such a major international event, as the administration of Prime Minister Alenka Bratušek has made great efforts in improving the state of public policies in the country and has had a successful model of economic growth and has the highest GDP per capita in Central Europe.
According to the organizers of BEF 2014, “Invited speakers will discuss the Philosophy of Leadership, role of leaders within the challenging international community as well as the importance of changing leaders’ mind-sets in facing dynamic trends in our society. We will not forget about young leaders who are already shaping our world. This year’s Special panel The Potential of Trust will focus on how to establish trust between different parts of our society – generations, sectors, institutions and even among individuals. What is the potential of trust in overcoming the crisis and apathy, which frequently burden our economies and politics, and what is the vision young leaders have for achieving a trustworthy community?”
On September 2nd. The invited speakers will analyze the “unprecedented global demographic change, which presents both an economic as well as a social challenge to societies in general and European states in particular.” Under the session title “Global Demographic Change – Another Threat or an Opportunity” the keynote speakers will tackle the current situation and provide potential solutions to the specific cases of Europe and Asia.
Additionally there will be another distinguished panel focused on “Contemporary Threats: Cyber- Security – Global Challenge and Opportunity” in which will be addressed the challenges of cyber-security and its effects towards the foreign policy objectives and interests by certain nations and interest groups.
Another important panel will focus on the regional issues and challenges including the countries of Central Europe and the Balkans, under the theme of “The Spirit of Central Europe” in which will be included the elements of identity, “the importance of regional cooperation and existing platforms of cooperation as well as the impact of the Central Europe on the wider” context. A Panel, traditionally focused on the Western Balkans, will take a look into regional cooperation. On another panel with an emphasis on the “Western Balkans – How to Make Regional Cooperation Work?” panelists will “shed light on trust and political will for regional initiatives, which can provide active engagement of numerous actors.”
Another added values to this regional event will be the 2014 Business BSF which will place at the center of attention the importance of Infrastructure integration of South East Europe as well as exploring business Opportunities in South East Asia, Latin America, India and Africa. Innovation will be part of the discussion as it is “a major driving force of economic growth during the panel entitled “Start (up) New Technologies.”
Another interesting panel will discuss the attractive topics of “Digital Economy and the Power of Tourism”, as well as an Early Bird Session will focus on the Arts and Sports and Cultural Diplomacy. This year’s Bled Strategic Forum is expected to welcome more than 400 guests from over sixty countries and will bring together diplomatic chiefs from Europe, Asia and the Western Hemisphere into the heart of South East Europe. Slovenia has steadily emerged as a success story of developing an open market economy. The country has a well trained and young workforce, has embraced liberal trade policies and taken important steps towards reducing corruption, impunity and been successful in the fight against organized crime.
Regardless of a steady economic and GDP performance levels, Ljubljana has been one the best economic performers in central and eastern Europe, in 2009 it reached US$ 23,800 GDP per capita.
The government has introduced measures to promote Slovenian Exports abroad and national image has significantly been improved in the last few years. Slovenia is one of the largest trade partners of Germany and other important economies of Europe.
As the founding member of the World Trade Organization, Slovenia is a reliable partners of the Central European Free Trade Agreement; South East European Cooperative Initiative; became an EU member in May 1st, 2004 and joined the Euro Zone in January 2007. Since 2010, Slovenia has been a member of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development Europe (OECD).
Photo source: http://www.bledstrategicforum.org/bled