Dubai – Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek met Emirati Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber in Abud Dhabi on Monday as he started an official visit to the United Arab Emirates. The pair agreed that bilateral cooperation could improve and expressed support for such efforts, the Economy Ministry said.
Počivalšek noted that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) were Slovenia’s second largest partner among gulf countries. Bilateral trade in goods and services reached EUR 118.9 million last year, of which EUR 90.1 million were exports and EUR 28.7 million imports.
According to the minister, Slovenia is interested in strengthening ties in high-tech, green economy, pharmaceutical industry, artificial intelligence, logistic, health services and space technologies.
He is confident that active participation of Slovenian companies at the upcoming Dubai Expo and meetings between companies will open new opportunities for closer and more successful economic ties with the UAE.
“I am convinced that our talks with the UAE as well as numerous activities held as part of the Slovenian pavilion will significantly enhance relations between the countries and thus lay even better foundations for business cooperation,” Počivalšek said.
He pointed to Slovenia’s good geostrategic location and the advantages of investing in the country.
“The Slovenian economy is extremely exports oriented, as we export 88% of what we produce. Investment in technological development and advanced technologies is thus crucial if we want to meet the needs of the market, keep up with modern trends and be competitive on foreign markets.”
Al Jaber said the UAE supported all efforts to strengthen cooperation, as they were very interested in finding partners who would bring added value to their private sector.
He added that they recognised the value of Slovenia, and its development and investment potential. He also stressed that cooperation with Slovenia as part of Expo 2002 was extremely important, the ministry said.
Later this afternoon, the Slovenian minister will hold a meeting in Dubai with representatives of the Slovenian companies operating there.
On Tuesday, when Slovenia will take over its Expo pavilion, Počivalšek will meet Minister of Economy Abdulla Bin Touq Al Marri and Minister of State for International Cooperation Reem Al Hashimi, who is also the director general of Expo 2020.
Počivalšek will wrap up his visit with a stop at the company Gorica, which he labelled one of the most successful Slovenian companies in the UAE.