Mag. Andrej Vizjak, Minister of the Economy, Republic of Slovenia
Ladies and Gentlemen,
May I take this opportunity to welcome you to Bled in the hope that you will have a pleasant stay in this spot of scenic beauty and that the 19th Bled eConference will be a step forward towards our common future, also through the emergence of e-regions.
The information society has reached a turning point: technological progress has been remarkably great lately, and the ICT is entering into a phase of mass dissemination that can thoroughly change our way of work, life and communication. Rich media contents are becoming accessible in new and different forms and can be transmitted irrespective of time and place, according to what citizens wish or require. In the technical sense, digital convergence of communication networks, media contents, services and equipment is currently underway.
Creation of new contents, services and business models leads to growth and employment. The era of “e-business solutions” is coming now, based on integrated ICT solutions, secure web services and “collaboration tools” that increase the productivity. The new development shows that there will be an increase of application of ICT in business in the coming years. The working environment needs to be adjusted accordingly, by means of an effective use of ICT at the workplace and for adjustable organisation of secure and high quality work.
From the geographical point of view, it is the e-region that we can understand as being a totality of organisations – linked by e-technologies – of nearby countries in a circle of 200 to 500 kilometres surrounding the observation point.
I think that the development of the e-region is strategically important for Slovenia also because of the message contained in the ministerial declaration of the Gothenburg Conference since the level of introduced telecommunication technologies and e-solutions, reached in Slovenia, offers the possibilities of accelerated development and intensified links with neighbours.
The development of the e-region is beneficial for Slovenia’s development. We can offer it as a tangible example of e-cooperation of countries situated in a certain geographical area of the European Union in order to increase the competitiveness of each of the participating countries and the e-region as a whole.
I expect that the e-regions will contribute to the implementation of the Lisbon Strategy; cooperation between research units, laboratories, organisers, companies and governmental organisations is therefore indispensable.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I do hope that the 19th Bled eConference is a step forward towards our common future and that we shall meet again next year.
Thank you for your attention.