Slovenia, North Macedonia seek to increase trade to EUR 500m
Last year trade amounted to EUR 366 million, up 7%, with Slovenia's exports accounting for nearly two-thirds of the total. Slovenia also had investments worth EUR 357 million in Macedonia at the end of last year.
Počivalšek said the plan to increase trade to EUR 500 million over several years was ambitious but there were plenty of opportunities in energy, transport, infrastructure, the agri-food sector, industry and tourism, according to the Economy Ministry.
As part of efforts to increase trade, Počivalšek and Agnjušev signed a memorandum on cooperation in tourism, stressing that tourism affected not only economic ties but was also important for mutual understanding and the strengthening of friendly relations.
The memorandum deals with cooperation between tourism associations and tour organisers, exchange of information, and exchange of experience, the ministry said.
The meeting was held as part of an official visit by Zoran Zaev, North Macedonia's prime minister.
The EUR 500 million trade target was reiterated by Zaev and his host, Slovenian PM Marjan Šarec, at a business forum featuring over 80 entrepreneurs from both countries.
Zaev said Slovenian products on market shelves in North Macedonia were seen as a guarantee of quality, much like Slovenian contractors that win tenders in the country.
Šarec hailed cooperation and called for further growth of investment in both countries.
The chairmen of the two countries' chambers of commerce, Boštjan Gorjup and Branko Azeski, agreed there is room to expand trade.
Gorjup highlighted the role of NLB as a systemic bank in both countries, while also mentioning the Slovenian company Puklavec Family Wines, plastics producer Roto, insurers Zavarovalnica Triglav and Sava Re, LTH Castings, battery maker TAB, metrology company Lotrič Meroslovje and engineering company Riko.