Ljubljana, 7 November 2013 – The Slovenian-Russian economic relations have outgrown bilateral relations framework. The political-economic delegation of the Samara Region is attending a working visit in Slovenia. The meeting between the Slovenian Minister for economic development and technology Stanko Stepušnik, MSc and the Deputy Head of the Samara Region Government and Minister for economic development, investments and trade Alexander Kobenko is especially important in the framework of the working visit. The Ministers agreed that the Slovenian and the Samara Region enterprises are becoming relevant partners in international projects and they are gaining significance in the times when we are still faced with the economic crisis. The cooperation in the field of the automotive supplier industry, where the Slovenian automotive cluster (ACS) has been successful for several years now, has also contributed to the strengthening of the economic cooperation between the two countries.
Minister Stanko Stepišnik, MSc underlined the fruitful Slovenian-Russian cooperation, the significance of connecting the economy with the academic field especially for the development of new products and marketing of new and fast-developing markets. “Russia is seventh most important trade partner to Slovenia. It ranks fifth according to the value of the Slovenian direct investments abroad and fourth according to the number of over-night stays of tourists” said the Minister. The Minister underlined that the cooperation is established and strengthened also with certain regions of the Russian Federation (the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology has already signed the cooperation memorandums with certain regions – Moscow Region, Leningrad Region, Samara, Uljanovsk, Altaj, the city of Moscow) while the establishment of the cooperation with certain regions is foreseen to take place in the near future (Nizhny Novgorod, Jarslavsk). Intensive cooperation in the field of automotive industry is also established with the Samara Region, also said Minister Stepišnik, MSc and underlined Project UNIDO as one of the successful projects in the field of strengthening cooperation between Slovenia and the Russian Federation (enabling access to the global supplier chains for the manufacturing companies from the automotive supplier chain in the Samara Region). “Besides the establishment of the cluster and the transfer of knowledge and technologies, an important achievement of this project is also the establishment of direct connections and technical support between the Slovenian and Russian suppliers and partners in the field of automotive industry. The project is in its final stage and we hope that the good cooperation between the Russian and the Slovenian enterprises will continue and extend also to other regions where the automotive industry is present.” The field of IT, renewable energy sources, civil engineering and tourism was also the subject of discussion of the meeting.
Deputy Head of the Samara Region and Minister for economic development, investments and trade of the Samara Region Alexander Kobenko said that the Region is investing great efforts and resources in development centres for the automotive industry. “Cooperation with Slovenia in this area is excellent and we are striving to intensify it” he said, pointing out that the aim of the visit is also to acquaint themselves with examples of good practice in the development of the automotive cluster in Slovenia, development of an innovative environment, support for small and medium-sized enterprises and the cooperation between companies and knowledge institutions. The cooperation of technology parks and universities was highlighted as a good example.
The Director of ACS Dušan Bušen said that ACS is also a good example of cooperation with the Russian automotive industry as one of the priorities of the business policy: “The Russian market is divided into two levels, namely strategic – ensuring long-term presence of the Slovenian automotive industry in the Russian market through the project of the development of a network of enterprises and development institutions through Slovenian partnerships with UNIDO; and operational – where we provide support to Slovenian system suppliers and small and medium-sized enterprises to enter the Russian market. The results are very encouraging as the trade exchange stood at 24 million in 2009 with the participation of only 10 companies; in 2012 23 companies generated more than 75 million euros of exports and an additional 40 million euros in the consolidated balance sheets of joint ventures.”