Slovenia calls for cooperation in dealing with Covid fallout at 17+1 summit

Ljubljana – Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek expressed Slovenia’s willingness to work together with China and the other 16 Central and East European countries involved in the 17+1 initiative in tackling the fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic, as he addressed a virtual summit of the initiative on Tuesday.

According to a press release from the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology, Chinese President Xi Jinping as the host of the 9th summit focused in his address on the battle against the pandemic and the post-pandemic recovery, connectivity and green cooperation between China and the 17 CEE countries.

In his address, Počivalšek, a deputy prime minister, emphasized the role of the initiative as a practical, transparent and result-targeted mechanism. He said Slovenia would like to have a more even and balanced trade with China.

He argued for a level playing field for Slovenian businesses, and hailed progress in the efforts for a comprehensive EU-China investment agreement while underscoring the need to resume talks to protect investments and thus implement the agreement.

The ministry noted the role of Slovenia’s Koper port for connectivity as an entry point to Central and East European markets.

The minister also discussed Slovenia’s successful cooperation in the forestry coordinating mechanism, which is chaired by the country, and welcomed Slovenia’s having assumed the responsibility to coordinate the winter sports mechanism as well this year.

The virtual meeting adopted a closing document which contains a plan of events in 2021.