Tuesday, 5 April 2022

Croatia Fourth European Country to Enter US Global Entry Program

ZAGREB, 5 April 2022 - Croatia and the United States on Monday signed an agreement on Croatia's entry into the Global Entry program, which will grant some Croatian nationals privileged entry into the US.

Croatia has become the fourth European country to enter this program. Minister of the Interior Davor Božinović said: "This is an expedited procedure that America grants only to those countries and systems with which it has achieved this level of trust."

Global Entry is a program of the US Department of Homeland Security that allows expedited clearance for pre-approved travellers upon arrival in the United States. Such travellers will not have to wait in a line to get through border control, said Gabriel Escobar, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs and Special Envoy to the Western Balkans.

He said this agreement with Croatia signals the level of trust the US has in its Croatian partners, and the level of their strategic relationship and friendship.

Washington has signed this agreement with only three other European countries - Germany, the United Kingdom and Switzerland.

As of October last year, Croatian nationals no longer need a visa for trips to the United States of up to 90 days.

"This is a firm pledge for our future cooperation. There are a lot of challenge before us - the war in Ukraine and everything that contemporary threats bring. That's why we have services working together on a daily basis, exchanging information and fighting together in a world full of challenges to preserve what is the most valuable to us, and that is our way of life," Božinović said, adding that this was the 12th agreement signed with the US in the last five years.

In addition to the Global Entry agreement, Božinović and Escobar also signed the Partnership for Education agreement, which aims to increase the capabilities of the police in Croatia and the Western Balkans in combating transnational crime and terrorism.

We are looking forward to greater cooperation in discovering, countering and deterring transnational organised crime and terrorist actors in the Western Balkans, Escobar said.

The Croatian-US forum marking the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries ends on Tuesday.

Saturday, 5 March 2022

US Blocks Company of Russian Oligarch's Daughter, Who Owns Villa on Lošinj

March 5, 2022 - The USA has imposed sanctions against the Russian oligarch Nikolai Petrovich Tokarev, so the company Katina, which is part of the business empire of Tokarev's daughter Maja Nikolaevna and owns a villa on Lošinj, has been blocked.

Among the assets of Russian oligarchs that have been seized or blocked around the world in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the United States has also imposed sanctions against a Russian oligarch whose family owns a villa on Lošinj, reports Novi List.

The US Treasury Department (OFAC) and the US State Department said in a statement that they had stepped up pressure on Russia by sanctioning many Russian rich people and their families, identifying certain assets as blocked. They say the sanctioned elites continue to provide direct and indirect support to the Government of the Russian Federation through their business empires, wealth, and other resources. As part of the operation, the assets of three Russian oligarchs, two of their spouses, three of their adult children, and six of their companies were blocked, as well as one of Russia's largest private jets and one of the world's largest superyachts.

These actions, according to the US Treasury Department, were taken in close coordination with the European Union, the United Kingdom, Canada, Japan, South Korea, and Australia. The targets are Russian oligarchs Alisher Burhanovich Usmanov, one of the richest people in Russia, who, among other things, owns the Dilbar megayacht worth about $600 million and recently seized in Germany, followed by Yevgeniy Prigozhin and Nikolay Petrovich Tokarev.

According to the US Treasury Department, Tokarev is a longtime Putin aide and president of one of Russia's most important companies, Transneft, a state-owned oil pipeline company responsible for transporting 90 percent of Russia's oil. As president of Transneft, Tokarev and his family became rich, amassing a business and real estate empire that stretches across Russia and Europe.

''Members of Tokarev's family, including his wife Galina Alekseevna Tokareva and daughter Maiya Nikolaevna Tokareva, benefited from his proximity to Putin. Maiya Tokareva's real estate empire is estimated at more than $50 million in Moscow, Russia alone, and includes at least three companies, the Moscow limited liability company Ostozhenka 19 and the Croatian companies Katina doo and TGA doo Katina owns top-class real estate by the sea, which includes a villa built by Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph I'', could be read from the statement.

The company Katina, namely, is the owner of Villa Karolina in the bay Čikat on Lošinj. Villa Karolina, an imposing building in one of the most beautiful bays on the Adriatic, was sold by the company Jadranka dd to an Italian entrepreneur in 2003, and in 2009 it was resold to an unnamed Russian oilman for 12 million euros.

Karolina was the second villa built on Čikat, and local sources state that the villa on Lošinj is really associated with stories about love meetings between the Austro-Hungarian Emperor Francis Joseph and the actress of the Vienna Burgtheater Katarina von Schratt. 

For more on the Ukraine crisis and Croatia, as well as breaking news, follow our news section.

Thursday, 27 January 2022

United States Welcomes Croatia's Bradleys Purchase

ZAGREB, 27 Jan 2022 - The United States on Thursday welcomed the deal reached with Croatia on the purchase of Bradley infantry fighting vehicles, the embassy said in a press release.

"The United States welcomes the Government of Croatia’s decision to acquire Bradley Fighting Vehicles. The United States is pleased to provide our close Ally and partner Croatia with these vehicles, which will be refurbished and equipped with the support of U.S. funding. Croatia’s Bradley program is a joint investment in our shared security," the press release said.

"Croatia has earned a reputation as a committed and capable NATO Ally. This acquisition will enhance Croatia’s security and NATO’s collective defense while deepening the already strong U.S.-Croatia defense partnership. Croatia’s Bradley program will further benefit the Croatian defense industry. We deeply appreciate the Croatian Government’s close cooperation in this project," the embassy added.

"The U.S.-Croatia relationship is based both on shared interests and shared values. We look forward to strengthening the U.S.-Croatia partnership even more in the years to come."

Tuesday, 27 April 2021

First European Trip for US Travel Agents Takes Place in Croatia!

April 27, 2021 - After more than a year of uncertainty and restrictions for American tourists, the first European Trip for US Travel Agents is taking place in Croatia.

As the Croatian National Tourist Board reports, the first organized trip of travel agents from America to Europe since the outbreak of the global coronavirus pandemic is taking place in Croatia. Eight American travel agents are participating in the travel program, whose agencies are closely specialized in travel in the luxury tourism segment, and which will visit Croatian destinations such as Zagreb, Plitvice Lakes, Zadar, Trogir, Split, Hvar, Peljesac, and Dubrovnik until April 30. The trip was organized by the RealCroatia agency and the Representation of the Croatian Tourist Board in the USA.

"The fact that the first European trip of American travel agents was organized in Croatia shows how Americans eagerly await new trips to our country and confirms the position of our country as a sought-after, safe, and well-prepared destination. This was helped by the fact that last year we were one of the few destinations that were open to American guests, and we expect even better trends this year in which we are connected to the American market by a direct airline on the route New York - Dubrovnik. I am sure that this study trip will further contribute to the recognition of our country in the US market, our most important distant market", said CNTB Director Kristjan Stanicic, adding that luxury tourism is one of the most sought after products during the pandemic.


Credit: Croatian National Tourist Board

As part of their first European trip during the pandemic, travel agents from the US will focus, in addition to luxury tourism, on tourism products such as national parks and nature parks, cultural and historical heritage and gastronomy, and products that are in high demand in the US market and which they will be able to find in the Croatian cities and parks they will visit this week. The agents will also be introduced to all health and safety protocols implemented in Croatia, with special emphasis on the Safe Stay in Croatia campaign.

"This visit will work synergistically with the CNTB's efforts to extend the tourist season to 365 days a year, and it is the American market that can help us achieve this goal because it is about rich and demanding tourists who are not as seasonal as in Europe," said the director of the CNTB Representation in the USA Ina Rodin, emphasizing that the agents are also members of the prestigious Virtuoso, a network of the best American luxury travel agencies with more than 20,000 advisors worldwide and more than 1,800 partners, including top hotels, resorts, tour operators, airlines and agencies.

"The United States is a key tourism market with enormous economic strength. I believe that together we will use this crisis as a catalyst to break into a higher tourist segment", said the director of the RealCroatia agency Petra Gracin.

Let us add that the agents, accompanied by Ina Rodin, are staying in Split today, and then they are heading to Hvar and Pelješac to end their visit to Croatia on April 30 in Dubrovnik.

Follow the latest on flights to Croatia HERE and the latest travel updates and COVID-19 news from Croatia HERE.

For more on travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Saturday, 18 May 2019

Croatia Searching for Fighter Jets Again, Negotiations with USA and Sweden

The recent fighter jet story was a bit of a flop (yes, that's an understatement) for Croatia, but it seems that not all is lost, despite the entire situation having been made the butt of numerous jokes ever since.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 18th of May, 2019, a delegation from Sweden was led by an individual from FMV, a state-run company that deals with arms export operations.

Throughout 2019, the Croatian Government will try its hand at yet another attempt to procure some fighter jets. It appears, despite the total and utter failure to reach a deal with Israel and Croatia's previously desired acquisition of some F16's, that the government just isn't giving up on its plans.

As Vecernji list reports, after the Croatian Military Delegation returned from the United States over a month ago from the initial round of talks about the aircraft, the same type of initial meeting was held on the 8th of May, but with the Swedes, in which Croatia's "interest" was activated once again, this time for the purchase of the JAS-39 Gripen.

The delegation to the United States was headed by General Mirko Šundov, while Robert Hranj was placed in charge of the talks on the specific topic of the aircraft. All that was found out after that was that from the American side, no offers on the aircraft had been made.

As for the Swedes, they showed somewhat greater ambition. As Croatia's delegation had returned from the United States visibly disappointed, and they'd even heard that the Americans were astonished when they realised that Croatia still had a firm intention to acquire those jets, MORH set up a similar meeting, but this time with the Swedes.

As stated, the delegation from Sweden was led by an individual from FMV, which is a state-run company that runs and deals with arms export operations. In addition, there was also a representative of SAAB, the manufacturer of the JAS-39 Gripen aircraft. The Croatian delegation consisting of ten persons was headed by Hranj.

Make sure to follow our dedicated politics page for much more.

Thursday, 25 April 2019

All is Set for Cooperation Between the USA and... Međimurje County!

''For the start of cooperation between Croatia and the USA, Međimurje County is perhaps the best place for some new opportunities,'' stated US Ambassador HE. W. Robert Kohorst on Wednesday in the continental Croatian town of Čakovec.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 25th of April, 2019, the visit began with a working meeting in Međimurje County, Božena Malekoci-Oletić said for Međimurske Novine. The US Ambassador visited the Međimurje Polytechnic where he attended the marking of the eleventh anniversary of the Polytechnic, the Technological Innovation Centre, and he also met some of Međimurje's young basketball players.

American Ambassador Robert Kohorst, together with the Prefect of Međimurje County, Matija Posavac, addressed the present representatives of the media.

The American Ambassador said that the US Embassy is working on a program to connect different American companies to the companies here in Croatia. Over the next six months, certain measures and suggestions on how to achieve it will be implemented. The most important thing is to feel welcome in an environment where it's easy to do business without too much bureaucracy.

He expressed his satisfaction with Međimurje's attitude that every problem can be solved. He stressed that this is the most important thing that can be done to attract investors. What is equally important for potential investors is a well-educated and cooperative workforce who are ready to engage in work. In such an environment, companies are more than happy to do business.

"I like the way you work and prepare for investments and for the companies coming from the United States, and we'll try to present this story to the American companies,'' Kohorst stated.

Međimurske Novine asked Kohorst what the special reason for his arrival to the smallest Croatian county was all about.

"I heard it was the most beautiful county, and mayors have told me that the towns here were the most beautiful,'' Ambassador Robert Kohorst diplomatically. But afterwards, he added that he was not a career diplomat, but that he's there for business reasons and putting business cooperation at the forefront is his aim. He added that cooperation between the US and Međimurje County was a great start for new opportunities.

Make sure to follow our dedicated business page for much more.

Friday, 12 April 2019

Dubrovnik-Neretva County Promo Film Wins Award in New York

Dubrovnik is no stranger to winning awards and you're probably used to reading about it, but this area in the extreme south of Dalmatia continues to fascinate the world for an abundance of reasons. From its stunning natural beauty and crystal clear sea, to its rich history and equally impressive culture, the Pearl of the Adriatic and its immediate surrounding area just keep on making the world's jaws drop.

This time however, it isn't just the famous Dalmatian UNESCO protected old city and its mighty walls which are taking home yet another award for a promotional film made about its unique beauty, but the wider area of Dubrovnik-Neretva County. This truly picturesque part of southern Croatia boasts an almost equal amount of natural beauty and history, and from Ston to Konavle next to the Montenegrin border, you'll likely have your breath taken away multiple times.

As Morski writes on the 11th of April, 2019, the brand new promotional film from the Dubrovnik-Neretva County Tourist Board, ''Dubrovnik Riviera'' continues to win awards and receive recognition from all sides. To be more precise, at the 2019 New York Festivals® International Film and TV awards festival, which was held in Las Vegas, Nevada, the promo film showcasing Dubrovnik-Neretva County's sheer beauty came third place and won the bronze plaquette.

To briefly recall, at the recent ''The Golden City Gate'' ceremony in Berlin, Germany, at the biggest international ITB World Tourism Fair, the promotional film came second place in the category of regional films, the film has been made by Balduci Film from Zagreb, was directed by Herve Tirmarche and produced by Spomenka Saraga. The film depicts the beauty of Dubrovnik-Neretva County from the Neretva valley, to the islands of Korčula and Mljet, and then Croatia's southernmost municipality of Konavle, which borders Montenegro.

Make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle and travel pages for much more. If it's just Dubrovnik and southern Dalmatia you're interested in, have a look at Dubrovnik in a Page for everything you need to know about the Rearl of the Adriatic.

Wednesday, 10 April 2019

Zagreb and Ljubljana Stock Exchanges Presented in New York

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 9th of April, 2019, more than sixty meetings with investors were held by five Croatian and three Slovenian issuers as the Zagreb and Ljubljana stock exchanges presented their markets and issuers in New York on Monday, at the second largest international stock market - Nasdaqu, in cooperation with the Auerbach Grayson investment company and with a very good response from American investors, as the Zagreb Stock Exchange announced on Tuesday.

Although the Zagreb and Ljubljana stock exchanges have repeatedly presented their markets and issuers at local and regional investment conferences and on other similar occasions, this was the first time that such an event was organised outside of Europe, the statement said.

With the management bodies of both the Zagreb and the Ljubljana stock exchanges, investors were introduced to the Croatian companies AD Plastik, Arena Hospitality Group, Atlantic Group, Podravka and Valamar Riviera, as well as the Slovenian companies Krka, Petrol and Triglav Group. The Croatian investment association, Intercapital, presented the Croatian and Slovenian market and its potential, and, as previously mentioned, the companies held more than sixty individual meetings with US investors.

"For the first time in the history of the Zagreb Stock Exchange, we're organising the presentation of our most prominent issuers who have voluntarily accepted the highest standards of corporate governance and reporting to US investors.

We are very pleased with the level of interest and we hope that acquainting US investors with our companies and the potential of our regional market will result in their interest in investing in Croatian and Slovenian companies,'' said the director of the Zagreb Stock Exchange, Ivan Gažić, the president of AD Plastik, Marinko Došen, added that he hopes that the New York presentation will help attract new investors to Croatia.

"We support all the activities of the [Zagreb] exchange, which will enable us to revive the Croatian capital market with joint forces, we're pleased with the level of interest of American investors in AD Plastik, and I believe that the potential of our shares and business will be recognised on that market as well,'' Došen stated.

Make sure to follow our dedicated business page for much more.

Friday, 22 February 2019

Zagreb Company Q Software Opens Office in Manhattan, New York

Excellent news for one Zagreb company as its success leads to the opening up of yet another office abroad, this time across the Atlantic in no less than the Big Apple - New York, USA.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 21st of February, 2019, the key person and the manager of the Zagreb company's brand new American office is Mick de Meijer, a former executive director of several marketing agencies and a person with very strong experience in two key areas - project management and business development.

Zagreb's Q IT software company, which is one of the fastest growing IT companies in Europe according to Deloitte, has been operating at a new location since the beginning of this year. Their sixth global office was opened in New York, the digital hub of the eastern coast of the United States. The office is located in the very centre of New York, more precisely in Manhattan, and in addition to this location, this Croatian company still continues to operate from Zurich, Oslo, Belfast, Los Angeles, and of course from Zagreb, where the company's headquarters are located.

In his twelve years of hard work in the field, Mick de Meijer has successfully consulted more than 100 companies and worked directly with a variety of enormous and highly respected brands such as Victoria's Secret, Trojan, and Heinz.

So far, this Zagreb company has successfully helped a number of American companies with their technology development, of which, companies such as the United States Postal Services, Facebook, Walmart and Coca-Cola should definitely be mentioned. They have worked in different manners for these gigantic American companies, ranging from genialising their employment process to dealing with the system that employees use in their daily work.

Make sure to stay up to date with our dedicated business and Made in Croatia pages for much more on Croatian companies, products and services, as well as information on doing business and the overall investment climate in Croatia. If it's just the capital you're interested in, give Total Zagreb a follow.