Paul Steinfeld, who has done business in Slovenia for the past 21 years, has been named honorary consul of the country in Atlanta. Slovenia’s only other honorary consuls in the U.S. are in Houston and Cleveland.
Mr. Steinfeld, the CEO of Chicago-based Shelby Williams Industries, a manufacturer of hotel and restaurant furniture, moved to Atlanta two years ago and commutes to work. He frequently traveled to Slovenia on behalf of his company’s activities there.
Although Mr. Steinfeld will act as a liaison between the consulate general in New York and any Slovenian who needs assistance, his main objective will be the promotion of economic and cultural ties between Slovenia and Atlanta.
The country, formerly part of Yugoslavia, has only 2 million people and the highest GNP of any of its developing counterparts, he said.
“Slovenia has a strong export base and sends most of its products into Germany,” said Mr. Steinfeld. Renault, Siemens and adidas have factories there and the country manufactures wood products such as cabinets, chairs and bedroom furniture.
Slovenia is now starting to get involved with technology production and is interested in exporting its wine, which is currently consumed only by local people.
Bordering Austria, Italy, Hungary and Croatia, the country is a good area for any type of distribution into Europe, said Mr. Steinfeld, and is less expensive than many European countries. The country’s Port Koper, is on the Adriatic Sea.
The new consul will also promote tourism to Slovenia, already a major attraction. Winter sports such as downhill skiing, ski jumping and bobsledding are popular activities, as are hiking and biking, he said.
“The area is beautiful and very alpine,” he said. “It has rivers, lakes and foothills and there are many health spas in natural settings.”
To contact Mr. Steinfeld, please call (404) 815-1068 after Jan. 1.