Bilateral relations between the two countries are traditionally very
good. Slovenia is interested in strengthening cooperation in all
spheres, especially economic cooperation. High level visits have taken
place between the two countries on many occasions. Close contacts also
exist between ministries, chambers of commerce and industry and
Slovenian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Dimitrij Rupel, paid an
official visit to Bosnia- Herzegovina in January 2002.
Economic cooperation between Slovenia and Bosnia-Herzegovina is very
close. In recent years Slovenia has been among Bosnia's leading trade
partners and one of its top foreign investors.
The two countries have already signed an Agreement on Reciprocal
Protection and Promotion of Investments. In January 2002 the Agreement
on Customs Cooperation was initialled and the Agreement on Free Trade,
signed in October 2001, is already in force.
At last year's trade fair in Zenica, Slovenia was presented as a
In 2001 Slovenian exports to Bosnia-Herzegovina totalled USD 397.4
million, a 6 percent increase on the previous year, and imports were
worth USD 62.4 million, a 7.6 percent increase on 2000.
Slovenia is attempting to rectify the one-sided balance of trade
through direct investment. Over 220 companies have been founded in
Bosnia-Herzegovina with joint Slovenian and Bosnian
ownership. Slovenian investments have created over 2,000 new jobs in
Bosnia- Herzegovina and Slovenian investment funds are successfully
cooperating in privatisation in Bosnia-Herzegovina. According to Bank
of Slovenia figures, on 31 December 2000 direct Slovenian investments
in Bosnia-Herzegovina and other ownership investments totalled USD
61.9 million (overview of figures from 19 June 2000). Direct Bosnian
investments in Slovenia were worth USD 8.7 million, as of 31 December
Slovenia has signed an umbrella Agreement on Educational, Cultural and
Scientific Cooperation. In the educational sphere the Ministry of
Education, Science and Sport organises and finances Slovenian language
lessons in Sarajevo, Tuzla, Banja Luka and Zenica. Every year great
interest is shown in the Summer School in the Slovene Language that is
also organised by the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport. The
ministry is studying possibilities of re-establishing the position of
a Slovenian language teacher at the University of Sarajevo.
Cooperation in the sphere of science and technology takes place in the
form of joint two-year projects with a range of scientific-research
fields. Scholarships for postgraduate and post- doctorate training are
According to the figures of the Slovenian community, there are
approximately 20,000 people in Bosnia-Herzegovina that consider
themselves Slovenian or descendants of Slovenians. Most live in
Sarajevo. Slovenia provides project-based financing to five Slovenian
societies in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Slovenia allocated €1.5 million to its activities in South-Eastern
Europe in 2002, with 29.8% of that allocated as aid to
In 2002 Slovenian aid, organised with the Stability Pact for
South-Eastern Europe, will be largely in the economic field,
developing enterprise, training representatives from the state
administration, public institutes and commercial companies. It will
continue to offer its assistance in the field of institution building.
The Agreement on Donations by the Republic of Slovenia to the Republic
of Bosnia- Herzegovina for 2001-2006, worth DEM 3 million, is included
in the Stability Pact. The money is aimed at developing agriculture in
Bosnia. The Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Republika Srpska
will each receive €150,000 annually.
As Bosnia-Herzegovina is the most mined country in the region, some
estimate the International Trust Fund for Demining and Mine Victims
Assistance (ITF) will need to be present for at least 10 years. To
date, 418 mine victims from Bosnia-Herzegovina have undergone
rehabilitation treatment at the Rehabilitation Centre in Ljubljana.
Slovenia, in cooperation with the non-governmental organisation
Slovenian Philanthropy and the City of Ljubljana, founded
"Together" - a regional centre for the psychosocial
well-being of children. On 22-23 December 2001 a seminar took place in
Brcko (Bosnia-Herzegovina) on the role and opportunities for social
workers. The aim of the seminar was to train teachers to recognise
traumatised children and children with psychosocial problems, to
assist such children and to motivate teachers to operate in this
field. Forty-seven people took part in the seminar from the Serb and
Muslim national groups.
The Slovenian Armed Forces started cooperation in the international
SFOR force in October 1997 with a helicopter squad. Cooperation in
SFOR was strengthened in February 1999 with a military police platoon,
in February 2000 with a medical unit and in September 2001 with an
additional military police platoon. In February 2002 the Slovenian
Government adopted a resolution to increase the Slovenian Armed Forces
contingent in SFOR by one motorised company with 109 troops and motor
and combat vehicles. The unit will be ready to start operations in May
2002. There are currently 78 Slovenian Armed Forces personnel in the
international forces in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
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