The minister attended the forum on the new industrial platform, 4.0, where the Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy, Sigmar Gabriel, and the Federal Minister for Education and Research, Johanna Wanka. Minister Počivalšek and high representatives of the German economic ministry discussed industry 4.0, in which the German side had invited Slovenia to participate. At the meeting, Počivalšek invited Gabriel to visit Slovenia.
Many opportunities to strengthen economic cooperation with German federal states
By attending the fair, the minister has supported the continued improvement of bilateral economic cooperation with Germany, where there is a particularly large number of opportunities for improving economic cooperation with the state of Baden-Württemberg. Despite Baden-Württemberg being ranked first by far in terms of economic cooperation (in 2013, trade in goods totalled 2.3 billion euros), there are many possibilities for strengthening cooperation in many sectors. This was the main conclusion of the meeting between the economic and technology minister Počivalšek and the Deputy Minister-President and Minister of Finance and Economics of Baden-Württemberg, Nils Schmid. Schmid had several concrete proposals for strengthening cooperation: finding similar sectors, improving recognition of Slovenia’s competitive advantages and ensuring more intensive contact with the state government at all levels.
Minister Počivalšek said that Slovenia will follow the German efforts to implement the Industry 4.0 platform, which will improve the potential for growth in the metal production and processing industry. We want to increase trade with Baden-Württemberg on this basis, and there is also an interest among companies in the state in becoming involved with Slovenia’s privatisation, particularly as Slovenia has positive experiences with German investors.
Minister Počivalšek also visited Volkswagen production facility in Wolfsburg, which is an excellent example of industry 4.0.
The next major step in strengthening relations with Baden-Württemberg will be the visit of President Pahor to Stuttgart on 16 June 2015.