08:30 – 09:00 Registration

09:00 – 09:15 Welcome Addresses

  • Dagmar von Bohnstein, President, German-Slovene Chamber of Commerce
  • H.E. Natalie Kauther, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Slovenia
  • Prof. Dr. Danica Purg, Founder and President, IEDC-Bled School of Management


09:15 – 09:45 Keynote: Navigating the German Economic Landscape: Insights into Company Perspectives

  • Melanie Vogelbach, Head of International Economic Policy, Foreign Trade Law, German Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Moderate global economic growth poses glimmers of hope for German companies that are particularly active in international business. However, rising protectionism and geopolitical risks cause uncertainty. Additionally, structural challenges such as the transition to green energy, digitalization, and the shortages of skilled labor weigh on the export oriented German economy. Based on the persistently gloomy business expectations of companies, DIHK is forecasting a further decline in German GDP of -0.5% in 2024, after it had already shrunk by 0.3% in 2023.


09:45 – 10:30 Panel: Sustainable Growth: Examining the Role of Slovenian-German Business Relations

  • Matevž Frangež, State Secretary, Ministry of the Economy, Tourism and Sport, Republic of Slovenia
  • Melanie Vogelbach, Head of International Economic Policy, Foreign Trade Law, German Chamber of Commerce and Industry
  • Tibor Šimonka, President, Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia
  • Medeja Lončar, CEO of Siemens in Slovenia, Croatia and Serbia

Moderator: Igor E. Bergant, Journalist and News Host at RTV Slovenia


10:30 – 10:50 Keynote: Sustainability – from "Net Zero" to "Circularity"


  • Branko Žibret, Partner and Managing Director, Kearney 

Stakeholders are not just actively engaging in ESG pursuits, but also weaving ESG initiatives into regulatory frameworks. This demonstrates a dual nature of ESG for businesses: on one hand, adhering to ESG regulations presents risks; on the other, it unveils unprecedented opportunities for value creation. Branko Žibret will shed light on how companies in Slovenia and the broader SEE region are navigating through ESG agenda. To take a step further, he will also spotlight the strategic evolution from "Net Zero" commitments to the more holistic approach of "circularity", embracing a regenerative and restorative model for future business operations.

10:50 – 11:10 Keynote: Implementing Sustainability in a Company: A Practical Approach

  • Andrea Sterpellone, Director of Consulting and Business Development, Interzero Italy

Companies need to cope with sustainability, facing topics that are often not their core business. The request for effective sustainability actions comes from several directions: stakeholders, regulation, the finance world. It is vital to deal with this in a holistic way, also to address the new European Commission directives on Green Washing and on Corporate Sustainability Reporting. A qualified support from professionals of this sector is a key factor to effectively position a company, design a roadmap and an action plan to reach their goals.

11:10 – 11:40 Coffee Break & Networking


11:40 – 12:00 Keynote: Thinking in Circles

  • Simon Franko, Managing Director, BASF Adriatic

Circular economy means decoupling growth from resource consumption. BASF is driving circular economy by making the most of the limited resources of our planet: We keep them in use for as long as possible, minimize waste and create value with renewable resources. We aim to move toward a more Circular Economy by increasingly use recycled and renewable feedstocks, shaping new material cycles and creating new business models. BASF has therefore launched a new Circular Economy Program. Some of the issues as well as best cases will be presented.


12:00 – 12:20 Keynote: Circular Economy in Practice: Facing the Challenges

  • Maria Christine Betz, Corporate Sustainability Officer, BSH Home Appliances Group

Consistent implementation of the circular economy poses major challenges for all industries. At the same time, we recognize that saving resources is the only way to protect the climate. BSH's aspiration to establish a circular economy as a household appliance manufacturer considers the entire value chain. This includes optimizing resource utilization, reducing emissions and energy consumption, and even exploring new business models. We believe that circular economy is an enabler to achieve our ambitious climate goals and make our business more resilient. 


12:20 – 12:40 Keynote: Green Transition: Current Trends

  • David Premelč, Partner, Law Firm Rojs, Peljhan, Prelesnik & partners

The presenter will provide an overview of relevant European and national legislation, outlining key measures in green transition and fulfilling the commitments of the European Green Deal. Particular emphasis will be placed on the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) and its implementation in the Slovenian national law through the Amending Act ZGD-1M. The lecture will also address the open questions that appear in view of the adoption of the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD) and its impact on M&A transactions and will also discuss the consumer protection measures for greenwashing as foreseen by the Green Claims Directive (GCD).

12:40 – 13:25 Panel: Driving Change: The Role of ESG in Business Transformation

  • Lorenzo Ramajola, CEO at UniCredit Bank Slovenia
  • Nejc Lahne, Managing Director | Head of E.ON Energy Infrastructure Solutions Slovenija
  • Njives Prelog Neffat, Attorney and Partner, Law Firm Neffat and Partners
  • Branko Žibret, Partner and Managing Director, Kearney)

Moderator: Blaž Golob, Director, GFS Institute


MC Host: Tina Drolc, Head of communication & events, AHK Slovenia


13:25 – 15:00 Networking Lunch





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