Chinese to Visit Uljanik Shipyard Very Soon

By 13 April 2019

ZAGREB, April 13, 2019 - Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said on Friday he had asked his Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang to see if a major Chinese shipbuilding company would be interested in becoming a partner to the ailing Croatian shipyards Uljanik and 3rd May and helping in their restructure.

"I have asked the Chinese premier, who in turn has asked his ministers, to invite a key Chinese shipbuilding company to visit Croatia, Uljanik and 3rd May and see if they would be interested in becoming a partner that would help in their restructure," Plenković told the RTL commercial television network.

The prime minister did not specify when that could happen, saying only that it would happen "very soon".

He recalled that the government had already paid 420 million euro worth of state guarantees, "which unfortunately went to banks for previously granted loans." "In the past year or so we have done all we could under the law," he added.

Plenković said he had taken advantage of Premier Li's visit to Croatia to explain to him the context of the domestic shipbuilding industry and the importance of the two shipyards which have been operating for over 160 years. "What they need is a serious consolidator who knows how to run these processes in accordance with the market requirements of 21st century shipbuilding."

Plenković also commented on the statement made by Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabić in Dubrovnik on Friday, when she said she was ready to make the first move and invite him to visit Serbia because "political frictions don't do anyone any good in the region."

"Next year Croatia takes over the EU presidency and in the process of preparations for that I will visit all our neighbours, certainly Belgrade, Sarajevo, Skopje, Pristina and Tirana. We want to be well prepared for a summit that will take place in May 2020," he said.

Plenković expressed his satisfaction with the Dubrovnik summit of Central and Eastern European countries and China, which ended on Friday. He said that the Chinese premier's visit was very successful and that it was very important for mutual relations and for the positioning of Croatia in Central Europe.

More news about the Uljanik shipyard can be found in the Business section.