The Slovenia Times

Govt sets short-term international goals

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Slovenia plans to open an embassy in the United Arab Emirates in the late autumn and one in Morocco, Economy Ministry State Secretary AleŇ° Cantarutti said after the government session.

He said that just like in the past, Slovenia will encourage and assist companies entering foreign markets.

Last year, Slovenia's exports were record high at almost EUR 25bn. "These are extraordinary results, Slovenia's exports per inhabitant are twice as high as Italy's," he illustrated.

According to him, one of the goals is to encourage at least 5% growth at the annual level. Last year's growth was 4%.

Next to the markets that are traditionally considered important for Slovenia the document on Slovenia's international challenges in 2017-2018 also highlights Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait and Qatar, Kazakhstan, which will host the regional Expo show this year, Turkmenistan and Iran, where Slovenia opened its embassy last year.

South Korea, which will host the Winter Olympics Games next year, Taiwan, Vietnam and Malaysia are identified as important markets for Slovenia. Cantarutti also sees untapped opportunities in northern Africa, so Slovenia wishes to open an embassy in Morocco.

Foreign direct investments in Slovenia have been rising in recent years and activities to attract them will continue, the state secretary said, pointing to plans of Austrian automotive giant Magna and Japanese robotics group Yaskawa to build plants in Slovenia.

The Economy Ministry is drawing up a bill on encouraging initial investments in particular, which would equalise domestic and foreign investors.

The state will offer direct financial aid for mayor investment projects as well as certain tax incentives. The ministry will also help companies obtain land in talks with local communities.

This year, the ministry will offer EUR 15.3m for internationalisation, while the EU offers over EUR 72m for this purpose in the new financial perspective.

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