President Grabar-Kitarović Attends Azerbaijani-Croatian Business Forum

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Source: Office of the President

President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović concludes her visit to Azerbaijan today.

At a business forum in Baku on Tuesday, Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev gave their strong support to businesspeople to cooperate in order to turn very good political relations between the two countries into equally good relations in the field of economy, reports Večernji List on October 25, 2016.

“We are good friends and partners, and we should seize this opportunity to expand business contacts. Our political relations are very good and we hope that the business sector will follow this good example”, said President Aliyev during the opening of the Azerbaijani-Croatian business forum.

The forum was organized by the Croatian Chamber of Commerce and AZPROMO, the Azerbaijani agency for export and investment promotion. It brought together about 60 Croatian businessmen from over 40 companies, and representatives of about a hundred Azerbaijani companies. “I hope that business relations will be similar to our excellent political relations”, said Aliyev. Another “very important symbolic step”, as the Croatian President called it, would be to turn the Interim Office of the Republic of Croatia in Azerbaijan into an embassy.

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The two presidents agreed that the economic cooperation between Croatia and Azerbaijan is based mainly on oil exports from Azerbaijan to Croatia and sales of “your great ships that we have been buying for years”, as President Aliyev said. Now is the time, they agreed, for the diversification of economic cooperation and the possibilities are numerous. Aliyev pointed out three key areas: trade, exports and imports, and investments. He also mentioned Azerbaijani interest in the pharmaceutical industry, ​​ICT industry and tourism. “Another area of ​​cooperation is infrastructure construction. We invite Croatian companies to be our partners because Azerbaijan is currently implementing a series of construction projects”, said Aliyev.

Speaking about energy policy, Aliyev primarily focused on the Southern Gas Corridor, which is “a project of energy security and diversification in which everyone wins. We need a European market for our gas and European customers need extra gas.”

Croatian President stressed that “Croatia is determined to continue focusing on the energy sector, ensuring energy independence not only for Croatia, but also for our neighbours”, in the context of the Southern Gas Corridor and the Three Seas Initiative (Adriatic-Baltic-Black Sea) – in which she hopes Azerbaijan would also cooperate – which would ultimately bring great benefits to several areas.

President Grabar-Kitarović told reports that she was “very pleased with the visit to Azerbaijan” and political talks with the President, Prime Minister and Speaker of Parliament, “who strongly support improvement in relations between Croatia and Azerbaijan”.


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