The Slovenia Times

Slovenian-Indian forum explores opportunities to boost trade


That there are many opportunities for economic cooperation between Slovenia and India was also confirmed at the forum by the countries' presidents, Slovenia's Borut Pahor and India's Ram Nath Kovind.

Opening the event, hosted by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GZS), GZS director general Sonja Šmuc said that Slovenia was geo-strategically positioned at the junction of two major European corridors and that the port of Koper could be an excellent entry point for cargo from India.

According to her, the route through Koper is economical and environmentally friendly, and the opportunities provided by Slovenia's sole maritime port will also be a topic as an Indian business delegation visits the port operator Luka Koper on Tuesday.

Šmuc said that logistics was not the only thing Slovenia could offer to India. "We are happy that Slovenian technology of data collection and processing for better water treatment has been recognised as interesting for participation in the government project Clean Ganga, worth several billion euros."

She noted that trade between Slovenia and India exceeded EUR 360 million in 2018, and that if the trend continued, it could reach half a billion euros in five years. Expected to contribute to this is today's signing of an agreement on cooperation between the GZS and the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).

ASSOCHAM president Kishor Kumar Sharma said that now was the right time for the countries to deepen cooperation. In addition to Koper, he also sees opportunities in infrastructure, automotive industry, human resources and technology.

The forum was also addressed by Slovenian President Borut Pahor and his host, Indian President Ram Nath Kovind, who is on an official visit to Slovenia.

Pahor said that India was the largest democracy in the world which respected the rule of law and human rights. This is of great importance for investments and business cooperation, he said, adding that Slovenia offered opportunities for entering the markets of SE Europe.

Kovind assessed today's talks between the countries' business delegations as an opportunity to further boost bilateral trade, which had increased last year by 30% compared to 2017.

Not the entire potential has been used, he said, adding that the port of Koper had great potential. Among the fields he sees as prospective for boosting trade, he pointed to high tech, defence, environment, energy and start-ups.


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