Business

Croatian Products Conquering Ukraine

By 9 November 2017

The charge is led by Sardina's canned fish and Agrolaguna's olive oil.

The first quantities of Croatian canned fish and olive oil will soon find their way to the shelves of leading chain stores in Ukraine – Fozzy and ATB, confirmed Croatian businesspeople directly involved in the deal with the Ukrainian retail chains, reports Jutarnji List on November 9, 2017.

The Sardina canned fish company from Postira on the island of Brač concluded a contract with the Ukrainian retail chain a few days ago about a sale of 40,000 cans of fish. Davor Gabela, the sales director of Sardina, says that the total amount in the future will depend on the demand of the local market, but the company believes that its products have a great chance to succeed in the vast Ukrainian market. “Ukraine will be the 27th country we are exporting to. We negotiated for nine months about this contract,” said Gabela. The opening of each new market, including the Ukrainian one, allows Sardina to increase production and productivity, which then positively reflects on employment and competitiveness.

Ivica Pirić, honorary Ukrainian consul and the representative of the Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce for the former Yugoslavia, helped Sardina conclude the deal. Pirić's connections in the country and knowledge of the market were critical factors for the success of negotiations.

The Ukrainian market could very soon also see the Istrian olive oil produced by Agrolaguna in Poreč. Agrolaguna has confirmed that it is in negotiations about the entry into the Ukrainian market but pointed out that nothing had been signed yet. However, Pirić is certain that Agrolaguna’s products will soon find their place on the Ukrainian supermarket shelves. “The truck which the Fozzy Group will send for the first quantities of Sardina’s canned fish will also pick up Agrolaguna's olive oil,” said the honorary consul.

The entry of Sardina and Agrolaguna into the Ukrainian market will be the first significant step forward for the Croatian food industry in that country. Until now, just several Podravka’s products – Vegeta and soups – could be found on the shelves of Ukrainian retailers. Two Croatian-Ukrainian economic forums held so far have demonstrated there is an interest in economic cooperation between the two countries, but the potentials have not been exploited in full.

According to data from the Central Bureau of Statistics, Croatian exports to Ukraine last year reached about 227.8 million kunas, while Croatia imported from Ukraine goods worth 288 million kunas. Although there was a significant growth in exports and imports last year, the figures are still far from what they might be.

Pirić believes that the Ukrainian market with 45 million consumers is a major opportunity for numerous Croatian companies. Among those in the food sector, he has particular confidence in Ledo and Mlinar. “There are also a lot of possibilities for doing business in the military sector, the pharmaceutical industry, road construction, shipbuilding, construction and the mechanical engineering industry. In addition to Ukraine, many Croatian companies also have a good chance in Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan,” said Pirić.

Translated from Jutarnji List.

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