Slovenia to cooperate with Italian space agency

Rome – Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek signed a letter of intent on cooperation in spacial activities for peaceful purposes with the Italian Space Agency as part of a two-day visit to Italy. He also met Italian Economy Minister Giancarlo Giorgetti with the pair calling for boosting economic cooperation.

Počivalšek signed the deal with president of the Italian Space Agency, Giorgio Saccoccia. The initiative for the agreement had come from the Italian side and had been very warmly welcomed by Slovenian companies and research institutions, the Slovenian Economy Ministry said in a press release.

“The letter of intent is a good basis for setting up closer cooperation in space between Slovenia and Italy, because it enables a framework for cooperation, identification of areas of joint interest, exchange of information and encouraging of joint activities and initiatives,” the minister said.

A joint committee is also to be set up to agree on potential joint projects. It is to hold regular meetings at least once a year, alternately in Slovenia and Italy.

Počivalšek also met Giorgetti with the pair reaffirming the good and versatile relations between the two countries. Italy is the largest of Slovenia’s neighbouring countries and one of its most important trade partners.

Počivalšek said he had proposed that an event be organised in Milano or Trieste at the beginning of next year to present investment opportunities in Slovenia, which the Italian minister welcomed. “That would definitely be an important promotional and investment event for us,” said Počivalšek.

He also presented to his Italian counterpart the priorities of Slovenia’s upcoming presidency to the EU Council in economy, the meaning of the presidency’s slogan and the general priorities.

According to Počivalšek, Italy’s investments in Slovenia are good but there is still a lot of untapped potential and Giorgetti agreed.

Tourism, energy, aviation, transport, logistics, automotive industry and mobility, science/innovation and wood processing industry were highlighted as areas with the most potential.

Giorgetti proposed Slovenia and Italy set up bilateral projects like Italy has set up with France that are approved by the European Commission to encourage entrepreneurship and connect innovative companies.

The ministers agreed that because of digitalisation, changes to EU rules are necessary and industry needs an overhaul to make sure it can benefit from mechanisms of state aid.

The ministers also agreed to set up a fund for the Italian minority in Slovenia and the Slovenian minority in Italy. They also agreed to attend the signing of an agreement between the Jožef Stefan Institute and the Italian National Research Council. Počivalšek discussed this with the council’s head Maria Chiara Carrozza.

He also met Italian Minister for Technological Innovation and Digital Transition Vittorio Amedeo Colao with the pair discussing the importance of investment in technological innovation and digital transition as well as opportunities for future cooperation.