Slovenia wants professionals working abroad to return, event hears
Brdo pri Kranju, 16 June - Slovenian scientists and business people living and working abroad came together in Brdo pri Kranju for their annual meeting on Thursday. Government representatives addressing the event underlined the importance of sharing in the knowledge gained abroad and expressed worry about brain drain.
"Slovenians living around the world are a great treasure in business, science and diplomacy," Slovenian World Congress president Boris Pleskovič said.
Pleskovič, as well as Economy Minister Matjaž Han and Education Minister Igor Papič, expressed the wish that more of those who leave would choose to return.
"I am very supportive of those who wish to gain knowledge and experience abroad, but we need to stay in touch, work on exchange of knowledge, new technologies and new practices," Han said.
Representing President Borut Pahor, his advisor Boštjan Žekš pointed to an attitude affecting the decisions of those who would like to return but do not. Recently, several top scientists expressed the wish to return home, "but we don't want them or we're afraid of them."
Minister for Slovenians Abroad Matej Arčon said the fact that the event today was addressed by three cabinet ministers spoke to the government's awareness on these issues.
Via video link, US Senator Amy Klobuchar expressed pride in her Slovenian roots, highlighting important connections between the US and Slovenia and adding that the countries shared the same values, as well as a dream of freedom and democracy.
The war in Ukraine showed how fragile democracy is and Ukrainians are showing the world what is means to be a hero, she said, also underlining the importance of Slovenia being a part of NATO.
Meanwhile, Slovenian ambassador to the US Tone Kajzer talked about his cooperation with the Slovenian community in the US and expressed belief that the fact that many US companies are looking for a place to relocate their production plants from China may be an opportunity for Slovenia.