The Slovenia Times

Bulc Encourages Business to Tap on Potential of Transport


Bulc underscored the importance of the sector for the competitiveness of the European economy as she met representatives of companies and associations from the fields of transport and logistics in Ljubljana.

"The EU has not yet fully established the single market," Bulc told an event hosted by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GZS), saying her mission was creating the conditions for implementing the single European space.

She advised against modesty and complacency as she said it would depend on Slovenia what role it would play in the future and whether it could build on its geographic location.

Bulc also advised her home country to set up an integrated, efficient and sustainable transport system. Investment in transport is profitable in the long term and boosts exports, secures jobs and eases trading and doing business.

Infrastructure Minister Peter Gašperšič announced investment worth EUR 2.1bn in the rail network alone by 2020, EUR 700m of which is to be secured from EU funds and the rest through private-public partnerships, loans and own funds.

He said that Slovenia had a modern motorway network with several sections of main and regional roads slated for completion this year, but had fallen behind in the maintenance of existing infrastructure.

Bulc welcomed heavy investment in the motorway infrastructure in the past, but said not enough had been done to develop more sustainable modes of transport, which she believes the country should make up for.

She presented the European Fund for Strategic Investments whose goal is to mobilise EUR 315bn in investment, but she underscored it would depend on investors which projects got the money.

She underscored that transport needed investment to be able to follow the goals of business. The sector represented 5% of the EU's GDP and 5.3% of Slovenia's in 2009.

Business representatives participating in the debate meanwhile complained of lack of investment in road and combined transport and logistics, and concrete problems faced by hauliers on roads in some EU countries.


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