The Slovenia Times

Potential for cooperation with Ukraine and Kosovo explored

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A Slovenia-Kosovo business forum. Photo: Boštjan Podlogar/STA

Spirit Slovenija, the national agency for the promotion of investments and exports, has organised a number of events on the sidelines of the FIS World Cup Ski Jumping competitions in Planica this week, among them a Slovenia-Kosovo business forum and a discussion about reconstruction in Ukraine.

Co-organised by the Economy Ministry and the two respective embassies, the events explored the possibilities of cooperation between Slovenia and Ukraine on the one hand and Kosovo on the other, above all in terms of business.

Addressing the discussion about reconstruction in Ukraine, Economy Minister Matjaž Han said Slovenia was determined to assist the country both with humanitarian aid and in the military sense.

The key objective is for Ukraine to recover and create conditions for peace and a future it deserves, said Han, adding that Slovenian companies can help. This is why Slovenia supports Ukraine's efforts to strengthen the rule of law and set up a competitive environment for investments.

The Economy Ministry will identify all companies that may help in Ukraine's reconstruction efforts and send the list to the Ukrainian government.

Ukrainian Ambassador to Slovenia Andriy Taran underlined that while Ukraine is still at war its leadership is looking towards the future. The war has destroyed 50% of the country's energy capacities and a large part of civilian infrastructure, he said.

A massive reconstruction effort lies ahead for Ukraine and the country is counting on the help of partners, including Slovenia, he said.

The event was also addressed by a special envoy of the Ukrainian Chamber of Industry and Commerce, Vitaliy Rusanov, who listed the key tasks for the reconstruction as being the energy and rail infrastructure, residential and public buildings, as well as demining, health equipment and services.

The economy will also have to be rebuilt, he said, presenting a subsidies scheme for foreign companies willing to invest in Ukraine.

Goods trade between Slovenia and Ukraine reached €322 million last year, with Slovenia's exports accounting for €253 million. Over half of the exports were pharmaceutical products and electrical machinery.

Meanwhile, the Slovenian-Kosovo business forum focused on consolidating the existing cooperation between the two countries. The key areas of cooperation include digital technology, construction, food production, textile industry, wood processing industry and tourism.

Slovenia is willing to help Kosovo not only in its efforts to join the EU but also with event organisation, such as the Mediterranean Games, which Kosovo is slated to host in 2030, Minister Han said.

Kosovo's Minister of Industry, Entrepreneurship and Trade Rozeta Hajdari thanked Slovenia for all its support in the past. She underlined that relations between the two countries are excellent and said it was time to strengthen business ties as well, inviting Slovenian companies to invest in Kosovo, and work together in third markets.

Merchandise trade between Kosovo and Slovenia amounted to €186 million last year, €181 million of which were Slovenian exports. The most traded products were cars, followed by pharmaceutical products, food and beverages.

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