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Meeting the Asian partners
The Chinese delegation visiting Slovenia earlier this year was led by Wang Yong, vice chairman of the CPPCC National Committee. Wang Yong with Slovenian PM Robert Golob / Photo: Žan Kolman, KPV

Slovenia is strengthening its ties with four major Asian economies: China, India, Japan, and the Republic of Korea.

This April's visit of a formidable Slovenian delegation to China follows a high-level Chinese visit to Slovenia in January. These developments signify a growing trend of meetings between Slovenia and the four large Asian economies: China, India, Japan, and the Republic of Korea. While most Slovenian trade is directed towards European markets, China and India recently became important Slovenian import partners, mostly due to large imports of organic chemicals and drugs. This is strongly related to Slovenia’s role as a key European logistics hub for the pharmaceutical industry. Imports from these giant Asian economies to Slovenia are growing. Slovenia’s exports to the aforementioned four countries remain relatively small: they represent only 1.1 percent of Slovenia’s total exports. KPMG’s report on Chinese investments in Slovenia pointed out that despite the small volumes, many established Slovenian companies export to China. The same goes for India. In Korea, Slovenian tech company Kolektor has been producing parts for electric motors and hybrid drives for years. Chinese and Japanese investors have also taken notice of Slovenia and its opportunities. Chinese partners have taken over several important Slovenian companies, including home appliances maker Gorenje, app-creating unicorn Outfit7 and bus manufacturer TAM Europe. The Japanese are investing, for example, in robotics, paint and varnish industries, and in medical rubber production. Korean partners see future cooperation in logistics, energy, and the automotive industry, while Indian partners are interested in areas like digitalization and process automation.

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