In a recent statement to the press, the Slovenian Minister of Economic Development and Technology, Zdravko Počivalšek, labelled the Serbian spas as great tourism potentials and 'undiscovered gems', before continuing to declare Slovenian interest for investing in them. According to him, this investment would not be purely financial, as it would also include the investment of Slovenian industry know-how in the process of developing and upgrading the spa offer in Serbia, as a response to emerging health trends and increasing spa vacation demands. The aforementioned Slovenian know-how mainly hailing from the great results that spa tourism has been achieving in this country, a significant factor of which being the fact that Slovenian spas are working throughout the 12 months of the year – something Počivalšek considers to be a necessary upgrade in Serbia as well. He further outlined that efforts should be made towards privatising more than 30 spas in Serbia, but that these spas should also work on offering better amenities and improved recreational/medical content in order to increase their allure for investors.
On a more macro level, Počivalšek remarked Slovenia as a significant investor in Serbia generally, with investments that have so far totalled at more than EUR 1 billion. He continued to say that there are more than a 1,000 companies in either Slovenian or joint-ownership that are currently employing around 25,000 people in Serbia, and that there is growing determination to turn this trend into a two-way street, with Fructal presenting a successful case of a reverse investment. Počivalšek concluded by praising the foreign trade cooperation between the two countries, since Serbia is ranked as the 8th best national partner to Slovenia in this regard, with more than EUR 1 billion in commodity exchange transactions made – the Slovenian export taking up EUR 650 million of that figure, and the rest of it being import from Serbia.