POLICY REVIEW BODY: REVIEW OF SLOVENIA
TPRB'S EVALUATION back
review enables the TPRB to conduct a collective examination of the
full range of trade policies and practices of each WTO member
countries at regular periodic intervals to monitor significant trends
and developments which may have an impact on the global trading
review is based on two reports which are prepared respectively by the
WTO Secretariat and the government under review and which cover all
aspects of the country's trade policies, including its domestic laws
and regulations, the institutional framework, bilateral, regional and
other preferential agreements, the wider economic needs and the
external environment. A record of the discussion and the Chairperson's
summing-up together with these two reports will be published in due
course as the complete trade policy review of Slovenia and will be
available from the WTO Secretariat, Centre William Rappard, 154 rue de
Lausanne, 1211 Geneva 21.
December 1989, the following reports have been completed: Argentina
(1992 and 1999), Australia (1989, 1994 and 1998), Austria (1992),
Bahrain (2000) Bangladesh (1992 and 2000), Benin (1997), Bolivia (1993
and 1999), Botswana (1998), Brazil (1992, 1996 and 2000), Brunei
Darussalam (2001), Burkina Faso (1998), Cameroon (1995 and 2001),
Canada (1990, 1992, 1994, 1996, 1998 and 2000), Chile (1991 and 1997),
Colombia (1990 and 1996), Costa Rica (1995 and 2001), Côte d’Ivoire
(1995), Cyprus (1997), the Czech Republic (1996 and 2001), the
Dominican Republic (1996), Egypt (1992 and 1999), El Salvador (1996),
the European Communities (1991, 1993, 1995, 1997 and 2000), Fiji
(1997), Finland (1992), Gabon (2001), Ghana (1992 and 2001), Guatemala
(2002), Guinea (1999), Hong Kong (1990, 1994 and 1998), Hungary (1991
and 1998), Iceland (1994 and 2000), India (1993 and 1998), Indonesia
(1991, 1994 and 1998), Israel (1994 and 1999), Jamaica (1998), Japan
(1990, 1992, 1995,1998 and 2000), Kenya (1993 and 2000), Korea, Rep.
of (1992, 1996 and 2000), Lesotho (1998), Macao (1994 and 2001),
Madagascar (2001), Malawi (2002), Malaysia (1993, 1997 and 2001), Mali
(1998), Mauritius (1995 and 2001), Mexico (1993, 1997 and 2002),
Morocco (1989 and 1996), Mozambique (2001), New Zealand (1990 and
1996), Namibia (1998), Nicaragua (1999), Nigeria (1991 and 1998),
Norway (1991, 1996 and 2000), OECS (2001), Pakistan (1995 and 2002),
Papua New Guinea (1999), Paraguay (1997), Peru (1994 and 2000), the
Philippines (1993 and 1999), Poland (1993 and 2000), Romania (1992 and
1999), Senegal (1994), Singapore (1992, 1996 and 2000), Slovak
Republic (1995 and 2001), Slovenia (2002), the Solomon Islands (1998),
South Africa (1993 and 1998), Sri Lanka (1995), Swaziland (1998),
Sweden (1990 and 1994), Switzerland (1991, 1996 and 2000 (jointly with
Liechtenstein)), Tanzania (2000), Thailand (1991, 1995 and 1999), Togo
(1999), Trinidad and Tobago (1998), Tunisia (1994), Turkey (1994 and
1998), the United States (1989, 1992, 1994, 1996, 1999 and 2001),
Uganda (1995 and 2001), Uruguay (1992 and 1998), Venezuela (1996),
Zambia (1996) and Zimbabwe (1994).
POLICY REVIEW BODY: REVIEW OF SLOVENIA
BY THE CHAIRPERSON back
Trade Policy Review of Slovenia has been excellent. Our discussion has
been thorough and comprehensive, and has raised important trade issues.
Our dialogue has provided a good understanding of Slovenia's
trade-related policies and practices, not the least due to the open and
full involvement of State Secretary Renata Vitez and her delegation, and
to the active engagement of many delegations.
commended Slovenia for its good economic performance. Slovenia's trade
and investment liberalization efforts have been key elements in its
reform programme aimed at restoring macroeconomic stability and
establishing a modern, stable, and fully functioning market economy.
In consequence, Slovenia is now well integrated in the world economy
through closer trade and investment links.
also praised Slovenia for its strong commitment to the multilateral
trading system, and commended its strong support for the launching of
the Doha Development Agenda. At the same time, Members noted that much
of the orientation of Slovenia's economic and trade policies is driven
by its goal of accession to the European Union (EU). Several Members
maintaining preferential trade agreements with Slovenia commented on
the positive effects of such agreements on trade and investment for
Slovenia. Other Members also noted that, in general, falling trade
barriers under preferential agreements have not been matched by
similar improvements for MFN partners. This was a source of concern to
a number of Members, who encouraged Slovenia to narrow the gap.
Members noted that an important gap exists between Slovenia's bound
and applied tariff rates, which could undermine the predictability of
the tariff regime, although Slovenia has never exploited this gap.
Some Members requested Slovenia to reduce the gap between applied and
bound rates in the context of the current WTO market access
negotiations. There was also some concern about the escalation in the
commended Slovenia's various initiatives to streamline and increase
transparency in many administrative areas, including customs
administration. Clarifications were requested on the simplified
customs procedures. Some concerns were also expressed about Slovenia's
non-automatic licensing requirements related to public security,
safety, health, and the environment; and to the administration of
tariff quotas in agriculture.
Members noted that Slovenia has enacted legislation on trade remedy
measures, while having made very little use of it. Several Members
encouraged Slovenia to quickly complete its accession to the WTO's
Government Procurement Agreement.
sectoral policies, Members noted the increase in the level of
government assistance to agriculture, and Slovenia's plans to
harmonize support systems with the EU's Common Agricultural Policy.
Concerns were expressed about agriculture being shielded from
international competition by border measures (high tariffs and
restrictive tariff quotas).
indicated interest in developments in telecommunications, transport,
and tourism, notably with respect to foreign participation, the role
of the domestic regulators, and commitments under GATS. On financial
services, questions were asked about the 1992 crisis, the
privatization plans and the degree of competition, particularly in the
insurance sector. Several Members thought it desirable to further open
services activities to private investment, observing Slovenia's
positive experience with liberalization in other areas.
also sought further clarification on a number of specific areas,
weaknesses such as labour market rigidities, administrative
obstacles, use of public resources, and plans to overcome them;
direct investment (FDI) regime, incentives, and policies for
becoming a springboard for doing business in south-east Europe;
process, methods, and future plans, particularly for divesting
some key financial and telecommunication enterprises;
legislation and its application to FTAs;
approach to SPS matters;
subsidies, and subsidy programmes that support manufacturing
of intellectual property rights.
Slovenian delegation gave written and oral replies to questions posed
during the Review. The replies provided have made a major contribution
to this meeting, and were clearly appreciated by all Members.
conclusion, I believe that through this Review we have gained a
first-hand appreciation of Slovenia's achievements since its
independence in 1991, and of the challenges that lie ahead. Slovenia
is now seen by many Members as a prime example of the benefits of
trade and investment liberalization, notwithstanding a number of
cyclical and structural problems. However, Slovenia's liberalization
paradigm raises important questions for all WTO Members concerning the
relationship between regional and multilateral efforts, questions that
no doubt we will have to come to grips with as part of the Doha
Slovenia itself, an additional challenge is to manage its process of
accession to the EU, its large number of preferential agreements,
together with the many components of the evolving multilateral agenda.
Moreover, it is possible that dealing with issues such as ownership
and competition in some critical areas, such as agriculture,
telecommunications, financial services, transport, and tourism, would
contribute to an improved growth profile. Slovenia's exemplary
participation in this Review bodes well for its capacity to meet those
challenges, to the benefit of its people and its trading partners.