The Slovenia Times

Pahor Told Bavaria Wants to Be Slovenia's Top German Trading Partner Again


Arriving in Bavaria from Baden-Württemberg, which he visited yesterday, Pahor met Bavarian Premier Horst Seehofer for talks that focused on economic ties.

"We both have a desire to strengthen and expand cooperation between Slovenia and Bavaria. My goal, for one, is that [Bavaria] becomes number one again," said Seehofer in a reference to figures showing that Baden-Württemberg and North Rhein Westfalia had overtaken Bavaria in trade with Slovenia.

Slovenian merchandise exchange with Germany amounted to EUR 9bn last year, with EUR 2.3bn going to Baden-Würtemberg, EUR 1.7bn to North Rhein Westfalia and EUR 1.6bn to Bavaria.

"I'm happy that I have managed to stir some envy in the premier," responded Pahor, whose visit to the two German states has been dedicated to business and meeting the sizeable Slovenian community living there.

Pahor added that one of the possibilities for bolstering cooperation between Slovenia and Bavaria was staging a Bavaria Day, a political, business and cultural event, in Slovenia next year.

Ljubljana is scheduled to be the Green Capital of Europe next year, which "goes hand-in-hand with the concept of sustainable development and the desire to work together on this", the president elaborated on the idea.

Seehofer agreed today to return the visit to Slovenia.

With Pahor currently touring Bavaria in BMW's i8 hybrid sports car, Seehofer confirmed he would consider the possibility of visiting Slovenia in a hybrid plane by Slovenian ultralight aircraft maker Pipistrel despite initially joking that it sounded "like a dangerous idea".

The Slovenian president also invited the Bavarian business executives who attended a joint business conference with Slovenian executives in Munich to visit Slovenia.

Pahor told the conference that following the crisis, "Slovenia is returning to the European economic space as a country which is recording economic growth".

He stressed that the unemployment rate was decreasing, that the country had stabilised public finances without international aid, which also reflected in practically negligible yield on Slovenian bonds.

"These are glimpses of a new success story which has started to unfold and we would like to see Bavaria become a part of it," Pahor said, telling the Bavarian business executives that "we are also natural partners due to the geographical proximity".

He assured the conference that Slovenian authorities would do everything in their power to boost the presence of Bavaria in Slovenia and vice versa.


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