Tuesday, 12 April 2022

US Embassy Names its Media Production Studio After Film Producer Branko Lustig

ZAGREB, 12 April 2022 - The fight against distortion of facts about the Holocaust is more important than ever at the time when Russia is attacking Ukraine under the pretext of "denazification", Sara Lustig said on Tuesday at a ceremony marking the opening of a media production studio dedicated to her father, film producer Branko Lustig.

The ceremony took place at the US Embassy, which decided to name its new media production studio after Branko Lustig and dedicated a permanent exhibition to him.

Sara Lustig, a special adviser to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Holocaust issues, said that her father, who had been interned in concentration camps during the Second World War, had decided to build "an intimate monument" to the Holocaust victims through his films.

"His most important message throughout his life was forgive, but don't forget," she said.

Lustig said that the fight against distortion of facts about the Holocaust was more important than ever at the time of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, based on the false pretext of denazification. She warned against indifference towards this conflict and the Russian war crimes, stressing that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy shows what it means to be Jewish - to fight for a larger than life cause instead of spreading hatred, seek justice instead of revenge, be modest and show how to be a leader rather than just talk about it.

Ellen Germain, US Special Envoy for Holocaust Issues, stressed the need for staying vigilant against the abuse and distortion of the Holocaust for other ends, as shown by Russian President Vladimir Putin's false claims that Ukraine needs denazification.

Branko Lustig was born in Osijek in 1932 and died in Zagreb in 2019. As a boy, he was interned in the Auschwitz concentration camp and later in the Mittelbau-Dora and Bergen-Belsen camps.

He won US Academy Awards for the production of the films Schindler's List and Gladiator. All his life he was active in spreading the truth and promoting education about the Holocaust.

Monday, 4 April 2022

Croatia, U.S. Signing Global Entry Agreement

4 April 2022 - Croatia and the United States will sign an agreement today on Croatia's entry to the Global Entry programme which will allow some Croatian citizens privileged entry to the US, Under Secretary of Commerce Marisa Lago said on Monday.

As of October 2021, Croatian citizens can travel to the US without a visa for tourist and business trips lasting up to 90 days.

Speaking at a US-Croatia Forum in Zagreb, Lago announced another step in the removal of barriers to bilateral trade.

Global Entry, a programme of the US Department of Homeland Security, allows pre-approved expedited clearance upon arrival into the US. The US has signed such an agreement with only three European countries, Germany, UK and Switzerland, and Croatia will now be the fourth.

Speaking at the forum, Lago said the US and Croatia had been registering similar economic and political successes in bilateral relation for decades, citing Croatia's recent entry to the Visa Waiver Program and the completion of negotiations on a double taxation avoidance  agreement.

Speaking of the war in Ukraine, she said the horrible scenes were a reminder of the suffering Croatia went through during its 1991-95 Homeland War. The US stood by Croatia in those difficult times, she added.

Before the forum, she and the US president's special envoy for the Western Balkans, Gabriel Escobar, met with Prime Minister Andrej Plenković for talks on reducing energy dependence, stimulating investment, increasing trade, and the completion of negotiations on the double taxation avoidance agreement.

Plenković said the Russian invasion of Ukraine threatened international peace and security, and that in such circumstances it was necessary to strengthen the unity of the EU and the US as well as to continue to help Ukraine.

With Escobar, Plenković discussed the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the importance of its political parties reaching an agreement to change the election law, the government said in a press release.

Wednesday, 30 March 2022

US Embassy in Croatia Announces ''The U.S.-Croatia Forum'' on April 4th-5th

March 30, 2022 - To mark the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the US and Croatia, the US Embassy in Croatia has announced ''The U.S.-Croatia Forum'' on the 4th and 5th of April. It will include panel discussions on topics such as investment, security, technology, climate change, women's leadership, and more.

Today, the US Embassy in Croatia shared a statement on its official website and social media accounts to announce "The U.S.-Croatia Forum" to mark 30 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries. The statement read as follows:

The US Embassy in Croatia is pleased to announce the U.S.-Croatia Forum, organized on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of US-Croatian diplomatic ties, in cooperation with the University of Zagreb Faculty of Economics and Business, AmCham Croatia, and the Croatian Office for Creativity and Innovation. The two-day U.S.-Croatia Forum will take place at the Hilton Garden Inn in Zagreb, Radnička cesta 21, on April 4th and 5th, 2022.

The U.S.-Croatia partnership continues to deliver for both the American and Croatian people. Our bilateral relationship is built upon shared values, shared interests, and exceptional people-to-people ties. The U.S.-Croatia Forum will include panel sessions covering topics of shared interest, such as the U.S.-Croatia business and innovation ecosystem, U.S.-Croatia leadership in addressing climate change, critical infrastructure and investment, cybersecurity and IT, European energy diversity, and regional energy security, scientific and technological collaboration, women’s leadership, as well as defense and security ties. This unique program will bring together the U.S. and Croatian government officials, defense and security specialists, business leaders, innovation-space influencers, and rising startup stars to advocate U.S.-Croatia policy partnership and private sector engagement, facilitate dialogue, and strengthen U.S.-Croatia economic, security and people-to-people ties.


Snažniji Zajedno, a new digital platform launched by the US Embassy in Croatia. (Screenshot)

In connection with the 30th anniversary of U.S.-Croatia ties, the US Embassy in Croatia further launched SNAŽNIJI ZAJEDNO (''STRONGER TOGETHER''), a new digital platform sharing with Croatians various initiatives, projects, and partnership examples supported by the United States that have helped contribute to Croatia’s success and the strength of U.S.-Croatia ties. In addition to the collection of 30 projects featured on the website, Croatian citizens can share their own stories of the U.S.-Croatia partnership and the impact of past efforts continuing today in their local communities.

Learn more about the US-Croatia Forum HERE.

You can find and download the full program for the two-day event HERE.

For more news about Croatia, click here.

Wednesday, 30 June 2021

Time to Strengthen Trade And Investments Between USA and Croatia - Conference

ZAGREB, 30 June, 2021 - The imminent visa waiver for Croatian citizens and the advanced negotiations on double taxation avoidance, are a good basis to strengthen trade and investments between the USA and Croatia, it was said on Wednesday at a conference on  doing business in the U.S. market. 

The hybrid conference was organised by the Croatian Employers' Association (HUP) in cooperation with the US Embassy in Croatia and two consulting companies -- the Armatus Prudentia and Trans-Atlantic Market Development -- which are engaged in helping Croatian businesses to come out on the US market.

The US Embassy's charge d'affaires, Mark Fleming, said that the US continued to be the best place for doing business in the world. With a market of 325 million consumers it is the most attractive and strongest consumer market in the world and it can help companies to build global success.

Fleming underscored Croatia's progress towards the aim of having the U.S. visa waiver program being applied on its citizens as well as the advanced negotiations on concluding a double taxation avoidance agreement.

It's time to strengthen bilateral trade and investments, the diplomat said and added that he expects more Croatian companies to explore the possibilities of doing business on the American market in the years to come.

He said that some Croatian companies were already doing business on the US market such as Infobip, Five, Infinum, HS Produkt, Šestan Busch, Dok-Ing and others.

HUP president Mihael Furjan thanked former US ambassador Robert Kohorst because huge steps were achieved during his ambassadorial term and as a result a double taxation avoidance deal should be signed soon.

Croatia mostly exports medicine and handguns to USA

Furjan said that Croatia's exports to the US were relatively low, and mostly involved medicine and handguns, however, there were at least 50 IT companies doing serious business in the USA.

"If you wish to come out on the global market to develop business then the most important step is entering the US market...if you succeed there you will succeed anywhere," said Furjan, underscoring the importance of competitiveness, cost efficiency and good ideas aimed at attracting consumers.

There are huge American investments in Croatia which are not that evident because many are coming via the Netherlands due to efforts to avoid double taxation, he said.

Businessman: easier to do business in USA than most European countries

Emir Avdić of the Trans-Atlantic Market Development company confirmed that the most popular pistol in the US is the one produced by HS Produkt in Croatia.

Avdić claimed that it is easier to do business in the US than most European countries. The US is known for its minimal red tape and it is quite easy and cheap to launch a business there, he added.

He cited low import tariffs compared with other markets, access to global supply chains which could facilitate accessing other markets like Canada and Mexico as advantages..

Mauro Lukić from the Croatian, Armatus Prudentia consulting firm said that the conference has motivated Croatian businesses to internationalise their business.

The wish is to strengthen economic relations with the USA, said Lukić, expressing hope that this will add a new rhythm and impact a gradual growth of Croatia's economy.

 For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Tuesday, 30 March 2021

US Embassy Donates GeneXpert Machine to Zagreb's Infectious Diseases Hospital

ZAGREB, 30 March, 2021 - The US Embassy in Croatia has donated a medical device to the Fran Mihaljević Hospital for Infectious Diseases in Zagreb that can detect the coronavirus in less than 45 minutes, the hospital's director Alemka Markotić said on Tuesday.

Four samples can be placed in the GeneXpert machine at the same time. However, it is not used for mass testing, but is useful in quickly dealing with certain situations, Markotić said.

US Embassy official Victoria Taylor said that this is not about just a piece of equipment, but also about the partnership between Croatia and the United States.

We are happy that our small contribution can help the Fran Mihaljević Hospital and the healthcare system in time of need, Taylor said, commending all Croatian health workers for their tireless work during the pandemic.

Markotić said that most of the patients in the hospital's COVID ward were between 50 and 65 years old and had underlying conditions. She noted that the hospital was nearly filled to capacity.

Markotić said that for now there was no substantial number of young people infected with the British variant of the coronavirus in the hospital, but noted that this variant was proved to be spreading faster among young people because of "their greater nonchalance, mobility and socialising."

She warned that the number of new cases was growing and called on the citizens to avoid "risky situations".

Markotić expressed hope that patients would not be left without medicines, after wholesale drug suppliers warned last week that they might restrict drug deliveries because of HRK 6.5 billion debt owed by the hospitals.

Drug wholesaler Medika said today it had suspended drug deliveries to the hospitals.

Markotić said that her hospital had sufficient drug supplies for now. "We hope that we will not find ourselves in a situation where we, or rather our patients, will be left without medicines."

Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said earlier that Finance Minister Zdravko Marić and Health Minister Vili Beroš would meet with drug wholesalers to discuss the debt and that they would be paid a certain amount of money in the coming days.

For more about health in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.


Tuesday, 16 March 2021

$480,000 Invested in Upgrade of Rijeka's Offshore Emergency Response Centre

ZAGREB, 16 March, 2021 - The refurbished building housing Rijeka's Maritime Crisis Centre for Faster Response to Any Disaster off Croatia’s Coastline was officially opened on Tuesday.

The investment into the upgrade of this offshore emergency response centre in the biggest Croatian seaport totalled US$ 480,000, and the lion's share of the investment was provided by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

During the ceremony, the state secretary of the Croatian Sea, Transport and Infrastructure ministry, Josip Bilaver, thanked the U.S. administration and military as well as the US Embassy in Zagreb for this donation in the amount of HRK 3.2 million.

The ministry has invested a million kuna, while the local county authorities provided 100,000 kuna for the project.

"The U.S.-Croatia partnership at sea is essential to the two countries’ NATO military cooperation and shared security. That is why the United States, through the U.S. Military’s European Command (EUCOM), provided assistance to the Croatian Ministry of Sea, Transportation and Infrastructure and the Rijeka Harbor Master’s office to advance training and emergency-response capabilities at sea," the embassy said on its website.

The U.S. Chargé d’Affaires Victoria Taylor, who today joined State Secretary Bilaver for the ribbon-cutting ceremony, expressed satisfaction with the completion of this project.

Over the last decade, the USA has set aside HRK 4.5 billion to support numerous civilian and military projects in Croatia, she said.

The Rijeka centre is described as a a renewed facility that will become "the central point for planning, training, and management in response to emergencies at sea, from supporting persons and vessels in need to addressing maritime accidents and oil pollution."

"The upgraded center will therefore play a critical role in maintaining the safety and environmental stewardship of Croatian coastal waters, ensuring quick action in response to a potential environmental disaster. Protection of the environment is a key priority for both Croatia and the United States, and joint capacity to mitigate against incidents and accidents at sea can make all the difference in a crisis."

The embassy recalls that "Rijeka is already a hub for U.S.-Croatia cooperation, with the port city benefiting economically from nearly 900 million kuna in contracted services by the U.S. Navy for ship maintenance and support since 2011."

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Sunday, 9 August 2020

US Embassy: Level 3 Travel Health Notice Issued for Travel to Croatia

August the 9th, 2020 - The US Embassy in Croatia has stated that the advise now being given to American tourists is to ''reconsider travel to Croatia'' amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

As the US Embassy in Croatia has stated, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a Level 3 Travel Health Notice to American citizens hoping to travel to the Republic of Croatia.

There have been numerous items added to the ''checklist'' for travel for US citizens for Croatia, which can be read by clicking the above link and by following the links provided within the US Embassy's webpage. A country information page is also available.

For more on travel to, from and within Croatia during the coronavirus era, follow our dedicated travel page.

For the latest travel info, bookmark our main travel info article, which is updated daily

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Wednesday, 29 July 2020

U.S. Embassy Hosts Facebook Live on Voting Procedures for American Citizens in Croatia

July 29, 2020 - The U.S. Embassy in Croatia will host a Facebook Live session for U.S. citizens living in Croatia on Thursday, July 30, at 14:00 to facilitate participation in the November 2020 U.S. General Election. 

The virtual event will focus on the process for registering to vote, requesting an absentee ballot, and submitting the completed ballot.  This is a non-partisan event aimed at U.S. citizens living in Croatia who wants to exercise their right to vote. 

For more information from the U.S. Embassy in Croatia, visit their official website here.