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Business news in Slovenia

Exhibition promotes wood and wood-processing industry

Ljubljana, 13 May (STA) - Over a hundred products representative of Slovenian wood design were put on display in Ljubljana at an annual exhibition aimed at promoting wood and wood products and the country's wood-processing industry.

Held for the 16th year, the exhibition Charm of Wood will be running at Ljubljana's arts centre Cankarjev Dom until 19 May, after which it will visit several other locations across the country.

The opening ceremony featured several senior officials, as well as Oskar Kogoj, an internationally-acclaimed industrial designer, who noted the importance of the wood-processing industry for Slovenia through history, as well as the opportunities for the industry abroad.

Economy Minister Matjaž Han noted the importance of the exhibition for the use of wood and jobs in the industry.

"The Economy Ministry is aware of the importance of wood, but also of the shortcomings that prevent the use of wood in Slovenia from increasing. However, increased promotion has produced results," Han said, announcing further activities.

The exhibition is held with the support of the Economy Ministry and the Spirit Slovenija agency for the promotion of entrepreneurship and investment.

The agency and the ministry's wood industry directorate have been promoting wood among the general public and professionals since 2013, including promoting jobs in the industry among young people in cooperation with educational institutions and businesses.

"We want to show young people the properties of wood and the many ways in which it can be used. We also want to show them the diversity of woodworking professions, the many career and job opportunities in the woodworking industry and to raise the profile of the carpenter's profession, which is still a shortage occupation," Spirit agency director Rok Capl said.

He said the efforts have borne fruit, as the number of students enrolled in woodworking schools is increasing.

Both Franc Pohleven, the initiator of the exhibition, and Maks Merela, the deputy dean of the Ljubljana Biotechnical Faculty, regretted that Slovenians are still not sufficiently aware of the potential of wood and forests.

"Slovenia is a country rich in forests, so it makes me wonder time and again that some Slovenian wood-processing companies should be forced to import wood from abroad," Merla said.

All the products displayed have labels showing how much they have contributed to reducing CO2 in the atmosphere, thereby contributing to climate normalisation.

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