Warsaw, 26 April (STA) - Potential Chinese investments in Slovenia's sole commercial port Luka Koper as well as the country's railway infrastructure were among the topics discussed by Slovenian and Chinese representatives at the China-Central and East Europe economic forum in Warsaw on Thursday.
According to Marjan Hribar of the Economy Ministry, the talks at the
forum, where Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao announced a US$10bn credit line for
central and eastern Europe to support cooperation projects, were very
Highlighting Luka Koper and the railways, including the
planned second track between Koper and Divača, Hribar told the STA that
negotiations on these matters had already began a year ago.
memorandum was signed, a consortium of interested companies established, a
response from Slovenia has however been pending, he said.
response comes now, the official said, adding that Slovenia was open to
strengthening cooperation, in trade as well as in the sense of providing an
entrance point for Chinese products headed for Europe and
While Prime Minister Janez Janša was among the heads of
government to meet Wen Jiabao today, the forum is also attended by Tanja
Drobnič of the Public Agency for Entrepreneurship and Foreign Investments
Drobnič announced before the meetings that she expected
Chinese representatives to clearly outline their key goals when putting up
capital for central European companies.
She said this would be a good
starting point for JAPTI's June conference in Portorož, where business
will be discussed by Slovenian and Chinese companies.
Slovenia and China has been relatively modest given China's potential,
reaching around EUR 600m last year, which was an 11% increase over the year
before. Slovenian exports only accounted for EUR 100m.
been no notable Chinese investments in Slovenia. The Chinese have expressed
interest for cooperation, in some cases also with ownership capital,
especially in telecommunications, energy, infrastructure and
Asked why no Slovenian companies attended the forum,
Drobnič said that JAPTI had strived to see 39 companies attending that are
already present in China.
The companies decided against it only
because of expense concerns, assessing that the mainly political nature of
the forum does not warrant the trip.
The companies that are not yet
in business with China on the other hand need a different kind of event, at
which they will be able to meet potential partners, she
The forum, attended by around 1,000 participants, mostly
from China and Poland, opened with addresses by Wen and Polish PM Donald
Wen announced a special US$10bn credit line for the region for
joint projects in infrastructure, new technologies and green energy. Also
planned is a US$500m fund for supporting Chinese companies investing in
Central and East Europe.