High-level Chinese delegation talks business in Slovenia
A high-profile Chinese delegation visited Slovenia on 29 January to explore ways to deepen cooperation between the two countries, including in business. Led by Wang Yong, vice chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, the delegation included the heads of postal services and top global train maker.
Wang met Prime Minister Robert Golob, with Golob's office releasing a statement saying the pair noted traditionally friendly ties between their countries and high-level cooperation in business, culture and science.
Golob was quoted as saying Slovenia wanted to "deepen cooperation in the future", while Wang expressed his country's desire to deepen cooperation and "strengthen strategic synergy and partnership based on respect, trust and mutual benefit".
They were also reported to have noted the importance of working for global peace, including in light of Slovenia's non-permanent membership of the UN Security Council.
He expressed the hope for Slovenia to continue to nurture a friendly and encouraging environment for Chinese companies, pointing to the household appliance and consumer electronics maker Hisense - Gorenje as an example of successful cooperation.
Golob said Slovenia would like to see more high-tech industry and foreign investment in the future, as the Chinese delegation highlighted their country's strong economic growth and the importance they attribute to cooperation with Europe.
Slovenia keen to increase exports to China
The Chinese delegation also attended an event hosted by the Slovenian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GZS), which saw participants agree that China is a key partner to Slovenia, but there is still a lot of potential to increase Slovenia's exports.
Marjana Majerič, GZS director in charge of strategic development and internationalisation, listed high-tech consumer goods, advanced technologies and green solutions as best opportunities to boost exports to China. These were already identified by the Slovenian-Chinese Business Council in October 2023 at a meeting of the joint Slovenian-Chinese commission for economic cooperation.
Marko Lotrič, the president of the upper chamber of parliament and the official host of the delegation, told the the GZS event that Slovenia would make a good partner in technology and innovation.
Meanwhile, Žiga Vavpotič, the head of the Slovenian-Chinese Business Council, said that 2024 would be particularly important for relations between Slovenia and China, because a high-level business delegation will be travelling to China in April, accompanying Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon.
The GZS event was attended by representatives of several Slovenian companies that are already present in China or are trying to enter the market, among them Cosylab, Dewesoft, Domel, Hidria, Instrumentation Technologies, Medex in PeK Automotive.
On the sidelines of the event, Marko Cegnar, CEO of Slovenia's postal service, met his counterpart Liu Aili, with the pair expressing the desire for their companies to relaunch bilateral cooperation.
Alongside Wang and Aili, the Chinese delegation also included former Industry and IT Minister Miao Wei, former Deputy Trade Minister Wang Bingnan, and Sun Yongcai, the chairman and CEO of CRRC, the world's largest rolling stock manufacturer.