The Slovenia Times

Slovenia looks to Bavaria as geopolitics upends trade

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Business conference Invest and Connect: Slovenian Business Pitch. Photo: Jure Makovec/STA

Slovenia and Germany's industrial powerhouse Bavaria have long nurtured close economic ties and bilateral trade amounts to roughly €3 billion annually. Slovenia however wants to expand cooperation in the light of current geopolitical developments, which have underlined the need for Europe to step up its economic game.

Europe is faced with the important task of rebuilding global competitiveness, which is the basis for prosperity, Prime Minister Robert Golob told a conference called Invest and Connect: Slovenian Business Pitch, held in Munich on the sideline of Euro 2024 on 19 June.

Golob said Slovenia's economy has become more integrated with the economy of Germany and Bavaria because of the geopolitical situation and shared challenges. He called on Bavarian and German businesses to follow the pharmaceutical industry, which already recognises Slovenia as an important hub.

"Other industries, such as the automotive industry, could do the same and the state will provide the conditions, including financial conditions," said Golob, referring to forthcoming tax changes which would reduce taxes on high-earning engineers.

On area that hold great promise according to him is space technology, given that Slovenia is on the cusp of becoming a full member of the European Space Agency and is preparing to launch its fourth satellite into orbit around Earth.

"Our plans, including with Bavaria, are very much linked to the development of space technologies," Golob said. "Our fourth satellite will go into space in cooperation with Bavarian industry, with their Isar rocket, and this is perhaps one of those beautiful projects for the future."

Economy Minister Matjaž Han, attending the conference alongside his Bavarian counterpart Hubert Aiwanger, said "we still have room to grow, namely in space technology, automotive industry, hi-tech solutions including hydrogen, and tourism."

Aiwanger stressed the importance of Slovenian businesses to Bavarian industry. They are reliable partners with a good reputation among Bavarian entrepreneurs. The fact that 1,600 Germany companies are present in Slovenia shows that the cooperation between the countries will strengthen, he said.

A delegation of more than 100 Slovenian companies attended the event, which featured B2B meetings and panel discussions on Slovenian-German partnerships, automotive industry as the core of the cooperation between the two countries, and Slovenia as a hi-tech and innovation hub.

Golob and Han also held talks with Bavaria's Premier Markus Söder to discuss the strengthening of bilateral relations and current European issues.


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