Croatia and Ukraine Expanding Business Cooperation

Total Croatia News

Croatian-Ukrainian economic forum will help Croatian companies enter the market of 45 million consumers.

Honorary Consul of Ukraine in Croatia and head of the Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina Ivica Pirić will organize by the end of the year the Croatian-Ukrainian business forum in Kiev, which he expects will be opened by Croatian and Ukrainian prime ministers, reports Lider on November 1, 2016.

Forum will mainly be devoted to food processing and production, as well as to the opportunities to increase trade with this huge market. Pirić expects that about 25 to 30 leading Croatian companies from these sectors will participate in the forum. The forum will also be an opportunity for Croatian companies to present their products. Pirić notes that there are almost no Croatian products sold in Ukraine, with the exception of Podravka.

“Since I have already held discussions with the largest retail chains in Ukraine which offer more exclusive food products, I can say that there is a huge interest in Croatian products, primarily in ham, cheese, bacon, sausages, olive oil, wine, various alcoholic beverages, and also canned fish, olives, various fish products, lamb and so on. Ukrainians have very similar diets to us, and I think we have a tremendous opportunity to be competitive at that market”, says Pirić.

The forum will gather representatives from the government and the business sector, and Croatian companies will be able to meet with the largest distributors and retailers. “Our current exchange is worth approximately 50 million dollars a year, which is very little considering the potential. For example, our neighbour, Serbia, has about 300 million dollar trade exchange with Ukraine”, says Pirić, a former footballer who spent a large part of his career at Arsenal from Kiev.

Ukraine is strong in the production of sunflower oil, fertilizers, metals, coal, and Pirić therefore believes that Croatian companies may also be interested in buying goods from the market. “I believe that the forum will result in first large contracts for our exporters, but also potentially in other forms of cooperation.”

Until Croatia entered the European Union, every week several charters from Ukraine arrived to Croatian coast. The number of tourists from Ukraine could again increase, especially now since visa requirement should soon be abolished by the European Union.

Pirić claims there is great interest in investments from Ukraine, but many companies and businessmen unfortunately do not have very good experience with Croatia, due to many barriers, especially bureaucratic ones. “I am sure that the entry of our companies and products to the Ukrainian market can be a good springboard for opening the door for Croatian products in other countries which are close to Ukraine”, concludes Pirić.


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