Slovenian, Macedonian economy ministers discuss economic ties
"Trade in goods between the two countries reached 307 million euro in 2018, up 6% on 2017. The growth trend has also been recorded in services," Počivalšek was quoted as saying in his ministry's release.
The pair identified the steel and metal industries, infrastructure, tourism, the food-processing industry, as well as energy efficiency and renewables as the areas where the ties could be further intensified.
Počivalšek also announced a business delegation would visit North Macedonia in the second half of the year when a business conference would also be held.
He said he was pleased the country had managed to reach a name deal with Greece to speed up NATO and EU integration.
Počivalšek also noted his ministry would help North Macedonia in EU integration efforts with its experts.
Bekteshi noted NATO's door opening for his country had brought stability and security, which facilitated a record growth in investment, topping 624 million euro.
North Macedonia's GDP grew by 3.7% in the last quarter of 2018, industrial output by 5.4% and the average wage by 8.1%.
North Macedonia is the fourth most popular investment destination for Slovenia, with the majority of investments going into retail, insurance, and the chemical and car industries.
Bekteshi also said joint ventures into other industries such as energy would be facilitated once domestic and foreign investors were put on an equal footing.
Ministry data shows the companies in Slovenian majority ownership in North Macedonia provide around 2,500 jobs.
In 2017, almost 1,550 Slovenian companies exported to North Macedonia, while almost 360 imported from there.
Slovenia's investments in North Macedonia totalled 357 million euro at the end of 2017, with North Macedonia's investments here at 18 million euro.