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Prime minister: “The Russian Federation is an important economic partner for Slovenia”

  • Former Prime Minister Marjan Šarec (2018 - 2020)

As part of Slovenian prime minister Marjan Šarec’s official visit to Russia, a reception was held this evening for Slovenian and Russian business leaders. It was attended by the prime minister, foreign minister Dr Miro Cerar, minister of economic development and technology Zdravko Počivalšek, and minister of labour, family, social affairs and equal opportunities Ksenija Klampfer. The Russian Federation was represented at the event by Russian minister of digital development, communications and mass media Konstantin Noskov.

The business delegation comprised ten Slovenian companies that are already present on the Russian market or are part of the programme of major projects between the two countries within the framework of the intergovernmental Slovenian-Russian commission for trade, economic, scientific and technical cooperation. These companies are Comita d.d., Duol d.o.o., Elan Inventa d.o.o., Iskratel d.o.o., Geoplin d.o.o., Kolektor Group, Krka d.d., Petrol d.d., Riko d.o.o. and Sij d.d.

The planned signing of cooperation agreements between Petrol d.d. and Russian partners represents an important step towards strengthening cooperation in energy efficiency between Slovenia and the Russian Federation.

As the PM Šarec pointed out, the strengthening of economic cooperation on the Russian market is extremely important for Slovenia because its economy is heavily oriented towards exports. The Russian Federation is an important economic partner for Slovenia. He expressed his satisfaction that he had been joined on his visit by the CEOs of reputable Slovenian companies whose excellent references made them well-known on the Russian market and at the global level. Although these companies operate in a variety of sectors, from pharmaceuticals, IT, energy and energy-efficiency to engineering and sports, the use of advanced hi-tech solutions in their products is common to all of them. They have a presence on the Russian market via specific major projects within the programme of important projects between the two countries. The Slovenian and Russian economies are also connected via investments. Russia is Slovenia’s 5th largest FDI partner, with investments from Slovenia into Russia amounting to almost EUR 360 million at the end of 2018. The prime minister added that Slovenia also valued the investments made by Russian companies in the Slovenian iron and steel industries, tourism and, not least, banking.

Zdravko Počivalšek, minister of economic development and technology, used the meeting to point out that Russia was an important export destination for Slovenia and that political summit meetings like this one were part of Slovenia’s attempts to get export volumes once again to rise above EUR 1 billion, as they had done previously. He admitted that restrictive measures presented objective restrictions that reduced the possibility of stronger cooperation. Počivalšek is searching for opportunities to strengthen cooperation between the two countries in the future not only in the industries in which Slovenia is traditionally strong but also in new industries and in information and communication technologies, where there is great potential as well as great knowledge and investment in R&D. There is also potential for cooperation in efficient-energy use, automation, agricultural machinery, the food industry and tourism, especially health resort tourism.

Reception attendees were also greeted by foreign minister Dr Miro Cerar, who stressed the importance of the work of the intergovernmental commission on economic cooperation, which he chairs jointly with minister Noskov.

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Merchandise trade between the two countries stood at EUR 1,160.5 million at the end of 2018 (+2.4%), with exports accounting for EUR 790 million (-5.8%) and imports for EUR 370.5 million (+26%). In the first six months of 2019, merchandise trade between the two countries stood at nearly EUR 747 million (+36%), with exports accounting for EUR 396.5 million (+6%) and imports for EUR 350.4 million (+100%).

Pharmaceutical products traditionally account for the bulk of exports (41%), while mineral fuels (85%) and aluminium and aluminium products (5%) are the major imports (figures for 2018). The intergovernmental commission on economic cooperation has an important role in promoting economic cooperation between the two countries. The 15th meeting of the commission was held in Slovenia on 13 and 14 June this year. The commission coordinates the programme of major projects between the countries, which after the last meeting numbered 39 joint projects (17 are under way and 13 have already been completed).

Thirty-four Slovenian companies have representative offices on the Russian market. At the end of 2018, Slovenian FDI in the Russian Federation stood at EUR 356.8 million, which makes it Slovenia’s 5th largest FDI partner in terms of investment volume. The main areas are pharmaceuticals, ICT and light industry. The value of FDI from Russia into Slovenia increased by 4% in 2018 (EUR 188.6 million) in comparison with the year before (EUR 176.1 million). The key sectors include banking, health resort tourism and the steel industry.