LJUBLJANA, July 27. /TASS/. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, who is currently on a working visit to Slovenia, will have talks on Monday with his Slovenian counterpart Miro Cerar and will meet with President Borut Pahor and parliament speaker Milan Brglez. A number of Russian-Slovenian documents are expected to be signed, a spokesman for the Russian government told TASS.
Medvedev’s talks will center round the current state of the prospects for expanding trade and economic cooperation. Relations between the two countries in this area are based on the declaration of partnership for modernization and the intergovernmental memorandum on major projects for the expansion of bilateral economic cooperation that were signed in Moscow in 2010. The programme of the implementation of the memorandum includes 30 joint initiatives to encourage investment activity, promote innovation and high technology projects and establish lasting production ties.
According to official statistics cited by the spokesman, Russia-Slovenia trade in 2014 reached 1.7 billion U.S. dollars, being up by 2.5% on 2013. Foreign trade balance in 2014 was in Slovenia’s favour (977 million U.S. dollars).
As of late 2014, Slovenia’s cumulative direct investments in Russia stood at 230 million U.S. dollars, and Russia’s investments in Slovenia amounted to 170 million U.S. dollars. Among most promising areas of investment cooperation are the oil and gas sector, the automotive industry, agriculture, and tourism.
As many as 68 Russian regions have cooperation relations with Slovenia. The two countries attach bigger significance to cooperation within the Forum of Slavic Cultures, an international non-government organization headquartered in Ljubljana that was established in 2004 at the initiative of the president of the two countries.
In an interview with Radio and Television Slovenia ahead of the visit, Medvedev said that Russian was interested in investment cooperation with Slovenia and saw a number of interesting facilities for investing. "As for investments, we look into the future with optimism, even despite the fact that today is not the best time," he said. "Our mutual cumulative investments are probably standing at 500 million euro. In about the same volume - Slovenia’s investments in Russia and (slightly less) Russia’s in Slovenia."
When asked about other possible areas of cooperation, the Russian prime minister said Slovenia "has a number of interesting for Russia facilities that we would like to consider as priorities of investment cooperation." "They are industry, energy, including electricity generation, hospitality and tourism," he noted.
Slovenia’s investments are mostly in production of consumer goods. "A number of well-known Slovenian companies have their offices in Russia and manufacture their products that, by the way, enjoy high demand. These products include household appliances, pharmaceutics," Medvedev said. "I think all we have been doing in these areas should be preserved, we must surmount these temporary problems and expand our cooperation.".