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Slovenia and Qatar Set Foundations for Economic Cooperation

Doha, 10 January (STA) - Following a meeting between Slovenian President Danilo Tuerk and Qatar Emir Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani in Doha on Sunday, Slovenia and Qatar signed agreements on economic cooperation and the avoidance of double taxation, setting the foundations for business ties between the countries.

The agreement on economic cooperation, envisaging a special joint commission which would watch over the implementation of the agreement, was signed on Slovenia's behalf by Foreign Minister Samuel Zbogar.

The agreement on the avoidance of double taxation and prevention of income tax evasion was meanwhile signed by Finance Minister Franc Krizanic.

The signing was preceded by a meeting of a Slovenian delegation headed by Tuerk and a Qatar delegation led by al-Thani and a separate meeting between the two officials.

Tuerk, who is also accompanied by a delegation of 68 Slovenian executives, expressed satisfaction with today's meetings, saying that Qatar was considering making new partners in Europe, while Slovenia was looking for new partners outside the EU and other traditional trade partners.

According to the president, both agreements represented a basis and strong framework for cooperation. "We would want Qatar to enter the Slovenian market with its capital and potential, and this requires consistency and stability."

Tuerk labelled the talks with al-Thani and Qatar business executives as very constructive as the hosts were acquainted with the situation in Slovenia and its geostrategic position as a good springboard for EU markets.

According to him, Qatar business executives also showed interest in certain Slovenian export products, including food and construction material, with the quality and choice remaining an open question. Slovenia has potential in the area of health care services and spa tourism, Tuerk added.

Qatar is interested in investing in Slovenian banks and large economic and infrastructural systems through the Qatar Investment Authority. Such investments is possible to be taken advantage of in the long run under certain conditions, Tuerk believes.

The president earlier today opened and addressed a Slovenian-Qatar business conference, which included numerous bilateral meetings with Qatar business executives and investors. He is scheduled to depart for Kuwait on Monday for a two-day official visit.

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