Before he left, Počivalšek expressed the desire to expand cooperation between the two states, which traditionally covers pharmaceutical, food and automotive industry, to new areas in line with trends in the global economy. The Russian Federation remains Slovenia's significant economic partner since trade between the two states continues to exceed one billion euros despite the last year's decrease. Slovenian investments in Russia amount to 307 million euros, while Russian investments in Slovenia come to 47 million euros and keep increasing.
On Monday, Počivalšek first met with the representatives of Slovenian companies operating in Russia so he could hear first-hand about the challenges they are facing. Later, he held a meeting with Yuriy Spiridonov, President of the Russian Investment Agency (RIA), and expressed interest in increasing the cooperation between Slovenia and Russia in terms of foreign direct investments. SPIRIT Slovenia, the Public Agency for Entrepreneurship, Internationalization, Foreign Investments and Technology, and RIA signed a Memorandum of Cooperation in order to create better conditions for foreign investments and support the promotion and implementation of investment projects.
The Slovenian delegation also visited the Lomonosov Moscow State University, where it was welcomed by Chancellor Victor Sadovnichy, and the Lomonosov Moscow State University Business School, where members of the delegation spoke with Dean Alexander Nekipelov. They discussed the cooperation among educational institutions, especially between the University of Primorska and the Lomonosov Moscow State University.
Počivalšek also had a meeting with Russian Minister of Communications and Mass Media Nikolay Nikiforov and Russian Minister of Trade and Industry Denis Manturov. Later on, Nikiforov attended an evening reception which the Slovenian Tourist Board (STB) organised for its Russian partners in the field of tourism since he is a great friend and a good ambassador of Slovenia and also acts as Chair of the Russian Section at the Intergovernmental Russian-Slovenian Mixed Commission. In his speech held at the STB's reception, Počivalšek reminded that the Russian market is one of the most significant markets for Slovenia, expressing a belief that the situation is certainly supported by the excellent airline connection between Slovenia and Moscow. STB's Director Maja Pak also noted that the exceptional diversity offered by Slovenia in such a small territory is one of the key properties of our country that attracts Russian tourists.
On Tuesday, the delegation visited Star City, where it met with Yury Lonchakov, Head of the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre. The Minister revealed that Slovenia would like to establish cooperation also in this field as access to the space station holds potential for scientific research, while the space industry needs offer opportunities for the Slovenian technology, development of materials as well as the processing and chemical industry. During the visit, an update and improvement of the Cultural Centre of European Space Technologies (KSEVT) in Vitanje and a possible transfer of exhibits from Star City to KSEVT were discussed in detail.
Slovenia would like to cooperate with other regions in the Russian Federation as well
On Wednesday, the Slovenian delegation visited Kazan, the capital of the Russian Republic of Tatarstan. "By visiting Tatarstan, we want to convey the message that we would like to expand the cooperation with other regions within the Russian Federation as well, including Tatarstan, which is of particular interest for Slovenian companies," emphasised Počivalšek.
Last year, the Government of the Republic of Slovenia entered into a special cooperation agreement with Tatarstan, which aims to promote closer cooperation in the fields of economy, science, technology, environment and culture. The agreement significantly contributes to stimulating the investment and innovation activities.
The Slovenian minister especially emphasized the possibilities for cooperation in the field of information and communication technologies. "This sector is experiencing a major growth and has become a key national priority for the Russian Federation," said Počivalšek, adding that many Slovenian companies would be able to find opportunities in this market.