India - Slovenia Relations

Slovenia, formerly a part of erstwhile Yugoslavia, attained Independence in 1991. India recognized Slovenia on 11 May 1992. Soon after our recognition, the then Foreign Minister of Slovenia Dr. Dimitrij Rupel visited India on 18 May 1992. Slovenia sought Indian support for membership at the UN and for guest membership of the Non-Aligned Movement. Slovenia was admitted into the UN on 23 May 1992.

 

Opening of Resident Missions

Slovenia opened its resident mission in New Delhi on 1 August 2002. The Mission was initially headed by Charge d'Affaires. The representation was upgraded to Ambassador level in September 2009. India opened its resident Mission in Ljubljana in February 2007.

 

High-level Visits

There have been a number of high level visits between the two countries. From the Indian side, Gen. V.K. Singh, Minister of State for External Affairs and Overseas Indian Affairs attended the Bled Strategic Forum (31 August – 1 September 2014). He met the Slovenian Prime Minister Dr. Miro Cerar on the sidelines of the ASEM meeting in Milan in October 2014. The then Hon'ble Speaker Smt. Meira Kumar along with a Parliamentary delegation visited Slovenia in May 2013. Smt. Preneet Kaur, former Minister of State for External Affairs attended the Bled Strategic Forum in September 2013, August 2010 and August 2009. Shri Anand Sharma, former Minister of State for External Affairs visited Slovenia in March 2008. Other ministerial visits include those by MOS for Science & Technology Prof. Y.K. Alagh (February 1997) and MOS for Finance (Revenue) Shri Gingee N. Ramachandran (January 2003).

From the Slovene side, former President Dr. Janez Drnovsek attended the Satyagraha Centenary Conference in New Delhi in January 2007. In January 2006, President Drnovsek had also attended the inauguration ceremony of International Conference on Human values organised by the Art of Living Foundation in Bangalore. Former President Dr. Danilo Turk attended the Delhi Sustainable Summit in February 2010. As Prime Minister, Mr. Borut Pahor paid a State Visit to India in June 2011. Foreign Minister Mr. Karl Erjavec visited India in November 2013 to attend the 11th ASEM FMM. H.E. Dr. Milan Berglez, President of the National Assembly led a 7-member Parliamentary delegation to India in November 2015, H.E. Mr. Alojz Peterle, Member, European Parliament and Former PM of Slovenia participated in the World Culture Festival organized by the Art of Living at New Delhi in March 2016.Other high level visits included those by former Foreign Minister Dr. Dimitrij Rupel, Minister for Economic Development and Technology Mr. Zerjav Radovan, Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Relations Dr. Dravorin Kracun, Ministers for Science and Technology Dr. Rado Bohinc, Dr. Lojze Marincek and Dr. Jure Zupan.

 

Agreements

• Agreement on setting up Joint Committee on Bilateral Trade and Cooperation (1993)
• Agreement on Scientific and Technological Cooperation (1995)
• Agreement between FICCI/ASSOCHAM and the Slovene Chamber of Commerce and Industry to set up Joint Business Council (1995)
• Protocol on Foreign Office Consultations (1996)
• Cultural Agreement for cooperation in the fields of culture, arts, education, sports and mass media (1996)
• National Centre for Trade Information, India (NCTI) – Chamber of Commerce of Slovenia (CCS) Agreement for reciprocal sharing of information (1997)
• Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (2003)
• Export Credit Guarantee Corporation (ECGC) – Slovenian Export Corporation (SEC) Cooperation Framework Agreement (2003)
• Bilateral Air Services Agreement (2004)
• MOU between ICCR and University of Ljubljana for establishment of Hindi Chair (2009)
• Agreement on Mutual Promotion and Protection of Investments (2011)
• MOU between the Bureau of Indian Standards and Slovenian Institute for Standardization (2011)
• MOU between the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru and University of Nova Gorica for Cooperation in the Field of Research and Education (2011)
• MOU for the establishment of Long Term Chair of Hindi at Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana (2011)
• MOU between Air India, Aerodrom Ljubljana and Adria Airways (2011)
• Protocol amending the Bilateral Air Services Agreement (2012)
• Agreement on Short-Stay Visa Waiver for Holders of Diplomatic Passports (2013)
• Agreement between Air India and Adria Airways on code-sharing arrangements (2013)
• MOU between Prasar Bharati and RTV on Co-operation in Broadcasting (2013)
• MOU between NIMS University of Rajasthan, Jaipur and University of Primorska on Cooperation in the Fields of Education and Science and Research (Nov 2014)
• Agreement on Gainful Occupation of Dependents of Members of Diplomatic Missions and Consular Posts (April 2015)
• Protocol Amending the Convention and the Protocol for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to Taxes on Income (May 2016)
• MOU between Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences (CCRAS), Ministry of AYUSH and University of Primorska (July, 2016)

 

India-Slovenia Foreign Office Consultations

Foreign Office Consultations (FOCs) are held at regular intervals. The eighth session of India-Slovenia FOCs took place in Ljubljana on 3 February 2014. Indian side was led by Joint Secretary (Central Europe) in the Ministry of External Affairs. Director General, Directorate for Bilateral relations and European Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs headed the Slovenian delegation.

 

Bilateral Trade

Total bilateral trade in 2016 was Euro 306.89 mn. India exported goods worth Euro 219.81mn and imported goods worth Euro 87.08 mn with balance of trade in India’s favour. India’s exports decreased in comparison to the corresponding period in 2015, when the total bilateral trade figured at Euro 306.97mn and India had exported goods worth Euro 234.64 mn and imported merchandise worth Euro 72.33 mn. In 2014, the total bilateral trade in goods stood at Euro 213.95 mn with India enjoying a trade surplus of Euro 72.91 mn. 

India has been participating at the Celje International Trade Fair since 2009. India participated for the 8th time at the 49th MOS (International Trade and Business) Fair in Celje (Sept 2016). GOI Tourism Office participated at the Alpe-Adria Tourism & Leisure Fair in Ljubljana (Jan, 2016) & Embassy participated at this fair in Jan 2017; Embassy participated at 12th Altermed Fair March 2016 and 2017; Dao Yah Fair (March 2017); two business roundtable events entitled “Doing Business with India” were organized in collaboration with the Municipality of Jesenice (May & June 2016). India was a Focus Country at the annual Alpe Adria International Tourism Show at Ljubljana (Jan 2015); India participated at Dao Yah Fair (Jan 2015) and 11th Altermed Fair at Celje (Mar 2015). A business roundtable entitled “India :New Frameworks for Business and New Business Opportunities” was organized by Embassy of India, in collaboration with Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Slovenia, in Ljubljana (May 2015), Celje International Trade Fair (Sept 2015) India took part in 51st International Wine Fair ‘Vino Ljubljana’ (Oct 2015). India was a focus country at the Business Bled Strategic Forum (Sept 2014). A business delegation from FICCI and CII also visited Slovenia during the Bled Strategic Forum. A Tourism seminar of tour operators and travel agencies of India and Slovenia was held in Ljubljana (March 2015).

Slovenia participated in the CII Partnership Summit, Jaipur (Jan 2015); 2nd India-Central Europe Business Forum (ICEBF) at Bangalore (Oct 2015). State Secretary at the Slovenian Ministry of Education, Science & Sport led a delegation for the CII's Knowledge Expo 2014 in New Delhi (Nov 2014). Earlier, a Slovenian delegation attended the first India-Central Europe Business Forum organised by FICCI in New Delhi (March 2014). Former Minister of Economic Development and Technology Mr. Zerjav Radovan accompanied by a business delegation visited New Delhi, Agra and Kolkata (Jan 2013). A large business delegation accompanied then Prime Minister Borut Pahor during his State Visit to India (June 2011). The delegation visited Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore. 

 

Science and Technology

Joint Committee of Science and Technology cooperation was established through an agreement in 1993. India-Slovenia Joint Working Group on Science and Technology met in New Delhi on 19 November 2014 and identified joint projects for implementation. Agreement on S&T Co-operation was extended to cover the period 2015-18.

 

Cultural

The Mission has been organizing DAYS OF INDIA Festival in Slovenia since 2014. Under this rubric the Mission organized its 4th Edition in January 2017. The events included concert by ICCR sponsored 2-member group led by Anjan Saha who played Sitar and Subrata Manna on Tabla at Ljubljana (26-31 Jan), an exhibition of digital prints of paintings by Tagore at Grosuplje (28 Jan), exhibition entitled ‘Leaders of India’ at Novo Mesto (28 Jan) along with a workshop on Yoga; 14th Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas (Jan 2017); a 2-day workshop entitled - "An Introduction to Hindi Language and Literature" (Jan 2017) H.E. Mr. Mitja Bervar, Chairman of the National Council of Slovenia inaugurated an ICCR sponsored exhibition of photos by Amit Pasricha, entitled ‘Sacred India’ (Feb 2017); an exhibition on calligraphy by Satish Gupta was inaugurated at the Ljubljana Etnographic Museum (March 2017), a festival of Indian Cinema at Bled and Skofja Loka (April 2017).

In 2016, the Mission organized 3rd edition of Days of India, the celebrations for which began on 25 January with inauguration of ICCR sponsored “Phulkari” Exhibition of Indian embroidery from Punjab and Haryana and a concert of Hindustani classical music; a photo exhibition on Gandhiji at Nove Fužine (Jan 2016); an exhibition of paintings and films based on short stories by Rabindranath Tagore (6-8 May) at Goriska Brda; an evening of Indian classical music “Magic of Santoor” (19 May); a week of Indian classical music at five different cities (21-26 May); celebrations of 2nd IDY 2016 on 18 June, with 'Family Festival of Yoga in Nature' organised by Yoga Association of Slovenia at Mozirje, Celje at which 1200 people participated; IDY by the Faculty of Sports and the Yoga Federation of Slovenia at Ljubljana (21 June); an exhibition of water colour paintings ‘Monuments of India’ (12 Aug-24 Sept), an exhibition of digital prints of paintings by Tagore at Jesenice (30 Aug); a concert of Indian classical music (23 Sept); a B2B event on Cooperative Entrepreneurship with Social Impact (16 Oct), two songs for a Kannada movie ‘Naanu Mattu Varalakshmi’ were also shot in Slovenia in 2016. In 2015 & 2014, Days of India; the Book – Letters from a Father to his daughter – was translated into Slovene and released on 19 Nov, 2014;release of a joint stamp to commemorate 125th birth anniversary of Jawaharlal Nehru (Nov 2014); India week (1-5 Dec, 2014); screening of Indian films at Open Isola Film Festival & Bled Film Festival (June 2014) and Ljubljana International Film Festival (Nov 2014).

A bust of Jawaharlal Nehru was unveiled at Dobrovo, Goriska Brda in May 2013. A statue of Mahatma Gandhi, donated by ICCR, was installed at Slovenj Gradec on 1 October 2010. A bust of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore, donated by ICCR, was set up in November 2011 in the Municipality of Maribor - the Cultural Capital of Europe for 2012.

 

Slovene Parliamentary Friendship Group with India

The Parliamentary Friendship Group with India was established on 6 February 2009. Ms. Suzana Lep Simenko, the current Chairman, was a member of the Parliamentary delegation that accompanied H.E. Dr. Milan Brglez, President of National Assembly on his visit to India in November 2015. In Nov 2009, the then Chairman of the Friendship Group accompanied by two members visited India.

 

Indian Community

There is a very small Indian community of about 150, including PIOs, which comprises mainly of persons married to Slovenians and a few IT professionals.

 

Useful Resource

Mission's website: http://indianembassy.si/ 

Mission's Facebook: click

 

Ljubljana

May 2017