Successful Business Relationships of Slovenian and German Companies

The Slovenian-German Chamber of Commerce reported that the next meeting of business representatives from both countries would be held in October in Prague, and next year again in Dortmund.

Ljubljana. The German companies’ demand for high-quality products and semi-finished products from Slovenia has been growing from year to year. For several years, the majority of Slovenian companies have been collaborating with German colleagues, and various B2B matchmaking events, similar to the meeting organized by the Slovenian-German Chamber of Commerce in Dortmund, make it easier for other companies to enter the German market, as noted by Slovenian entrepreneurs.

At the initiative of the German Federal Association for Supply Chain Management, Procurement and Logistics (BME), the Slovenian-German Chamber of Commerce (hereinafter referred to as AhkSlo) held a B2B meeting, through which business representatives receive an opportunity for direct negotiations and conclusion of first contracts without incurring significant costs for participation in exhibitions. The representatives of the Chamber of Commerce are planning to invite Slovenian and German businessmen for another similar event to be held in October in Prague. The organizers of the last Dortmund meeting have already declared their intention to conduct such a meeting next year.

Slovenian companies in Dortmund were able to sign new contracts with major suppliers of the German automotive and engineering industries, for example, with D. Swarovski KG, Knauf Engineering GmbH, Miele & Cie. KG, Thyssenkrupp Steel Europe AG, Volkswagen Sarajevo, Roth Werke GmbH, Samson AG, ABM Greiffenberger Antriebstechnik GmbH. Each Slovenian company had an opportunity to conduct 6–8 individual meetings with potential German partners. As noted in the AhkSlo, when registering to participate in the Dortmund meeting, Slovenian companies had to provide extensive documentation about their expertise, so the German partners could thoroughly prepare for the first business meeting with potential Slovenian counterparts.

21 Slovenian companies at the B2B meeting

In general, 21 out of 22 invited companies went to Dortmund — Sij, Plastika Skaza, Siliko, Oro Orodjarna, Bastl-Reduktor, Šumer, Iskra ISD, KGL, Mojstrovina, iOTC, Kovikor, Kopit, Kovit projekti, Podkrižnik, LP Mycron strojegradnja, Monting SK, Tu-Val, Miheu, Knapič, OKL Sinter and Gašperšič. The Delo journalists questioned them about the success of such activities and about the countries, in which the business cooperation moves to a new level.

For the Sij Group, according to its marketing director Mario Ivankovič, Germany is one of the major markets. The Group representatives met with 11 potential customers and provided them a list of its products: from alloy steel machined components for the automotive industry to the pre-machined components for the manufacture of tools used for cutting sheet metal in the manufacture of vehicle body parts and exhaust systems. “We agreed with 10 companies to join our forces and cooperate in a mutually beneficial way, which we consider as a successful result,” Ivankovič said.

The Plastika Skaza Company held meetings with 10 companies and signed agreements on commercial secrets with 5 of them. Therefore, the parties started collaborative work on projects. “They are looking for new suppliers of components and products, and we are looking for new partners. The event concerned mainly the automotive industry, so this segment has been the most attractive for the German side. However, we work not only with the automobile segment, but with the furniture and electrical industries, as well as in the production of household appliances,” Miloš Petković, the Head of the Strategic Sales Department of the Plastika Skaza Company, commented on the Dortmund meeting.

Establishing contacts with potential partners

The Delo journalists’ interviewees answered affirmatively to the question on whether such meetings can replace company presentations at trade fairs, and whether it is easier to enter foreign markets in such a way. According to Mario Ivankovič from Sij Group, such meetings help the export-oriented companies establish contacts with potential partners. Miloš Petković from Plastika Skaza agrees that such events are useful for both parties, since during one day it is possible to exchange information and determine the biggest needs of customers, and in which way suppliers can help them. According to him, such events are even more effective than exhibitions, and they should have been held more frequently. However, Miloš Petković would like such meetings to focus on a variety of industries and markets (Scandinavia, Benelux, France, etc.).