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Slovenian PM expects more economic co-op with China

2009. 28 August

( Slovenian Prime Minister Borut Pahor said on Thursday that the visit of Chinese Vice Premier Hui Liangyu and the accompanying strong business delegation would boost economic cooperation between the two countries.

    During their talks, Pahor told Hui that Slovenia attaches great importance to China's development and regard China as its most important partner in Asia.

    He said that in the face of global financial crisis Slovenia would like to further strengthen friendly cooperation with China, expanding exchange and cooperation in areas such as business and transportation.

    "As a small and open economy, Slovenia is trying to successfully deal with the economic crisis also by being more intensively present on the Chinese market."

    Pahor said that Slovenia would attend the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai although on a smaller-scale than originally planned.

    Hui, who was on an official visit to Slovenia, was accompanied by a delegation of around 80 representatives from 60 Chinese companies, who held talks with Slovenian business people at the Slovenian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

    Hui meanwhile said that China highly appreciated positions Slovenia takes on important international issues.

    "We are happy with the positive role Slovenia plays within the EU and we highly appreciate Slovenia's support for and understanding of China when it comes to its biggest worries and vital interests," he said.

    On the margin of the visit, five documents were signed to promote the bilateral cooperation: a memorandum on cooperation in agriculture and another in the area of SMEs, an action plan on health care and medicine for the 2009-2012 period, an agreement on cooperation between Ljubljana University and the Beijing Foreign Studies University and another to establish a Confucian institute at the Ljubljana Faculty of Economics.

    Hui arrived in Slovenia on Wednesday evening in what is one of the highest-profile visits from China since Slovenia gained independence in 1991.

    Slovenia is the first leg of Hui's European tour, which will also take him to Belarus, Lithuania and Latvia. Hui will also attend the third World Climate Conference, which is scheduled to be held in Geneva, Switzerland from Aug. 31 to Sept. 4.