The Slovenia Times

Prime minister happy with 16 + China Summit


"I am happy that we have signed two documents as part of the 16+1 cooperation, which is very important to us," Cerar said after the summit.

He pointed out that Slovenia increased trade with China by 35% in the past three years, adding that the Silk Road initiative contributed to the growth.

Cerar said that for Slovenia cooperation in technology was very important, adding that Slovenian companies were already working in this field with Chinese companies.

"But there are also other forms of economic cooperation, like tourism for instance," said Cerar, who believes there is a lot of potential in the field. The number of Chinese tourists in Slovenia grew by nearly 20% over the past year, he said.

"Therefore we are working on establishing better transport connections, including an airline route between Slovenia and China."

Cerar is to meet his Chinese counterpart Li Kegiang tomorrow. They are expected to discuss a number of topics, including an initiative to help China organise the 2022 Winter Olympics by providing know-how on ski jumping.

Agriculture, Forestry and Food Minister Dejan Židan, who is also in Budapest today, said that the honey exports protocol signed today was proof that Slovenia listened to producers and took appropriate administrative measures to benefit the economy.

The Agriculture Ministry said in a statement that Židan thanked Zhi Shuping, the director of the State Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, for good cooperation.

Židan also met his Hungarian counterpart Sandor Fazekas. They talked about Slovenia's efforts to have 20 May declared World Honey Bee Day by the UN, unfair practices in the food production chain, and dual quality of food products in the EU, the ministry said.

Economic Development and Technology Minister Zdravko Počivalšek meanwhile said that the Silk Road cooperation initiative signed today was a step to further improve cooperation with China.

"This initiative has already been signed by over 60 countries, and China has become our biggest trade partner outside of the EU and the Western Balkans." Slovenia's trade with China surpassed its trade with Russia last year, he added.


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