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Slovenia Seeks to Double Exports to China

Shanghai, 08 June (STA) - Slovenia plans to double its exports to China over the next five years, Economy Minister Metod Dragonja said as he met Chinese Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng at a conference of trade and economy ministers from China and 16 Central and East European countries in Ningbo.

The Chinese side meanwhile expressed interest in investing in infrastructure, energy, biomedicine and automotive sectors, while Gao expressed support for Slovenia's plans and said Slovenia should boost food exports, the Economy Ministry said in a press release on Sunday.

Gao also expressed the wish that activities related to the issue of visas and work permits at Slovenia's embassy in Beijing and the Shanghai consulate be enhanced.

Announced at the November summit of prime ministers of China and 16 CEE countries in Bucharest,the Ningbo conference is the first such event within the scope of enhanced cooperation between China and the CEE region.

Dragonja, who was accompanied by a business delegation, also met the members of the Slovenian Business Club at the Chinese headquarters of car electronics maker Letrika in Taicang, northwest of Shanghai.

The volume of trade between China and Slovenia dropped from EUR 750m in 2012 to EUR 667m in 2013. Slovenia's exports totalled EUR 127m last year.

Investment has been modest at a few million euros, but Chinese investors have been showing considerable interest to invest in Slovenia, primarily logistics.

The most recent Chinese investment was in the Maribor bus manufacturer TAM Durabus, but reports suggest China Southern Airlines has made an offer for airport operator Aerodrom Ljubljana.

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