Belarus, Slovenia to explore new cooperation avenues

Belarus and Slovenia are set to seek out new ways of cooperation to realize its full potential. This topic has been the focus of attention at a session of the intergovernmental Belarusian-Slovenian commission for trade, economic and sci-technical cooperation.

A Belarusian delegation was headed by Deputy Foreign Minister Valery Voronetsky. The co-chair of the commission is the general director of the department for economic diplomacy and development of the Slovenian Foreign Minister Vladimir Gasparic.

When opening the meeting, Valery Voronetsky expressed confidence that the work of the commission will be crucial for further development of trade and economic cooperation between Belarus and Slovenia.

He noted that the Belarusian-Slovenian cooperation has been increasingly vibrant lately. They countries have established more business contacts, developed the legal framework of cooperation and increased bilateral trade. For example, last year it amounted to $80.2 million, which was up 19.4%. Belarusian exports totaled $8.8 million, up 17%. In January-March 2011 the mutual trade amounted to $6.5 million having increased by 12.3%. Belarusian exports rose by 31.8% to $2.5 million. Belarus’ major exports to Slovenia are steel cord, synthetic fibers, electrical equipment for ignition and starting of internal combustion engines, polycarboxylic acids. Belarus imports from Slovenia mostly pharmaceuticals, paints and varnishes, foods, polyacetals and polyesters, epoxies, metalworking machine tools.

In turn, Vladimir Gasparic noted that at present the economic cooperation between countries is rather modest, far below the potential. “The intergovernmental commission is a very important tool in the search for further areas and forms of interaction. Our task is to identify interest in cooperation between enterprises,” he said. Vladimir Gasparic hopes that in the future the countries will boost trade and bring it to a higher level. There is potential for that on both sides.

During the session the sides discussed a wide range of issues of bilateral cooperation, including the status and prospects of economic relations, cooperation in industry, agriculture, tourism, science, technology and innovation, development of the legal framework of bilateral cooperation, assistance to the international road communication, implementation of specific business projects, as well as other topical issues of mutual interest.

The Slovenian delegation is in Belarus on a visit. The Belarusian-Slovenian business forum which was held prior to the meeting brought together representatives of 16 Slovenian companies and 30 representatives of Belarusian companies. The main issue on the agenda was cooperation in energy, automotive industry, information technology, electronics and construction. Groups of experts held meetings in the Energy Ministry, Ministry of Housing and Utilities, State Science and Technology Committee, Belarusian Railways. During the visit the Slovenian delegation visited Minsk Automobile Plant (MAZ trademark).

According to