9th Meeting of Presidents of Central European Countries
  Meeting | Bilateral Relations | Republic of Italy

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Bilateral Relations

Republic of Slovenia - Republic of Italy


Italy is one of the most important countries with which Slovenia has developed a high level of bilateral relations in a number of areas. With the adoption of the Law on the Protection of the Slovene Minority in Italy in February 2001 the mutual relations between the two countries acquired a new positive foundation. Economic co-operation is particularly highly developed and Italy is one of Slovenia's most important economic partners.

The friendly relations are reflected in Italy's support for Slovenia's accession to the EU and NATO, which was emphasised during the official visit to Rome in February 2001 of Slovenia's Prime Minister Dr Janez Drnovsek, where he met with Silvio Berlusconi, and at the EU Summit in Gothenburg in June 2001; it was reconfirmed during the official visit by the Italian foreign minister Renato Ruggieri to Ljubljana in September 2001.

There is intensive economic co-operation between the two countries. Italy is Slovenia's second largest foreign trade partner. In 2001, the value of trade with Italy amounted to US$2,950.4 million, of which US$1157.7 million were exports - a 2.7% decrease compared to 2000 - and US$1,792.7 million imports - a 1.8% increase compared to 2000. Investment is lagging behind trade. Italy ranks fourth with regard to the value of direct foreign investments, although with regard to the number of investments it is first. At the end of 2000, Italian direct investment amounted to US$152 million, representing 5.4% of total investment in Slovenia. It is in Slovenia's interest for investment to increase.

During the visit to Ljubljana by Italy's foreign minister Renato Ruggieri on the 11 September 2001, two documents were signed: the Convention between the Governments of the Republic of Slovenia and the Republic of Italy on Avoiding Double Taxation and on the Prevention of Tax Evasion with respect to income and property tax, and the Administrative Agreement between the Republic of Slovenia and the Republic of Italy on the Implementation of the Convention on Social Security. Another agreement was signed on 14 February 2001 - the Agreement between the Governments of the Republic of Slovenia and the Republic of Italy on Mutual Administrative Help in the Prevention, Detection and Elimination of Customs Violations.

A mixed Slovene-Italian commission for economic co-operation meets regularly, dealing with all outstanding issues in the area of economic co-operation.

In January 2002 Slovenia, by paying into the fiduciary account of the Dresdner Bank in Luxembourg the last instalment of the debt determined by the Rome Agreement, paid all the compensation owed for the property left by the Italian optants, thus fulfilling Slovenia's obligations to Italy relating to the optant property issue.

There is intensive cross-border co-operation between the two countries within the PHARE and INTERREG programmes.

Slovenia expects Italy to commence complete implementation of the Law on the Protection of the Slovene Language Minority in the Friuli-Julia region.

Slovenia and Italy are both interested in harmonised co-operation and the faster completion of Corridor 5. The growing links between the Ports of Koper and Trieste are also of strategic importance. An important step in this direction is the take-over of the VIIth container wharf in the Port of Trieste by the Port of Koper. Both ports have also signed a joint agreement on co-operation with Slovene Railways.

Regional co-operation (SEP, Quadrilateral, Adriatic-Ionic Initiative and Alps-Adria Working Group) is another important framework for fulfilling common interests.


Republic of Austria
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Czech Republic
Federal Republic of Germany
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Republic of Italy
Republic of Macedonia
Republic of Moldova
Republic of Poland
Slovak Republic
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia