Prime Minister Sarec and Chinese Premier on possibilities for expanding relations between the two countries

Slovenian Prime Minister Marjan Sarec is attending the 8th annual 16 + 1 Summit, a meeting of the heads of state of the countries of central and eastern Europe and China, on 11 and 12 April 2019 in Dubrovnik. Today, alongside the first day of the 16 + 1 summit, Slovenian PM Šarec met with the Premier of the People’s Republic of China Li Keqiang.

Photo: Tamino/

At their meeting, the heads of state confirmed the traditionally good relations between the two countries, which are expanding in several areas. The Slovenian prime minister mentioned the importance of increasing bilateral economic cooperation and expressed satisfaction with the continued growth of trade between the two countries. For Slovenia, which has an export-oriented economy, it is important that participation in the 16 + 1 initiative opens doors for Slovenian firms. Among the areas with good prospects for cooperation, the PM mentioned the car industry, pharmacy, high tech, civil aviation and science.

At the end of the meeting, the Slovenian prime minister invited the Chinese premier to visit Slovenia.

The prime minister also met today with representatives of Slovenian firms who are participating in the 16 + 1 business forum. He learned about their expectations and experiences in relation to economic cooperation with China. At the meeting, viewpoints were exchanged on the opportunities afforded by Slovenia’s participation in the 16 + 1 initiative. They noted the importance of the participation of Slovenian representatives in the forum, which is focusing this year on infrastructure and investments, innovations, trade and tourism.

The 16 + 1 initiative was established in 2012 in order to promote business and investment relations between China and 16 countries in central and eastern Europe (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Slovenia). The 16+1 platform is complementary to the relationship between the EU and China.

The initiative offers opportunities for cooperation between China and European countries and their businesspeople in various fields, from industry, trade and investments, infrastructure, transport and logistics, energy, culture and education to tourism. The initiative features annual summits at the highest level. To date, 16 + 1 summits have been held in Warsaw (2012), Bucharest (2013), Belgrade (2014), Suzhou (2015), Riga (2016), Budapest (2017) and Sofia (2018).


Photo: Tamino/