Slovenian Ambassador’s Visit to the Institute of European Studies
On 20 April 2016, Mr Janez Premože, Ambassador of the Republic of Slovenia to China, paid a visit to China-CEEC Think Tanks Network and the Institute of European Studies, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. He was invited to the “Ambassadors Forum” and delivered a keynote speech concerning China-Slovenia relations. The lecture was hosted by the director Huang Ping of the Institute of European Studies, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
The Ambassador, Mr Janez Premože indicated that the year 2016 marks the 25th anniversary of the independence of Slovenia. The year 1991 was a turning point which placed Slovenia on the global political map as a sovereign and independent state.
He said that Slovenia, ever since the independence, has made many steps to become a reliable partner in the international community. In 1998 the young state received great recognition when it was elected as non-permanent member of the UN Security council. The year 2004 was an important milestone for Slovenia as it became a member of the European Union and NATO. It was the first new EU member state to introduce the EURO as its currency in 2007 and the first to preside the EU Council in 2008. Slovenia was recognized as a developed country and joined the OECD in 2010.
Speaking of China-Slovenia relations, Mr Janez Premože highly commended the bilateral partnerships between two countries. He pointed out the fact that China has been the largest foreign trade economic partner of Slovenia and other Central and Eastern European countries in Asia. Slovenia is also one of the most important CEE trade partners of China. The trade volume between Slovenia and China is constantly on the rise. Slovenia is constantly looking for new opportunities to enhance the trade and investment cooperation and find new synergies between the two countries and their economies that would take advantage of the best potentials of each participant.
Slovenia, as Mr Janez Premože remarked, is a firm supporter of EU –China cooperation and EU-China 2020 Strategic Agenda for Cooperation, where the country sees particular interest in participation in the Connectivity Platform and is eager to contribute in the area of "Green Connectivity". At present Slovenia is actively involved in joint projects in the framework of Horizon 2020 and other joint initiatives.
Moreover, the ambassador emphasized that Slovenia recognizes the increasing relevance of the 16+1 initiative and benefits of r cooperation and remains committed to working closely with all partners of the initiative in addressing their shared interests. According to him, the adoption of the Mid-Term Agenda and the Suzhou Guidelines at the last 16+1 Summit are a clear reflection of the endeavors towards a more transparent and goal-oriented cooperation. They map out the development of cooperation platforms in all major areas of the 16+1 initiative, including cooperation in forestry, where Slovenia is the coordinating country. The first high level meeting of the Forestry Cooperation Mechanism will be held in May 2016 in Ljubljana.
Ambassador Premože reaffirmed Slovenia’s commitment to enhancing cooperation with China in all fields and promote peace and social development to the benefit of the entire international community. In this regard Slovenia welcomes the One Belt, One Road initiative which addresses all key elements necessary to enhance of international cooperation. In addition, he reiterated Slovenia’s determination to assume an important role in the emergence of One Road, One Belt infrastructure. “We are paying special attention to, and are strongly in favor of, the newly-launched Seaport Based Corridor aimed at better connecting the ports of Adriatic and Baltic countries. This initiative could prove to be a building block contributing in particular to logistics and industrial capacities”, said Mr Premože.
Later on, Ambassador Premože engaged in a heated discussion with scholars from the Institute of European Studies regarding the bilateral cooperation between China and Slovenia. All participants reacted enthusiastically to the interaction.
Finally, the director Huang Ping concluded the lecture. He expressed his gratitude to Ambassador’s visit and his splendid speech. Also he indicated that 16+1 Think Tanks Network would further promote the collaboration between two countries in the days to come.