Chinese Executives to Visit Pula and Rijeka Shipyards

By 18 April 2019

ZAGREB, April 18, 2019 - Executives from a Chinese shipbuilding company will visit two Croatian shipyards later this month or early next month to explore possibilities for cooperation, Prime Minister Andrej Plenković announced in an interview with the HRT public broadcaster on Wednesday evening.

The announcement came after a high-level Chinese delegation, led by Premier Li Keqiang, visited Croatia last week as part of the summit of 17 Central and Eastern European countries and China in Dubrovnik.

The CEO of the China Shipbuilding Corporation, the man whom Premier Li contacted during his visit last week, will visit Croatia together with a high-level delegation between April 25 and May 10, Plenković said. "They will visit Pula and Rijeka to see what can be done about their possible engagement or cooperation," he added.

The prime minister said that Croatia had done all it could to get the Chinese interested. "We also discussed this in Beijing last November, and I am not surprised by their decision to visit Croatia so soon," he said, noting that China is the world's biggest buyer and builder of ships.

The news came after the Commercial Court in the northern coastal city of Rijeka earlier on Wednesday once again delayed a hearing at which it was to decide on the opening of bankruptcy proceedings for the 3. Maj shipyard, rescheduling the hearing for June 5.

Citing data from Eurostat and the Croatian statistical office, Plenković said that despite the payment of 2.5 billion kuna last year for guarantees for the Uljanik and 3. Maj shipyards, the government budget again ran a surplus of about 756 million kuna. "Our fiscal consolidation is producing results. We are in company with Germany and France," the prime minister said.

He announced that a document promoting three key goals - a better business environment, connecting the education system with the labour market and strengthening the consolidation of public finance - and covering 10 reform areas, 30 measures and 100 activities would be unveiled at a cabinet meeting on Thursday. He added that a convergence programme would also be presented.

"We will continue to reduce the share of public debt in GDP from the present 74.6 percent to 62 percent in 2022, which is one of our goals from the euro adoption strategy. Growth is projected at 2.2 percent, which is sound growth based on the sound conduct of public finance and monetary policy," Plenković said.

Plenković said that at its session on Thursday the government would formally offer France the expertise of Croatian restorers and conservators for the restoration of the fire-damaged Notre Dame Cathedral, "the symbol of France, Christianity and Europe." Croatian experts have already collaborated with their French colleagues in restoring Croatian monuments and historical heritage, the prime minister said.

More news about Croatian shipbuilding industry can be found in the Business section.