Strengthening economic ties in focus of Pahor’s visit to Turkey

Ankara – In addition to President Borut Pahor’s upcoming meeting with Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan, efforts to boost economic cooperation between Slovenia and Turkey are in focus of the second day of his visit to Turkey. Pahor and Economy Minister Matjaž Han addressed a business event aimed at strengthened ties in various fields.

Wednesday’s event in Ankara was attended by representatives from Slovenian and Turkish companies. Accompanying Pahor in Turkey are many representatives from Slovenia who wish to step up economic cooperation, including those representing companies active in construction, tourism, textile industry, logistics, and medical and chemical industries, the Economy Ministry said.

Trade between Slovenia and Turkey totalled EUR 1.14 billion last year. In the first four months of this year, the two countries were well on track to reach their goal of boosting cooperation, as exchange of goods was up 10% year-on-year.

“Many companies are redesigning their supply chains. I see opportunities in this to strengthen cooperation between Slovenian and Turkish companies,” Han told the roundtable debate that was organised by the Slovenian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GZS) and the Turkish Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEiK).

“The Slovenian economy is highly innovative, high-tech and niche, so it will certainly not be difficult to find projects of common interest to Slovenian and Turkish companies,” said Han, who sees opportunities mainly in investment, tourism, transport, agriculture and food, science and technology, sport, and IT.

The minister got acquainted with the existing forms of cooperation, projects of Turkish and Slovenian companies and the challenges they face. He invited Turkish companies to invest in Slovenia.

Investment data shows that at the end of 2020, the cumulative value of Turkish investments in Slovenia was EUR 19.8 million, with equity capital standing at EUR 9 million. The cumulative value of direct investment by Slovenian companies in Turkey was EUR 14.2 million.

Pahor said that trade between the two countries had already in 2019 topped the EUR 1 billion target set in their strategic partnership declaration. There are good trends in exchange of services, but there is still much untapped potential in foreign investment, he said as quoted by the president’s office.

This afternoon, Han will meet Turkish Minister of Industry and Technology Mustafa Varank. The two will talk efforts to increase flights operated by Turkish Airlines at Ljubljana Airport, the work of the Slovenian-Turkish economic commission as well as challenges related to logistics and Turkey’s membership of the GPAI Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence.

The ministers will also sign an intergovernmental agreement that will aim to simplify administrative procedures for the implementation of joint calls dedicated to cooperation between research institutions.

Pahor began the second day of his state visit by laying a wreath at the mausoleum of the founding father of modern Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (circa 1881-1938), and later in the afternoon, he will meet his host, Turkish President Erdogan. During the meeting, Pahor will be joined by Han.