9th Meeting of Presidents of Central European Countries
  Meeting | Bilateral Relations | Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina

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Republic of Slovenia - Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina


 

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 individual companies.

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 partner state.

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 2000.

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 offered annually.

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 Bosnia-Herzegovina.

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.

GOVERNMENT PUBLIC RELATIONS AND MEDIA OFFICE © 2002


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