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Slovenian-Polish Business Forum on AI and Cyber Security

Slovenia and Poland cooperate in a number of areas, but there is still room for deepening economic cooperation in the future, the Slovenian-Polish Business Forum on Cyber Security and Artificial Intelligence

On 21 March 2024, the Slovenian-Polish Business Forum on Cyber Security and Artificial Intelligence was organised by the SPIRIT Slovenia Business Development Agency in cooperation with the Ministry of Economy, Tourism and Sport, the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Slovenia, the Polish Agency for Investment and Trade (PAIH), the Association for Informatics and Telecommunications at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia, the Digital Poland Association and the Triglav-Rysy Business Forum.

Slovenia and Poland have excellent relations in many areas. Poland is Slovenia's ninth largest foreign trading partner; in 2023 trade in goods reached 2.7 billion euros, with Slovenian exports accounting for around half of this figure. Slovenia's most important exports to Poland are pharmaceutical products and electrical machinery. The latter also rank first in terms of imports.

A business forum held during a visit by Polish President Andrzej Duda called for cooperation in the areas of cybersecurity and digital technologies to be taken to a higher level.

The countries cooperate well in the areas of infrastructure, transport, automotive industry, energy security and smart technologies, as well as in the fields of AI and cybersecurity, said Slovenian President Nataša Pirc Musar. She stressed that cooperation in the field of cybersecurity must take place at the level of the entire EU, including between Slovenia and Poland. Pirc Musar believes that the two countries have a lot to offer in this area. However, she also called for improved cooperation in the transport sector, especially between the Slovenian port of Koper and the Polish Baltic Sea ports.

Polish President Duda also referred to the close partnership between the two countries in many areas. Trade has increased significantly over the last two decades and Slovenia is also an important market for Polish companies. Poland sees a great opportunity to expand cooperation in the areas of digital technologies, transport, and logistics. Polish companies are interested in participating in various projects in Slovenia, for example in the areas of energy, advanced technologies, and green transition.

Rok Capl, Director of the SPIRIT Slovenia Business Development Agency, highlighted the efforts to increase bilateral economic cooperation and the role of cooperation in the areas of cybersecurity and AI.

The opening session was followed by two panels.

In the first panel on cyber security, Slovenian and Polish counterparts discussed new challenges in business in the era of digital opportunities. The digital transformation brings tremendous opportunities and offers solutions to many of today's challenges, making cyber risk management essential for the long-term success of companies and countries. The panellists agreed that "cyber security will eventually become a must-have for driving on the digital highway." Cybersecurity is essential to building a resilient, green and digital Europe, they added.

The second panel touched on artificial intelligence and the opportunities it brings for greater business success. Participants agreed that companies need to be educated on how they can use new technologies and new solutions in their business processes to increase their competitiveness. Slovenia stands out globally in this field, and it is no coincidence that the International Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence (IRCAI), which operates under the auspices of UNESCO, has been established in Slovenia. Examples of good practices on both sides were also presented and a strong desire was expressed to get to know companies from both countries in these fields and to deepen cooperation.

At the end of the official part of the meeting, pre-arranged business talks between Slovenian and Polish companies took place. As the event took place on the sidelines of the FIS Ski Jumping World Cup Finals, the participants were also able to watch the competition.

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