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Slovenia Business Week no. 08/2005: Slovenian Businesses Exploring Opportunities in Central Asia

Believing that both countries have enormous potential business-wise, Slovenian businesses are looking to establish close contacts with corporate Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan

A group of Slovenian executives have joined Slovenian Foreign Minister Dimitrij Rupel on his visits to Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan last week. Believing that both countries have enormous potential business-wise, Slovenian businesses are looking to establish close contacts with corporate Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.

The business delegation encompassing executives from Gorenje, Krka, Iskra sistemi, Riko and Smelt Intag held talks with government officials and businesspeople in Astana on Tuesday, 15 February. A business conference was also held on the occasion.

The overwhelming view among the participating Slovenian business officials is that Kazakhstan's size and stability, as well as large oil reserves, make it an attractive place to do business.

Although very limited, trade between Slovenia and Kazakhstan has been rising: in 2003 the exchange of goods rose by 40 percent to EUR 29.7m, with EUR 18m being Slovenian exports to the Central Asian country. Slovenian businesspeople are convinced that there is a lot of potential for boosting ties.

The Slovenian officials see the greatest potential in Kazakhstan's development of transport and tourism infrastructure. Janez Skrabec, the general manager of Riko, a maker of prefabricated buildings, revealed he examined possibilities for taking part in the construction of hotel infrastructure.

As a result of Kazakhstan's extensive investments in tourism, there is significant potential in the gaming sector, the chairman of a leading Slovenian gaming equipment company said. According to Joc Pececnik of Elektroncek, his talks revolved around investment in the gaming industry, which is still in its infant stages in Kazakhstan.

Meanwhile, Matija Zumer of Iskra sistemi, a company dealing in automation, met with the management of the Kazakh rail company, with talks focusing on the automation of the railways.

Source: Slovene Press Agency STA

Author: STA