17:07 GMT +316 December 2019
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    Slovak Economy Minister Peter Ziga

    Slovak Economic Minister Expects Slovakia, Russia to Establish Joint Enterprises

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    Economy Minister Peter Ziga said that Slovakia expects from to proceed to establishment of joint enterprises with Russia from the simple trade exchange.

    PRAGUE (Sputnik) Slovakia expects from to proceed to establishment of joint enterprises with Russia from the simple trade exchange, Slovak Economy Minister Peter Ziga told Sputnik in an interview.

    "We assume that the nature of the economic cooperation between Russia and Slovakia in future would gradually proceed from the traditional trade exchange to the establishment of joint enterprises on the territories of the two states," Ziga said.

    He added that the economic ties between the two states are well-balanced.

    According to the minister, there are no unresolved issues in the relations between the two countries, which allows the nations to focus on development of the economic aspect of cooperation.

    Despite a certain decline in trade between Moscow and Bratislava after the beginning of the Ukrainian conflict in 2014, the two countries continue cooperation. According to the Russian Ministry of Economic Development, Russia exports to Slovakia mineral resources, textile and alcoholic products, while Moscow's import includes transport vehicles, electric equipment and leather goods.

    Russia and Slovakia have great prospects for cooperation in automotive, chemical industries, alternative energy, IT innovations and a number of other sectors, Peter Ziga told Sputnik.

    "We consider that the most promising spheres for cooperation between Slovakia and Russia are automotive, chemical industries, alternative energy, IT innovations, rubber products, capital development, agriculture and tourism with an emphasis on a wide use of Slovak resorts," Ziga said.

    According to Ziga, the geographical factor is important for development of the cooperation.

    "We see the territorial scope of the Russian Federation and the economic potential of its entities. That is why we are planning to more actively develop relations with separate Russian regions," the minister added.

    In August 2016, Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico visited Moscow and held talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin. During the meeting, Putin said that there had been setback in bilateral trade for several years, though, expressed confidence that the two countries had a chance to restore the economic cooperation.

    Fico has repeatedly said that the EU anti-Russia sanctions did not make practical sense and nobody profited from them.

    Direct contacts between both Russian and Slovakian companies and regions continue to increase and to play a more important role in bilateral economic cooperation, Slovak Economy Minister said.

    "From year to year we can name more and more examples of growing direct contacts between certain regions and companies of Slovakia and Russia. For example, [Russia's] Cherepovets Steel Mill Severstal and the SV Corp construction company from the [Slovak] town of Puchov have recently agreed on deliveries of construction steel," Ziga said.

    He added that yet another example of such cooperation was links between the Belpharma company from Russia's Belgorod and such companies as Bioveta and Vetservis from Slovakia's Nitra, which agreed on certification and deliveries of compound animal feeds.

    According to the official, the Slovak Economy Ministry contributes to establishment of connections between the Slovak and Russian companies.

    The number of Russian tourists in Slovakia amounted to nearly 40,000 people in 2016, a 21 percent increase compared to the previous year, Slovak Economy Minister said.

    "In 2016, Slovakia welcomed 21.1 percent more Russian tourists, than a year before. Nevertheless, the last year's overall number of tourists from Russia — 35,900 people — is less than it was in previous years. For instance, in 2013, 54,400 Russians visited our country," Ziga said.

    According to Ziga, there were several factors, which had a negative impact on tourist flow from Russia, including temporary weakening of the ruble.

    Ziga expressed hope that the tourist flow from Russia to Slovakia would start growing and assured that the Slovaks would always welcome Russians in their country.

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