The President will be accompanied by a large number of Turkish businesspeople.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, accompanied by several ministers from the Turkish government and about 90 businesspeople, will visit Croatia on Tuesday and Wednesday. Erdogan will talk in Zagreb with President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović and Prime Minister Tihomir Orešković, reports Jutarnji List on April 22, 2016.
The interest for the arrival of the Turkish delegation is strong among Croatian companies because many of them, like Podravka, Končar, Agricultural Institute from Osijek and others, are already present in the Turkish market, while many more are interested in getting there. Croatia is becoming more and more interesting to Turkish investors as well, especially when it comes to tourism.
Rixos Group has bought Libertas in Dubrovnik, while Dogus Holding owns three marinas. Alvimedica has an interesting project in Dugopolje as a future European centre for the development of health tourism, while Uzel bought a luxurious hotel in Dubrovnik and has plans to open another hotel in Zagreb. There are also investments in the banking sector and in the construction of biomass power plants.
Croatia does not export a lot of goods to Turkey, which represents just one percent of its total exports. Therefore, it has a trade deficit in the amount of 126 million euros. Croatia mostly exports fertilizers and imports clothing and household goods.
The arrival of such a strong business team demonstrates that the Turks are very interested in investing in Croatia. To date, the total value of Turkish investments has reached 350 million euros, while Croatian investments in Turkey are virtually non-existent.
Croatia is geo-strategically very important for Turkish investors and it is estimated that its importance will grow further in the coming years, especially if the rapprochement between Turkey and the European Union continues. Croatia is seen by the Turks as a “gateway to Europe” for their economy, which is very strong and ambitious, and it is expected that the talks in Zagreb will demonstrate such approach. Also, Croatia hopes that the number of Turkish tourists will increase, especially after the introduction of daily flights between Istanbul and Dubrovnik.
Turkish President arrives at a delicate moment when it comes to the refugee crisis. There are currently two million Syrian refugees in Turkey. The European Union and Erdogan have agreed to stop a new wave of refugees from coming to Europe. Ankara in turn has received financial assistance worth three billion euros and a promise of faster progress towards the EU membership. Turkey is seen by many as the country which, together with Greece and lately Macedonia, plays a key role in solving the refugee crisis.