As an Honorary Consul, our interlocutor stands at the disposal of companies, citizens and organizations from Serbia, as well as all other countries that are interested in any form of investments or business activity in Slovenia.
For almost a decade now, Rajko Marić has been the Honorary Consul of Slovenia in Serbia. For the last five years, he performs two more functions in Brussels, at the World Federation of Consuls ( www.ficacworld.org ). He was appointed the Regional President for Eastern Europe at this prestigious organization, which brings together eminent non-career diplomats of the world. At the same time, Mr. Marić is the Chairman of the Legal Affairs Committee of the same organization.
In 2016, our interlocutor was the recipient of an appreciation letter for the “Dedicated Activity and Representation of the Comprehensive Interests of Slovenia”.
What can an honorary consul do to advance relations between two countries?
I just want to clarify something first – I am the so-called non-career diplomat because diplomacy is not my basic profession. Each of us has their own “craft”, which in my case is a business lawyer. As consuls we are engaged in the provision of various types of assistance between the two countries, their citizens and companies, in the fields of economy, culture, education, sports, etc. As you can see, there is a wide range of activities that I carry out. Economic assistance is most often tied to the fact that a number of investors from Slovenia are investing in Serbia. We remain at their disposal the moment they come to Serbia for the first time and conclude business deals, all the way through their finalization. If a company has already established their business in Serbia, we visit them and provide assistance with their regular operations. Of course, the Embassy of the Republic of Slovenia and its Economic Affairs Department are the first in assisting with this. We are also doing our best in helping them. Plus, there is also our Slovenian Business Club.
You are an expert on Serbian market, culture and history. What are the main directions of the future cooperation between the two countries?
The relations between the two countries are at a high level. The cooperation, for the most part, is mostly carried out in economy / business. We should also mention the cooperation in culture and education considering the guest appearances of musicians and theatres, as well as the presence of Slovenian universities here.
Business people and Serbian citizens have shown a strong interest in tourism, i.e. investing in hotels on the Slovenian coast and on the mountains, where tourism is quite interesting and could be quite profitable considering that is all-year around and that peak season is both in summer and winter.
Wellness and spa tourism have become Slovenia’s trademark and this is where we can develop cooperation too.
Which advice would you like to give your counterpart Tomaž Kavčič, who was appointed the Honorary Consul of Serbia in Slovenia this year?
First and foremost, I wish my friend and colleague Tomaž Kavčič, the Honorary Consul of Serbia in Slovenia, good health, and to remain the best in his job, as well as to bring his “art” to Serbia. We agreed in principle for him to visit Vojvodina where I am sure that he is going to bolster his skills, given Vojvodina’s potential.
As a consul I want him to represent Serbia in its best light and the greatest splendour because we all – both Slovenia and Serbia – need it.