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Prime Minister Miro Cerar attended the 16+1 Summit in Sofia, where he also met the Chinese Prime Minister

 

Slovenian Prime Minister Miro Cerar attended the summit of Central and Eastern European countries and China (the so-called 16+1 Initiative) in Sofia. The Prime Ministers in attendance discussed the increased cooperation in economy, agriculture, forestry, science, infrastructure, communications, culture and human resources. The leaders attending the summit confirmed the so-called Sofia guidelines entitled “Deepening the open and pragmatic cooperation for common prosperity”. Prime Minister Cerar also met Li Keqiang, Prime Minister of the People’s Republic of China, and the two confirmed the commonly good relations between their countries.

   

The Slovenian Prime Minister first attended the 16+1 Initiative’s opening of the business forum that is being held alongside the summit. He and other leaders also attended the opening of the exhibition on local achievements of cooperation between Central and Eastern European countries and China. In his address at the leaders’ plenary session Dr Cerar pointed out that Slovenia and the Port of Koper were determined to take over the important role of developing the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The Belt and Road Initiative proposes a new silk road of the 21st century and its objective is to improve connections between Asia and Europe. He also emphasised that Slovenia would continue to support close cooperation between the partners of the Initiative and stressed the importance of effective discussion of common interests. He was pleased that an agreement had been signed between Beijing’s Capital University of Physical Education and Sports and the University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Sports. The agreement on the academic and scientific cooperation will strengthen the cooperation between the two universities and the exchange of experience in winter sports, bearing in mind the 2022 Winter Olympics, to be hosted by the People’s Republic of China.

   

Prime Minister Cerar met the Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang in Sofia for bilateral talks. Their discussion focused on strengthening the economic cooperation between the two countries and on the opportunities provided by the 16+1 Initiative. China is Slovenia’s most prominent trade partner in Asia. Trade in goods between Slovenia and China exceeds a value of one billion EUR, which puts China in 12th place among Slovenia’s most important trade partners. Slovenian Prime Minister Cerar emphasised several prospective areas, among them the pharmaceutical industry, civil aviation, tourism and the development of the BRI Initiative in his talks with the Chinese Prime Minister. The cooperation between the two countries in tourism has also been developing well; 41% more Chinese tourists visited Slovenia in 2017 than in 2016. 

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