The Slovenia Times

Russian Investors Eyeing Privatisation in Slovenia


Addressing reporters after the meeting at Strmol Castle, Erjavec said that the programme now entailed 37 major projects in various stages of implementation. The latest addition is a EUR 124m worth textile plant that is to be built in Russia by the end of 2015, but Erjavec would not disclose the investor's name.

The most important project on the list is the construction of the South Stream pipeline. Erjavec said that the project was running according to plans in Slovenia, while both ministers noted that it was also important to monitor the implementation of smaller projects in both countries.

Slovenia is currently the bigger investor with EUR 340m worth of investments in Russia as opposed to Russia's EUR 46m here. But Erjavec was confident that the picture would change considerably after the privatisation of Slovenian companies.

"We would like Russian investors to participate in this privatisation. We also invite Russian investors to participate in the privatisation of companies in the next package to be debated by parliament in autumn," Erjavec said.

The inter-governmental commission for cooperation in trade, economy, science and technology, chaired by Erjavec and Nikiforov, expects Russian companies to enter at least one of the 15 Slovenian companies slated for privatisation for now.

Nikiforov said that Russian financial and industrial groups were certainly interested in Slovenia's privatisation programme, which they considered strategic investments. He mentioned the telecom incumbent Telekom Slovenije in particular, aside from banks and airport operator Aerodrom Ljubljana.

The Russian minister indicated that other Slovenian companies from various sectors too could become subject of interest of akin Russian companies.

"Slovenia would benefit from an influx of new investment and new jobs in the economy, while potential Russian investors would not only get into the Slovenian market, but also into the market of other EU countries," the Russian minister noted.

Nikiforov did not meet managements of individual companies, as the talks need to be conducted at the level of companies involved. "But we'll create the conditions so that meetings and talks between managements of certain companies can take place. I'm confident these could be productive talks. If any questions for state authorities arise, we'll get involved," he said.

"Conditions for cooperation are in place and our job in the commission is to remove obstacles on time. There is a desire for cooperation, which was evident at Sunday's event at the Russian Chapel below Vršič," Nikiforov said in a reference to the annual ceremony in the memory of Russian WWI POWs.

Erjavec described Russia as an important strategic trade partner of Slovenia. He pointed to a 22% increase in bilateral trade this year and a 36% surge in Russian visitors to Slovenia in the first half of the year compared to the same period a year ago.

"We have ascertained that the work of the inter-governmental commission has produced good results," Erjavec said after the meeting, which discussed the programme for the upcoming, 10th session of the commission, planned to be held in Moscow later this year, along with a business conference.


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