Economic Minister: Slovenia Can Be China’s Gateway to the EU

By , 07 Nov 2018, 11:50 AM Business
Shanghai at night Shanghai at night pixabay.com: wu-gongzi, public domain

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STA, 6 November - Slovenia's major strategic asset in relation to China is its geo-strategic position or access to a 500-million European marker, Zdravko Počivalšek, the minister of economic development and technology, said during a visit to China, where he is presenting Slovenia's business and investment environment.

"Slovenia lies at the heart of Europe, which gives us access to a 500-million market," Počivalšek said as he visited the Slovenian Consulate in Shanghai Tuesday.

Pointing to a well-developed infrastructure, Počivalšek was quoted by his ministry as saying that to unlock the potential presented by the geo-strategic location, some improvements would be needed.

The minister, who is China for the China International Import Expo fair, praised the good political relations between Slovenia and China, the country's biggest trade partner outside Europe.

He stressed that as part of the 16+1 initiative, which brings together Central and East European countries plus China, the two countries had managed to boost economic cooperation to top 1.2 billion euro.

See all our stories about Slovenia and China here

"Over the past few years, we've managed to attract a number of well-known investors to Slovenia, which proves we have a truly encouraging business environment.

"I believe investing in Slovenia can also be an important opportunity for Chinese companies, particularly in infrastructure and tourism, which I've presented to my Chinese counterparts," said Počivalšek, who met several ministers in charge of the economy, including Chinese Commerce Minister Zhong Shan and his deputy Fu Ziying.

Počivalšek also met on Sunday his counterpart from the United Arab Emirates, Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansoori, to discuss Slovenia's participation in Expo 2020 in Dubai, and Austrian Minister for Digital and Economic Affairs Margarete Schramböck.

Meanwhile, State Secretary Aleš Cantarutti attended Monday's promotion of Chinese-owned Slovenian home appliances maker Gorenje's premium products in Beijing. The ministry believes this proves that Slovenian companies have a major impact in China.

The aim of the Slovenian delegation visiting China during the fair, which features 3,000 companies from 130 countries, is to strengthen economic relations with China, including in tourism, and intensify Slovenia's role within the Silk Road initiative.

Learn more about the Silk Road, Slovenia and China here

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