Ways of encouraging economic cooperation, especially trade and investment, were in the focus of Monday’s meeting in Ljubljana between Japan’s State Minister of the Economy, Trade and Industry Yoshihiro Seki and Slovenia’s State Secretary Aleš Cantarutti.
Bilateral trade reached EUR 196.3 million in 2018, which makes Japan Slovenia’s 32nd largest trade partner, the Ministry of Economic Relations and Technology said in a release, noting “Japan’s investments contributed to Slovenia’s excellent economic performance in 2018”.
Cantarutti and Saki also discussed NEDO, a three-year Japanese-Slovenian project developing smart networks, and Society 5.0, a Japanese initiative focusing on the question of how to utilise modern scientific and technological breakthroughs for the benefit of all segments of society.
The ministry said Society 5.0 was an area in which Slovenia and Japan should continue cooperation, as this would be one of the priorities during Slovenia’s EU presidency in 2021.
Signing a bilateral agreement on regular air traffic and a deal on flights between air carriers Adria Airways and ANA would be according to the ministry very important for Slovenia, as an increasing number of Japanese tourists visits Slovenia.
Seki, on the other hand, pointed to the Slovenian law on foreigners, which he said made it very hard to obtain all the necessary work permits.
Cantarutti welcomed the idea for Slovenia to take part in the EXPO 2025 in Osaka, and the Olympics Tokyo will host in 2020 were highlighted as another area with a great potential for bilateral cooperation.