The Slovenia Times

Numerous opportunities for cooperation with BRICS countries


Speaking at a debate on cooperation between the EU and the BRICS group, which also includes China, Russia and South Africa, Guimaraes de Moura highlighted untapped potential in energy, agriculture, airline industry and education. He pointed to the strategic importance of the Koper port.

The port was also highlighted by the Indian ambassador, who feels that Slovenia should open more and simplify visa procedures. Jerome said the complicated procedures were discouraging Indian tourists from visiting Slovenia.

De Moura pointed to the expanding Brazilian middle class as an opportunity for tourism as well, saying that more and more people in Brazil are showing the desire to visit countries around the world.

Turning the the rising importance of BRICS countries, the two ambassadors stressed the need to reform certain international organisations - at the IMF for instance, BRICS remains without representatives in the highest bodies, although it is the largest economic power in the world.

While trade among BRICS countries surged by 570% between 2003 and 2007, trade with Slovenia has also been on the increase, although much more modestly.

According to data presented by de Moura, Slovenian exports to BRICS countries amounted to EUR 775m last year, while imports stood at EUR 1.2bn. This is approximately a fourfold increase compared to a decade ago.

The panel in Maribor was held as part of the "Academy of Active Citizenship and Entrepreneurship" meeting organised by a group called The Network of Ideas.


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