ZAGREB, March 13, 2019 – When asked by the press on Tuesday about Monday’s meetings in Budapest with individuals from the energy sector about which he had tweeted, U.S. Ambassador to Croatia Robert Kohorst confirmed that most of the talks focused on the LNG terminal.
“Interesting day of meetings in Budapest organized by the US Embassy, including conversations with a number of Hungarians with interests in the energy business. Also, nice to spend time with Marie Royce, ECA Assistant Secretary, and David Cornstein, US Ambassador to Hungary,” Kohorst tweeted on Monday.
The U.S. Ambassador said today in Zagreb he was very proud of the Croatian government for having the courage to adopt a decision about investing in the project, stressing that over the next ten years it will be clear to everyone that this is a very important decision regarding energy security for Croatia and the region.
Asked if Hungary was interested in investing, Kohorst answered in the positive, adding that this also depended on conditions, but that very constructive talks were underway.
Kohorst said that the LNG terminal would be a very valuable asset to Croatia, not only as an insurance instrument for energy diversification and security but also when it comes to getting favourable prices when buying energy.
In other related news, participants in a working lunch which was organised in Zagreb on Tuesday by the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) called on Croatia to actively seek investments directed to concrete industries and companies.
Addressing this Executive Lunch focused on “Comparative advantages of Croatia for attracting foreign direct investments in comparison with CEE countries”, Tomislav Čorak from the Boston Consulting Group said that foreign direct investments in Europe increased by 6% in the past five years. Investments in industrial production are being gradually being restored, he underscores.
Čorak says that the structure of investments in Croatia should be changed because the added value of investments in hotel infrastructure is lower than investing in some high technology activities.
Despite creating favourable conditions for investments, it is necessary to actively pursue investment, Čorak said and added that it is necessary to detect specific companies which Croatia would like to attract.
Economy Ministry State-Secretary Zdenko Lucić underscored that Croatia had adopted one of the best laws in Europe to encourage investments but that it is not promoted enough and that that requires additional effort.
US Ambassador to Croatia, Robert Kohorst, said that following Croatia’s success at the World Cup, Croatia is perceived positively but that will not create new jobs or bring investments and that it is necessary to actively seek investments to desired industries.
Kohorst underscored some positive aspect such as the country’s security and its position in the region and that it can develop its business in the entire area and that it had the advantage of being a member of the EU.
The Coca-Cola HBC Croatia General Manager, Ruža Tomić Fontana, says that Croatia has a good regulatory framework for investment attraction, however, she called for speeding up the implementation of investments.
More news about the LNG terminal can be found in the Business section.