The Slovenian and Italian towns of Nova Gorica and Gorizia have come together to make history as the first ever cross-border European Capital of Culture. Throughout the 20th century, the relationship between these two nations was marred by conflict. Today, they stand as a shining example of friendship and cross-border cooperation within the European Union. Italy holds the position of Slovenia's third most crucial trading partner, with trade volume between the countries surpassing 12 billion euros in 2022. Approximately 11 percent of Slovenia's exports find their way into Italy, while Slovenia ranks as Italy's 17th largest export market, ahead of many significantly larger nations. Italy also maintains its status as the sixth-largest investor in Slovenia, contributing 1.3 billion euros - a 6.9 percent stake in the total foreign direct investments. The Italian Generali Group holds the second-largest share (17.5 percent) of Slovenia's insurance market.
Italian investments extend to banking (Unicredit, Intesa San Paolo) and fuel trade (Adriaplin). The Aquafil Group, an Italian company, conducts a significant portion of its manufacturing and R&D activities through its Slovenian subsidiary. Italian company Intersocks, specializing in sport sock engineering, has established its primary commercial and production center in the Slovenian town of Kočevje. Close to the border in Sežana and Vrtojba, several Italian tech companies have set up shop, including Kyma, a developer of particle accelerator magnet devices. Some Slovenian companies have expanded across the border as well, for example the high-tech aircraft developer Pipistrel. Collaboration in research and development represents the vastest area of untapped potential. It is not a coincidence that the two recent Italian-Slovenian business forums focused on space exploration.