India’s President Starts Visit to Slovenia

By , 16 Sep 2019, 10:33 AM Politics
India’s President Starts Visit to Slovenia Wikimedia

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STA, 16 September 2019 - Indian President Ram Nath Kovind will be in Ljubljana on Monday as the first Indian president to visit the country. He will be received with military honours by President Borut Pahor, will have a working lunch with Prime Minister Marjan Šarec and meet parliamentary Speaker Dejan Židan.

Following the reception ceremony in Congress Square, Kovind will lay a wreath at the monument to victims of wars, after which the presidents will hold talks behind closed doors.

Talks between Slovenian and Indian delegations will be attended by Foreign Minister Miro Cerar, after which several cooperation agreements will be signed. The presidents will hold a joint press conference just before noon.

Kovind will also have a working lunch with Šarec and meet Židan in the afternoon.

This will be followed by a Slovenian-Indian business conference, one of the key events organised as part of the visit. The conference, organised by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GZS), will see the signing of a cooperation memorandum.

Before dinner, to be hosted by Pahor, the two presidents will visit the Ljubljana-based International Centre for Promotion of Enterprises (ICPE), where they will unveil a Bench of Friendship.

Official portrait of Shri Ram Nath Kovind, President of India Wikimedia.jpg

Official portrait of Shri Ram Nath Kovind, President of India, Wikipedia

Background to the visit

STA, 14 September 2019 - Ram Nath Kovind, the president of India, will pay his first official visit to Slovenia on Monday for talks with his host, President Borut Pahor. The pair is to discuss bilateral cooperation, the priorities of Slovenia's EU presidency in the second half of 2021, and the situation in India. A business forum will also be held.

Cooperation between Slovenia and India is versatile and also has a legal basis, but the presidential visit is to further enhance these ties, especially political dialogue and business cooperation, according to Pahor's office.

The two countries traditionally have good relations. Pahor paid an official visit to the country with a strong business delegation in 2011 at the invitation of the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Pahor and Kovind are also expected to express strong support for multilateralism under the sponsorship of the UN, and discuss the situation in India and the wider region of South Asia. Cooperation between India and the EU will also be on the agenda.

India is Slovenia's third most important foreign trade partner in Asia after China and South Korea. Bilateral trade in 2018 was the highest in the last five years, reaching EUR 361 million or 34% more than in 2017.

Slovenian and Indian companies have recently set up several join ventures specialising in car parts, construction materials and abrasives.

Kovind will be accompanied by a business delegation, compiled by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM), which will attend the Slovenian-Indian business forum.

Several agreements are expected to be signed as part of the forum, which will be a continuation of efforts for cooperation initiated during a visit by a Slovenian delegation from transport and logistics in Mumbai and Chennai this April.

Pahor and Kovind will also unveil a bench of friendship in front of the Ljubljana-based International Center for Promotion of Enterprises (ICPE).

Slovenia opened an embassy in new Delhi in 2002 but sent its first ambassador to the country, Janez Premože, only in September 2009.

India in turn opened its residential embassy in Ljubljana in March 2008, when Indian Foreign Minister Ananda Sharma paid a visit.

The first Slovenian president to pay an official visit to India was Janez Drnovšek in January 2007. He attended an international conference marking the 100th anniversary of the Mathama Ghandi peace movement in New Delhi and met top officials.

In February 2004, Slovenian Foreign Minister Dimitrij Rupel visited.

More recent exchanges include a working visit by President Danilo Türk in February 2010, a visit by Foreign Minister Karl Erjavec in 2013 and a multi-day visit by National Assembly Speaker Milan Brglez two years later.

All our stories on Slovenia and India are here

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