President Concludes Tour of South America

By 21 March 2018

ZAGREB, March 21, 2018 - Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović on Tuesday visited Sao Paolo, the last destination of her tour of South American countries, and she returns to Zagreb on Wednesday, her associates said.

In the last ten days, the Croatian head of state toured Argentina, Chile and Brazil, a part of the world with one of the largest Croat expatriate communities. The purpose of the tour was to meet with local Croats and strengthen bilateral relations, notably economic, with key South American countries.

On the last day of her working visit to Brazil on Tuesday, Grabar-Kitarović met with Paulo Skaf, president of the Federation of Industries of the federal state of Sao Paolo, the president's office said. They agreed that Croatia and Brazil could cooperate more closely, primarily in the sectors of maritime transport, infrastructure, energy, shipbuilding, agriculture and trade.

Croatia's geographic position and modern transport infrastructure, notably ports and highways, could be of interest to Brazil, and the northern Adriatic port of Rijeka could offer good port services and be a competitive transport route for Brazil to countries of Central and Eastern Europe.

Brazil is among Croatia's traditionally most important trade partners in South America but despite its being the biggest South American economy, the potential for economic cooperation has not been adequately used, the president said.

One of Croatia's best IT companies, Infobip, has opened an office in Brazil, and the possible opening of a Croatian consulate in Sao Paolo could have a positive impact on furthering cooperation.

Skaf said that the Federation of Industries of Sao Paolo was willing to organise an economic forum with Croatian companies and presented Grabar-Kitarović with an award for her contribution to the promotion of Croatian-Brazilian economic cooperation, the Croatian president's office said.