Croatian President Invites German Business People to Invest in Croatia

By 19 February 2019

ZAGREB, February 18, 2019 - Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović said in Berlin on Monday at an annual event organised by small and medium-sized businesses that she wanted to encourage German entrepreneurs to intensify their investments in Croatia.

"Economic cooperation with Germany is very important to Croatia, as Germany is Croatia's fourth most important investment partner," Grabar-Kitarović said at the conference of the German Association for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses in the capital city. She underscored that Croatia's export to Germany had been growing following Croatia's EU entry.

Grabar-Kitarović said Croatia's priorities were entering the euro area and the Schengen zone, as well as the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), thanking Germany for supporting Croatia's aspirations.

Grabar-Kitarović stressed that the next objective was to increase the annual economic growth rate to 5%.

She also said Croatia was strongly against the policy of protectionism and was completely sided with Germany on that issue.

The Croatian president also spoke about the construction of an LNG terminal in Croatia, saying it would contribute to the energy efficiency of the EU and its neighbours.

At the end of her speech, Grabar-Kitarović expressed hope her two-day visit to Germany and the announced visit of Germany President Frank-Walter Steinmeier to Croatia would contribute to the development of the two countries economic ties.

Addressing the press before the start of the conference, Grabar-Kitarović highlighted the objections which German investors doing business in Croatia have. "I think that red tape is the biggest problem," Grabar-Kitarović said, and also mentioned the changeability of the laws and a slow judiciary. "We change our laws and administrative rules too often," she warned.

"Corruption is not such a big problem as is the slowness of the judiciary. We must make judicial proceedings faster," the president added.

She is also due to meet representatives of the Croatian expat community in Berlin and Bundestag President Wolfgang Schauble.

More news about relations between Croatia and Germany can be found in the Politics section.