High-Ranking Chinese Official Visits Croatia

By 17 May 2018

ZAGREB, May 17, 2018 - China and Croatia are cooperating well and the construction of the Pelješac Bridge, which involves a Chinese company, could further encourage Chinese investment and economic cooperation, Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović and the Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress Cao Jianming said in Zagreb on Thursday.

During the talks, both officials reaffirmed the friendship between Croatia and China and highlighted the importance of the Pelješac Bridge construction project for Croatia, for Croatian-Chinese relations and for the European Union, the President's Office said in a press release.

The two countries expressed their readiness to expand economic cooperation and trade, with Cao underlining that the Chinese market was open to Croatian goods and investors. "Croatia and China are cooperating well at the bilateral and multilateral levels, particularly as part of the One Belt, One Road initiative, the Three Seas initiative and the China+16 mechanism," Grabar-Kitarović said.

She expressed hope that the construction of the Pelješac Bridge, the largest European infrastructure project which involves China, would attract Chinese investors to other infrastructure projects in Croatia and arouse greater interest in using Croatian seaports as a gateway for Chinese goods to European markets.

Cao said that one of the reasons of his visit was to discuss the implementation of the agreement Grabar-Kitarović had reached with Chinese President Xi Jinping, especially the part concerning the promotion of economic cooperation and trade. "Your visit to the People's Republic of China has put a great wind in the sails of our relations," Cao said, adding that the letters and congratulations which the two presidents had exchanged on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations gave new value to Croatian-Chinese relations.

Cao also noted a rise in trade, in mutual capital investments and in the number of Chinese tourists visiting Croatia, according to the press release.