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Technology Agency Signs Coop Deal with Japanese Counterpart

Ljubljana, 24 October (STA) - The Technology Agency (TIA) on Wednesday signed an agreement on cooperation with the Japanese New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO). Economic Development Minister Radovan Žerjav labelled it a very important step towards enhancing cooperation between Slovenia and Japan.

The purpose of the agreement signed in Ljubljana as part of the Japanese-Slovenian technology meeting, is to strengthen ties and technological cooperation between Slovenian and Japanese companies in advanced energy and industrial technologies.

These include the building of so-called smart cities or smart communities with smart transport systems, smart underground parking lots, energy efficient buildings, smart grids etc.

Žerjav said after the signing of the agreement that today was a "great day" for future cooperation between Slovenia and Japan in the area of know-how exchange, innovation and technological development.

Addressing the Japanese-Slovenia technology meeting, organised by the Public Agency for Entrepreneurship and Foreign Investments, the Economic Development and Technology Ministry and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GZS), Žerjav said that NEDO was one of the most significant Japanese institutions for Slovenia, as it tailored Japan's development and investment policies.

The response of Japan, the EU and Slovenia to current challenges was actually the same, the minister said. "We all increased investment in research and development, innovation, better business environment and search for new market opportunities," he explained.

GZS head Samo Hribar Milič said he was happy to see Slovenia's exports to Japan rising. He believes the potential for Slovenian companies there is tremendous.

Japanese Ambassador to Slovenia Toshimitsu Ishigure said that the quality of the labour force and the quality of life in Slovenia were an important competitive edge of the country. He also noted that Slovenia and Japan were this year marking the 20th anniversary of the setting up of diplomatic relations.

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