Friday, 22 July 2022

Japanese Investment to See Sesvete Factory Produce Glass Ampoules

July the 22nd, 2022 - One Sesvete factory near the City of Zagreb is set to produce packaging in the form of glass ampoules for various medicines following an investment from the Japanese company Nipro.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes, on Wednesday, the Japanese mega-company Nipro Corporation Japan presented its investment of more than 100 million kuna in a Sesvete factory, where they are building a new ampoule and vial factory for the pharmaceutical industry - Nipro Pharma Packaging Hrvatska.

As is already known, last spring, Nipro Corporation Japan bought the former Piramida factory in Sesvete from the Blue Sea Capital fund, which was recently declared the most successful acquisition of the entire year.

As they revealed during a recent tour of the construction site and plant, Nipro Japan has chosen this Sesvete factory as its Global Centre of Excellence in the production of glass ampoules. The Sesvete factory is already working significantly more than the initial expectations and growing faster than was planned, and is currently among the three leading players in the production of ampoules and vials for medicines in the whole world.

In Sesvete, almost two million ampoules and vials for filling various medicines around the world are produced daily. To be more specific, Blue Sea Capital fund has already invested significant funds in the modernisation of production, the acquisition of eight new production lines and the development of business with bottles.

Under the ownership of Blue Sea Capital, Piramida managed to increase its number of employees by 35 percent and doubled its production capacity and revenues, and the company was among the five largest manufacturers of glass ampoules for the pharmaceutical industry on the European market during last year's takeover.

After the completion of this investment, an additional increase in production to more than two and a half million ampoules and vials per day is expected, as are fifty new jobs.

Kresimir Secak, a member of the board of Nipro Pharma Packaging Hrvatska, revealed that in the near future, sterile glass injections will be produced in the Sesvete factory, which are one of the most demanding products into which medicines are filled.

"In the Sesvete factory, we produce more than 650 million glass containers a year, which are filled with medicines that save or help human lives around the world, and we're extremely proud of that. For management and our workers, this decision to become a Global Centre of Excellence for ampoules, as well as the continuation of investments, is great international recognition. This recognition is the result of the hard work, expertise and dedication of our employees that they have shown over the past decades," said Secak.

Nipro's global revenue back in 2021 was 3.5 billion euros, and Nipro Hrvatska's stood at 14.3 million euros. Secak revealed that this year they expect that growth to accelerate and revenue to increase to 16.2 million euros, and simpler operations next year will be enabled thanks to Croatia finally joining the Eurozone.

Stephan Arnold, the CEO of Nipro Pharma Packaging International confirmed that the company has ambitious growth plans for Croatia. "We're increasing our capacities and expanding our technical capabilities to more locations, but in Croatia specifically, we're rapidly accelerating our investment plans. We have established synergy with other factories in our production network and are setting up centres of excellence across the entire Nipro group. Nipro Pharma Packaging Hrvatska has been selected as Nipro's Global Centre of Excellence in ampoule production," said Arnold.

The Japanese ambassador to the Republic of Croatia, Iso Masato, also assessed Croatia's entry into the Eurozone and Schengen as a positive thing, assessing that this, as well as Croatia's new good credit ratings, will further open up and attract foreign investments to the country, possibly more Japanese ones as well.

"Nipro's investment in the Sesvete factory is proof that Japanese investors see the potential Croatia has. There is also interest from others, and we want the year 2023, in which we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the establishment of our diplomatic relations, to be good for our economic relations as well," said Masato.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated business section.

Monday, 24 January 2022

Croatian Baby Beef Exporters Given Access to Japanese Market

ZAGREB, 24 Jan 2022 - Croatia's ministry of agriculture, in cooperation with Croatian producers, has ensured the access of Croatian-produced baby beef to the Japanese market, the ministry stated on Monday.

The access has been gained because of efforts and programmes for the eradication and control of major infectious diseases in animals. These efforts enable Croatia to get recognition from the World Organisation for Animal Health (formerly the Office International des Epizooties, OIE) and to prove the equivalency of the system of control of animal health and products of animal origin to the relevant authorities in Japan.

Having access to the demanding Japanese market is also a great reference for Croatian products on other foreign markets, the ministry stated.

The Croatian ministry continues to make efforts, either on its own or in cooperation with the European Commission, to get other markets open to Croatian products.

Thus, in 2021, Croatian fishery products, mixed products and raw and salted skin got access to Israel. Also, Croatia got the green light for exporting milk and dairy products to Libya, sheep and goats to Iran, pet food to Albania, ice cream to Costa Rica and gelatin capsules to Egypt.

Friday, 7 January 2022

Zagreb Company Delt Papir Makes Brave Move, Opens Company in Japan

January the 7th, 2022 - The Zagreb company Delt Papir is well known here in Croatia, and it seems that they're branching out, aiming not just at Europe, but at far more distant markets such as that of Japan.

As Novac/Jutarnji/Vedran Marjanovic writes, formerly known for its technological innovations and breakthroughs in the production of paper hygiene products and sanitary equipment, the Zagreb company Delt papir has made another noteworthy business step these days by founding a company in no less than Japan.

This is the company Tubeless Japan, with which the Zagreb company Delt Papir, as its director Krunoslav Kisak explained, will try to penetrate one of the strongest and richest markets in the entire world.

''Tubeless is a brand of Delt papir with which we're present in 27 countries across Europe and the Middle East through our distributors. The opening of the company in Japan is a big step forward for our company in terms of the further internationalisation of the Tubeless brand,'' said Kisak. Alen Krajacic is a member of the Management Board and co-owner of Delt Papir alongside Kisak, and the company has been operating since back in 2003.

The most logical reaction to the aforementioned business step for the Zagreb company Delt Papir would be that this is the first company founded by Croatian businessmen in one of the world's leading economic powers and one of the strongest and richest, and many would also add the most closed off markets in the world.

''According to our Ambassador to Japan Drazen Hrastic, during his tenure in the past six years, no Croatian company has opened a branch in Japan,'' revealed Kisak, confirming the assessment at least for the latest period of Croatian-Japanese economic relations.

According to the CBS, Croatia exports goods worth 334 million kuna a year to Japan, with food products such as tuna, wine, cheese and olive oil having the largest share. Japan is not even among the 25 most important export markets for Croatian companies, and given this data, Delt Papir's decision to enter the Japanese market only gains more weight.

''Japan's market is quite literally enormous in terms of its users, as it is a country with 126 million inhabitants, but also as the world's third largest economy. This market is ready for Croatian IoT innovation which increases and facilitates the insight into the consumption of paper towels, toilet paper, soap and other consumables and provides a level of control over it, all through our software that is unique,'' Kisak explained when discussing the motives Delt Papir has which made them create Tubeless Japan.

The Tubeless brand includes, among other things, toilet paper with a specific packaging without a cardboard tube, soap holders and disinfectants. For the further development of this brand, the Zagreb company Delt Papir was also provided with co-financing from the European Regional Development Fund through support totalling 7.8 million kuna.

''Over on the Japanese market, we expect accelerated sales growth, which we believe we'll successfully be able to monitor given the investment in the new production capacities of Tubeless products over the last 12 months, worth almost 23 million kuna. In Japan, the hygiene of everything in general, including in toilets, is at an unimaginably high level, so we're convinced that Tubeless, along with the IoT solution, is perfect for the Japanese market,'' said Kisak.

Asked whether the Zagreb company Delt Papir could count on the help of the Croatian Embassy in Tokyo when it arrived on the Japanese market, Kisak said that it provided an introductory presentation of Tubeless products and networking.

''We started thinking about starting the company Tubeless Japan back in 2019 with our colleague Edward Vondra, who has been living in Japan since 2014,'' Kisak noted.  Referring to the regulatory conditions in Japan when it comes to opening a company, Kisak explained that starting a company isn't much more complex than the procedure to do the same here in Croatia.

''The most time was spent adjusting to Japanese laws and getting multiple translations of documents with certain specifics that each country has when opening a new company. The biggest specificity is that everything that is done in Japan must be perfect. Perfect in design, functionality and innovation. We believe that Tubeless is just such a brand,'' concluded the director of the Zagreb company Delt Papir, which employs about 70 people in its plants and business offices in Jankomir, and ended the last business year with annual revenue of 134 million kuna in 2020 and a profit of ten million kuna.

For more, check out Made in Croatia.

Monday, 12 July 2021

Croatian Koncar Succeeds in Asia with Job Contract in Japan

July the 12th, 2021 - The Croatian Koncar company, which is very well known on a global scale for its expertise and high quality work, has succeeded on the Asian market as Japanese jobs are contracted.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Suzana Varosanec writes, the Croatian Koncar - Generators and Engines (GIM), owned by its parent company Koncar - Elektroindustrija, made a very significant step forward onto the challenging Asian market back in mid-May.

Following two entire years of continuous bidding and a tough negotiation process, the Croatian Koncar company earned a large contract over in Japan for the first time in its history. In this regard, the company, one of the components of the Koncar Group, pointed out that the delivery of the signed contract includes "the design, production and supervision during the installation of three generators for two different small hydropower plants."

The first phase of the project will be completed with the successful commissioning of a 5.2 MVA synchronous generator (240 min-1) at Shin Sakagami SHPP, they explained, while the second stage will be completed when the 5.2 MVA (240 min-1) synchronous generator is put into operation, followed by an asynchronous generator with a nominal power of 0.546 MW (366 min-1) at SHE Utsubo.

This is a contract that is a continuation of the Croatian Koncar company's highly successful cooperation with an Austrian turbine manufacturer, and over the next three years the two companies should justify the trust placed in them by Japanese consultants with their work. However, given the fact that this is the first time that Japanese investors have chosen a turbine manufacturer based in Europe, Koncar GIM will not only work hard to introduce itself, but is also expected to be a pioneer in opening the market to other European manufacturers.

This market is widely known for being very demanding, and the company got involved in a challenging project precisely due to typically demanding Japanese consultants and sky high expectations. The Austrian partner and the customer have recognised the competencies and capabilities of the Croatian Koncar, which are harder and harder to find, and decided they were by far the best choice for this kind of solution.

It also turns out that Japan is one of the markets in this segment that puts quality, technical solution and good communication in the first place, above all else. After the first contract on the Japanese market, Koncar could expect many other similar projects in the future, as well as more in various other areas of business. It's worth noting that the share of exports in total revenues from the sales of Koncar Group products and services with references to 130 world markets in the first quarter of this year reached 67 percent, and the most significant exports were realized in Germany, Sweden, the UAE and Austria.

Two thirds of the the Croatian Koncar company's total exports go to the EU market, which again speaks of the quality of their products and the solutions that they successfully offer in this also very demanding market. Koncar GIM has 375 hydropower plants built and revitalised across the world - individual products are adapted to customer requirements and form a niche market for the company's business, and 700 generators are produced and revitalised. Their business results are based on their own product development and production, cooperation with other companies operating under the wider Koncar umbrella, as well as numerous scientific institutions.

For more, follow our dedicated business section.

Sunday, 19 January 2020

Japanese Kodo Drummers to Perform in Zagreb on February 9

ZAGREB, January 19, 2020 - Japanese Kodo drummers will perform their new show "Legacy", marketed as a spectacular synthesis of some of their most popular pieces and new compositions, at Zagreb's Vatroslav Lisinski Concert Hall on 9 February.

The drumming troupe, whose name means "heartbeat", are masters of the art form who have catapulted the ancient Japanese culture straight to the 21st century. Since they started performing in 1981, the Kodo ensemble gave more than 6,000 performances in 50 countries all over the world.

"The legendary drumming sensation has been thundering throughout the world for 40 years, leaving audiences breathless," states the concert announcement. Their giant drums unearth a treasure trove of images and sounds the group has created in almost 40 world tours.

Legacy, Kodo's new show to be staged at the Vatroslav Lisinski Concert Hall, is a combination of some of their most popular pieces and new compositions, focusing on the limitless possibilities of their drumming.

"Japan's legendary Kodo drummers return to their roots with a physically stunning and musically sensational show. Legacy puts Kodo’s huge drums centre stage and reworks their treasure trove of signature pieces created over almost 40 years of international touring," it is stated in the announcement.

"Balancing a deadly aggression with utter tranquillity, Kodo’s sound stretches from the lightest of rainfall to cataclysmic thunderclaps, from silence to a wall of sound, as high, frightening and impregnable as a mountain," writes The Guardian.

More culture news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Sunday, 29 December 2019

Made in Croatia: Japanese Customers Love Sesvete Chocolates

As Novac writes on the 29th of December, 2019, everything went much more spontaneously than it did in a planned fashion when it comes to these Sesvete chocolates that have won over Japanese customers, acting as yet another example of just how successful the ''Made in Croatia'' tag could really be for this little country.

''My father had had a plan in his mind for ages to produce some authentic Croatian desserts, chocolate balls. Four years ago, when the possibility to obtain EU funds was opened, we decided to take a chance,'' recalls Fran Reizl, the son of the owner of the Sesvete family-owned chocolate factory - Vrsna.

Together with his mother Jozefin and his father Mirko, the small factory produces handmade pralines, truffles, white, milk and dark chocolates that have broken through the borders of Croatia and have become popular even in Japan.

''My parents founded a consumer goods distribution company 20 years ago. They mostly imported sweets, biscuits and chocolates. Over time, these jobs were less and less fulfilling. During this time I studied design. After graduation, I worked for a short time in an agency, but I wasn't satisfied with that. I decided to try to work with my parents, even though that was never my plan,'' explains Fran.

With the help of EU funds, they were able to equip a small factory for the production of the Sesvete chocolates, and as Fran explains, it took them almost two years to master the craft.

''At first, we had no idea what we were doing. We'd get the temperatures wrong, then we'd put the chocolate in the fridge and everything would crust over. I had some crazy combinations in my head, like olive oil in chocolate, which was a total failure… We had total chaos in the kitchen. Chocolate was all over the walls too,'' he said.

Although these Sesvete chocolates are of course made here in Croatia, they do not process raw cocoa themselves, they buy it from a French-Belgian company as raw material, which they then process according to their own recipes in Sesvete near Zagreb.

The first brand with which they bravely came to the market was white chocolate with black dots, called Dalmatiner. After that, they just kept on throwing out new products. This year, they grabbed more attention with the first pink chocolate made in Croatia - Ruby. The price of their chocolates ranges from 30 to 35 kuna. They are of course more expensive than chocolates from major manufacturers, reports tportal.

''That chocolate has no artificial colour and doesn't contain any berries. The natural colour of cocoa seeds is rosy. Chocolate makers discovered just two years ago that it can be preserved if the cocoa is kept in lemon juice for 24 hours. And there's the secret for you,'' he adds.

Reiz currently has more than fifty brands, all of which have been made in Croatia, out on the market. In addition to chocolates, there are various types of pralines and truffles under their name, too. Almost 40 percent of their production is exported to the markets of Japan, Australia and Austria, and may soon be present in neighbouring Montenegro, and even in the United Arab Emirates and in Pakistan.

''Most of our customers came to us alone. They would taste our products and that would interest them. The story with the Japanese is interesting. I got an email from their big distribution house. At first, I thought someone was messing with me because it seemed too good to be true. But then their representative came to us by plane directly from Japan. She was with us for an hour and immediately returned home. The Japanese are our favourite customers now. They're particularly delighted by our family story. They want us for long-term partners,'' says Fran proudly.

Make sure to follow our dedicated Made in Croatia and business pages for much more.

Sunday, 10 November 2019

Japan Day Marked in Croatia

ZAGREB, November 10, 2019 - Japan Day was held at the Mimara Museum in Zagreb on Saturday ahead of the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo next year.

The event was organised by the Japanese Embassy and was addressed by Ambassador Misako Kaji, Croatian Olympic Committee (HOO) Chairman Zlatko Mateša and Croatian Paralympic Committee Chairman Ratko Kovacic.

Olympic contender Tin Srbić (gymnastics) and potential contenders Kristina Tomic (taekwondo) and Ana Lenard (karate) spoke about the Olympic Games, while Paralympics contenders Helena Dretar, Pavao Jozić (both table tennis) and Damir Juren (boccia) presented the Paralympic Games.

The Croatia House in Tokyo, organised on the premises of the Croatian Embassy, was presented by the HOO assistant secretary-general for marketing, Ranko Ćetković.

The event attracted great attention from members of the public, who waited in long queues to take pictures of themselves in traditional Japanese costumes, drink tea and familiarise themselves with the arts of ikebana and origami.

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

Thursday, 24 October 2019

Reiner Attends Ceremony of Emperor Naruhito Enthronement

ZAGREB, October 24, 2019 - Croatian Deputy Parliament Speaker Željko Reiner attended in Tokyo on Wednesday a ceremony organised by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in honour of Emperor Naruhito's enthronement, parliament said in a press release.

Emperor Naruhito officially proclaimed his enthronement on Tuesday in front of guests from more than 180 countries.

Reiner briefly met Abe and invited him to visit Croatia.

He also held talks with Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi on Croatia's presidency of the Council of the European Union in the first half of 2020 and the future of the EU. They also talked about Japan-EU relations, notably in light of the Strategic Partnership Agreement which Motegi said was already showing results.

Reiner also met Defence Minister Taro Kono for talks on Croatia's military industry, and Finance Minister Taro Aso, with whom he talked about the Japanese-Croatian Friendship House in Tokamachi and the reconstruction of Nagasaki, linking it to the reconstruction of Croatian towns devastated in the Homeland War.

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

Thursday, 15 August 2019

Croatian and Japanese Ministers Hold Talks on Boosting Bilateral Ties

ZAGREB, August 15, 2019 - Croatian Foreign and European Affairs Minister Gordan Grlić Radman and Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono met in Zagreb on Wednesday evening for the talks on boosting bilateral relations, which also includes the improvement of the economic cooperation.

Taro Kono is the first Japanese foreign minister to visit Croatia after 24 years when his father Yohei Kono also visited Zagreb as the Japanese foreign minister. Grlić Radman' s predecessor Marija Pejčinović Burić paid an official visit to that Asian country this past March.

The main topic of today's meeting was the bilateral relations. We agreed that these relations are very good and friendly, marked by regular political dialogue and visits of senior officials of both countries, as well as by excellent parliamentary cooperation, the Croatian minister told the press after the talks.

We have discussed the possibilities for the further strengthening of economic cooperation, which will be definitely facilitated by the entry into force of the double taxation avoidance agreement between Croatia and Japan this September, Grlić Radman said.

The two countries are set to conclude an air traffic agreement, too.

Grlić Radman underscored that his country registered a surplus in the trade with Japan, and added that small and medium-sized businesses have good opportunities in plans to boost the economic cooperation with Japan. In this context he mentioned the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), signed by the European Union and Japan, which also provides good opportunities for that cooperation. The EPA came into force on 1 February this year and abolishes 97% of tariffs imported from the EU.

The data provided by the Croatian Chamber of Commerce show that in 2017 the trade between Croatia and Japan reached 85.8 million dollars, and Croatia's export amounted to 55 million dollars. Last year, the trade reached nearly 100 million dollars.

According to Grlić Radman, Croatia would like to diversify its exports to Japan, and in this context, he mentioned the possibilities for exports of wines, oil, neckties, video games and applications.

"We are particularly proud of our export of high-quality tuna meat, which makes up 80% of total Croatian exports to Japan," he added.

The minister said that Croatia "is committed to improving its business and investment climate", calling on Japanese businesses to invest in his country.

Currently, 24 Japanese companies do business in Croatia. One of them has acquired the Kali Tuna company at the price of $33 million, while Yazaki, a worldwide operating automotive supplier from Japan, has opened a research and development centre in Croatia.

The Japanese minister expressed hope that the bilateral economic cooperation would improve in other fields apart from the tuna export.

He said he was looking forward to a higher number of Japanese investors in the manufacturing sector, IT and in high-tech industries, and praised Croatia's human resources.

Croatia's network of ports and railways can make the country a gateway for Croatian companies towards east and central Europe, Kono said.

The two ministers expressed satisfaction with cooperation in the tourist trade.

Grlić Radman thanked his Japanese counterpart for Japan's strong support to Croatia's OECD membership bid.

He informed Kono of Croatia's preparation for taking over the rotating presidency of the European Union in the first half of 2020.

He reiterated that Croatia is committed to efforts aimed at enabling western Balkan counties to join the European Union and to the stability of that region.

Kono said that Japan strongly supported EU aspirations of Western Balkan countries and would like to help them in that regard.

Japan committedly supports social and economic reforms in Western Balkan countries and inter-regional cooperation through Initiative for Cooperation with the Western Balkans, the Japanese minister said.

In January 2018 during his visit to Belgrade, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe proposed that Initiative, underscoring the importance of that western Balkan region for the stability of Europe and the international community.

Kono said that Japan would be glad to offer assistance and to closely cooperate with Croatia in the promotion of the admission of western Balkan countries to the EU. Before arriving in Zagreb, Kono visited Bulgaria and Slovenia and the next two stops of his regional tour are Serbia and Italy.

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

Monday, 3 June 2019

Parliament Speaker Meets with Japanese Prime Minister

ZAGREB, June 3, 2019 - Croatian Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković began an official visit to Japan by meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, parliament said in a press release on Monday.

The two officials said political relations were very good and friendly, and welcomed the political dialogue established at all levels, notably parliamentary.

As for economic cooperation, they cited several good examples and underlined the joint wish to boost it further.

Jandroković and Abe singled out as positive examples of Japanese investment in Croatia the Kali Tuna and Yazaki companies. Jandroković invited Japanese investors to follow their example, saying they were welcome in Croatia.

Abe mentioned the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, where numerous Croatian athletes are expected, which will be an excellent opportunity to further promote Croatia and its tourism as well as contribute to more Japanese tourists visiting Croatia.

The two officials also talked about Croatia's EU presidency in 2020, concluding that it would provide a good framework for further Croatia-Japan and EU-Japan cooperation.

Jandroković invited Abe to visit Croatia.

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

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