As the Republic of Austria is a neighbouring country and EU member
with a Slovenian ethnic minority, Slovenia enjoys close relations and
developed cooperation in numerous spheres on the bilateral and
The two countries cooperate in the economic sphere. Austria is one of
Slovenia's most important foreign trade partners, ranking fourth in
imports and exports. In 2001 Slovenian exports to Austria were worth
USD 692.6 million (7.4% of all Slovenian exports), while imports from
Austria totalled USD 843.9 million (8.3% of all Slovenian
imports). The increase in trade is continuing. In 2001 Slovenian
exports to Austria came to 82% of imports.
Austria is the most important foreign investor in Slovenia
(investments in banks and other services and the paper and chemical
industry totalled USD 1.28 billion in 2000 - 45.5% of all foreign
investments). Investments have increased every year.
Regular meetings take place between the two countries at every
level. Last year the Prime Minister Dr Drnovsek met the Austrian
Chancellor Dr Wolfgang Schüssel on many occasions and the President of
the Republic Milan Kucan was in Vienna on an official visit in
In Vienna on 7 March 2001 Slovenia and Austria's foreign ministers, Dr
Dimitrij Rupel and Dr Benita Ferrero Waldner, signed the Agreement on
Mutual Promotion and Protection of Investments (in force since
February 2002), which will further contribute to the strengthening of
contacts between the two countries. In April 2001 the two ministers
signed an Agreement on Cultural, Educational and Scientific
Cooperation in Ljubljana. Slovenia's National Assembly ratified the
agreement on 15 February this year. The agreement is a continuation of
the good relations enjoyed in those spheres. Successful exchanges in
the fields of education and science are ongoing between Austria and
Slovenia, as is cooperation between a range of cultural institutions.
The two countries successfully cooperate on projects financed by EU
funds. From 1995 to 2000, Slovenia and Austria cooperated on over 100
projects within the PHARE/INTERREG programmes.
In 2000 a Joint Programme Document was prepared as the basis for
cross-border cooperation from 2000 to 2006 and received official
confirmation in Maribor on 5 June 2001.
Slovenia and Austria have also been successfully cooperating within
the Central European Initiative (CEI), the Regional Partnership and
the newly formed Danube Cooperation, formed on Austria and Romania's
initiative with the support of the EU and the Stability Pact for South
Eastern Europe, and with Austria's federal states within the
Alps-Adriatic Working Community.
Slovenia is set to host the third regional conference of the Regional
Partnership in June 2002. The first was held in Vienna on 6 June
2001. From 31 May to 1 June this year Slovenia will host the Meeting
of the Presidents of Central European States.
GOVERNMENT PUBLIC RELATIONS AND MEDIA OFFICE © 2002