Thursday, September 18, 2014

Am Cham Breakfast

Earlier in the month I went and met with the super nice people at the American Chamber of Commerce for Slovenia.  Here they are known simply as AmCham.  BTW, they should totally rebrand themselves with that name in the US.  AmCham is awesome.

Here is their seal, with the red and white stripes plus the Slovenian Triglav mountain and the three yellow stars:

Here's an even friendlier version with shaking hands:

It is their fifteenth anniversary this year and as far as I can tell it is a pretty big deal here.  It serves as the voice for the international business community, as well as a general force for privatization efforts and pro-market reforms.  I've met with various Chambers of Commerce in the US and once gave a speech at one about deregulating the American legal profession, so I was happy to meet these folks over here.

They were kind enough to invite me to their first "Business Breakfast" of the fall, where they had a panel discussion of privatization experts.  It was fun to meet and greet with what I think were some of the Slovenian business elite and also to learn more about the country's economy (at least from one very specific point of view).

I'll blog more about the economy and privatization later (hold your breath!), but for now I'll focus on the event itself.  It was really well attended and fancy:
They held it at the pretty new Sheraton Four Points, naturally, as it is easily the most American hotel in town. Why do I say it was American?  First, it is located outside of town by the ring road and only accessible by car really.  No walking or biking here.

Second, the breakfast was a CLASSIC fancy American hotel buffet:
I almost laughed out loud at the pan full of bacon.  America!  It was also the first time I had drip coffee since I landed here.  And btw, it was pretty bad and weak drip coffee, so lord knows what they think we drink states-side.  I would personally hesitate from taking privatization advice from anyone who drank such bad coffee, but maybe that is just me.

Lastly, the conference room was big and beautiful and has an entire wall of windows that look out over . . . the highway and the parking lot.  Here's the view:
The view is particularly hilarious and American because the other side of the hotel actually looks out over beautiful fields and a forest, so they could have oriented the conference space towards a lovely, bucolic scene.  Instead, we watched commerce drive by at 120 kms an hour.  America!

Still in all it was a great experience and as per usual everyone was very kind and welcoming.  It is always good to imagine the impression we give off overseas and this was an excellent place to view it.


  1. Great stuff and you are So Right about Am Cham! Nice and Jaunty. Never thought about the possibility of politics and economics being so interesting in Slovenia. Keep on keeping on! lv mom