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Govt Designs Guarantee Scheme for Major Export Projects

Ljubljana, 30 September (STA) - The government has drafted a special scheme to finance large export projects and support Slovenian companies in entering foreign markets. Solutions in the draft bill are currently pored over by the Foreign Ministry and the document should be sent to government committees next week, Finance Minister Franc Krizanic said on Thursday.

The announcement comes after daily Dnevnik reported on Wednesday that construction company SCT had not yet managed to obtain bank guarantees for its deals in Libya worth over EUR 1bn, which were closed in June. SCT and state-owned export and development bank SID did not wish to comment on the report.

Krizanic explained at a press conference after the regular government session that the guarantee scheme bill could serve as an international contract, which would ensure legal transparency of the guarantees and legal security for all sides.

Not only in Libya, but in many countries, concrete deals reached by Slovenian companies have proved too ambitious for the financial capabilities of the companies, Prime Minister Borut Pahor stressed at the press conference.

According to Pahor, the country can either face the fact that it manages to get more deals abroad than it can service at home, which would be a big deficit for the Slovenian economy, or find other mechanisms to secure deals abroad.

One of the possible mechanisms the government is considering is contracts with individual countries, he said, adding that his interest was to close deals and increase trade in goods and services, but caution was also needed.

Slovenia is an interesting destination for others, as it has no open security-related issues with any country and is small and open to all directions of the world, but also shows responsibility to countries in its vicinity, Pahor went on.

"And this is what counts," he stressed, explaining that the responsibility makes Slovenia trustworthy.

Pahor further pointed out that he would continue to do what he could to help Slovenian companies get major deals abroad, but he also noted that he would not order any institution as the prime minister to guarantee a deal.

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