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Monday, February 6, 2023

Minister Podgoršek starts his visit to Dubai with “Slovenia – the Green Table of Europe” business forum

By: UKOM

Minister Jože Podgoršek begins today a working visit to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. The first day of the visit was devoted to supporting Slovenian companies and promoting business cooperation between the two countries with a view to enable the Slovenian food industry to break into the United Arab Emirates market. “Today, we are seeking new business opportunities on these markets together with a delegation from the Slovenian food-processing and beverage industry. Slovenia offers first-class products. We follow very strict European rules for food safety and quality along the entire agri-food chain. Natural and structural conditions largely dictate the orientation of the agricultural production. In recent years, more and more Slovenian producers decide to take on organic food production,” stressed Minister Podgoršek.

“Slovenia – the Green Table of Europe” business forum took place today in the Slovenian Pavilion at EXPO Dubai. It was organised by the Chamber of Agricultural and Food Enterprises of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia together with the SPIRIT Slovenia Public Agency and the Ministry of Economic Development. The forum featured the best solutions in agriculture and food industry in Slovenia and highlighted the importance of this industry for Slovenia. At the outset, Minister Podgoršek presented the extraordinary natural features of Slovenia: “Slovenia is one of the richest biodiversity areas in the world. It is also one of the most water-rich countries in Europe; we have even included in our Constitution the right of citizens to quality drinking water. In addition, Slovenia is one of the most forested countries in Europe. Our sustainable and close-to-nature forest management is recognised and renowned internationally. We are also proud to be known for being a nation of beekeepers and for caring for bees, which are one of the signs of a clean and green environment. Sustainability is at the centre of our food production in which we follow very high environmental and climate targets. These targets will be even higher from 2023 onwards under the European Green Deal and its ‘Farm to Fork’ and Biodiversity strategies.”

Minister Podgoršek continued by presenting in more detail Slovenian agriculture and food-processing industry, which are an important part of the agri-food chain. “Besides having a long-standing tradition and being strongly export-oriented, our food-processing industry is distinguished by its high quality. The quality of processed Slovenian agri-food products is recognised in the traditional neighbouring markets, as well as in the Middle East, the United States, China and elsewhere. We follow very strict European rules for food safety and quality along the entire agri-food chain. Numerous Slovenian farmers have opted for organic food production in recent years.”

Tomorrow, Minister Podgoršek will attend Gulfood, the region’s largest speciality food festival, together with representatives of Slovenian companies. He will also meet with the Minister of Climate Change and Environment of the United Arab Emirates, Ms Mariam bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Almheiri, and the ministers will sign a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation between the ministries in the field of sustainable development and food systems.

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