Slovenian FM visits China to strengthen economic cooperation and showcase Slovenia’s cultural diplomacy

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Slovenia
Minister Fajon with Ling Ji, Vice Minister and Deputy China International Trade Representative .

Slovenian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Tanja Fajon concludes the political part of her visit to China after meeting with Vice Minister and Deputy China International Trade Representative Ling Ji.

“Given the current global challenges and geopolitical dynamics, it is imperative for Slovenia and China to foster constructive cooperation, despite their divergent stances on certain international issues and differing interpretations of human rights. Escalating tensions in the Red Sea and the ongoing conflict in Ukraine further exacerbate risks to the competitiveness of the European economy. I am concerned by my Chinese hosts’ statements that they are looking for alternative ports in northern Europe, a development already exerting a negative impact on transshipment activities at the Port of Koper. Moreover, the emergence of alternative land routes is compounding the strain on transportation costs between Asia and Europe,” remarked Minister Tanja Fajon following her discussions with Vice Minister Ling Ji.

During an hour and a half of discussions, the Minister and her counterpart, each accompanied by large delegations, concurred on the mutual desire to reduce the trade deficit. They also agreed to set up a working group to address the existing trade imbalances.

“The European Union and China are important trade and economic partners. While varying perspectives may emerge from within China, European industries tend to adopt a pragmatic approach. However, there is a unanimous consensus that our economic collaboration should adhere to principles of fair competition. I told my Chinese counterparts that it is in Slovenia’s interest to ensure a level playing field and that we must be able to manage our differences. I also underscored our expectation for a constructive partnership and ongoing dialogue. Now, as a member of the Security Council, we have a much better opportunity for this”, Minister Fajon said.

“Slovenia, situated at the heart of Europe, boasts a green ethos that resonates deeply within its landscape. It is imperative that we tackle global challenges such as climate change and the green transition together with China. I am pleased that it has reaffirmed its commitment to the transition to a low-carbon society”, added Minister Fajon. The two sides discussed the importance of the European and Chinese automotive industries for the green transition.

The Minister’s visit is an opportunity to strengthen Slovenia’s economic, scientific and cultural diplomacy. The delegation, which includes 54 Slovenian companies, will also travel to Shanghai.

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