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PM Cerar concludes visit to Kočevje

Slovenian Prime Minister Miro Cerar visited the Municipality of Kočevje today, where he toured the Yaskawa and smartMelamine companies and inspected work on the Kočevje rail system. Cerar assessed Kočevje as a success story and said that Kočevje is in many ways reminiscent of the path taken by Slovenia over the past four years. “From a place over which dark clouds were gathering, Kočevje has permanently changed into a place of optimism, modern technology and a high quality of life”, said the prime minister.

Cerar first visited the construction site of the Yaskawa Europe Robotics company, where a letter of intent was signed on the expansion of the Yaskawa complex. Although the first factory, whose cornerstone was laid last autumn, has not been completed yet, Yaskawa has decided to expand further, which speaks of the excellent cooperation between the company, the Municipality of Kočevje and the Government. The prime minister noted that it was Slovenia’s “knowledge and human capital, excellent geostrategic position and modern road and rail infrastructure, which we have significantly upgraded and modernised in each year of this administration, clean and unspoiled nature and stable and safe business climate that convinced Yaskawa to invest its knowledge and resources in Slovenia”. The prime minister added that with Yaskawa, Kočevje is truly becoming a centre of robotics development in Europe and beyond.


Cerar then visited the smartMelamine company, which submitted an application in 2016 to a call by the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology for the co-financing of major initial investments in problem areas in Slovenia. The Government approved EUR 1.5 million in funding for smartMelamine for a project called “Industrial Line for Melamine Fleece”. The prime minister inspected the progress on the project today and also toured the production facilities of the Melamin company, which is not only one of the largest employers in the region, but also a leading Slovenian innovator. Prime Minister Cerar inspected their unique production facilities with great interest and noted that “in this marginalised area every new job is worth its weight in gold, and therefore I once again congratulate the company”. He added that he is very proud of companies such as Melamin, as they adhere to concepts that the Slovenian Government also recognises as crucial. This includes the concept of circular economy, where the Melamin company is recognised as an example of good practice.


At the end of his visit, Prime Minister Cerar also inspected work on the Kočevje rail system, which is planned to be completed this year. The prime minister expressed his satisfaction that trains will be running to Kočevje for the first time since 1970. He noted that “infrastructure modernisation is a priority of the government, and therefore we have significantly increased budgetary funding for the line ministry for this purpose. Additional infrastructure investments are urgently needed, as today’s example shows us. It is unacceptable for politicians for all these years to have forgotten about remote areas like Kočevje and not to have included them in Slovenia’s development. I personally support the balanced development of all of the regions, and that’s why I am here today”.