In addition to LNG terminal on Krk, there are several other major projects US companies could support.
Construction of an LNG terminal on the island of Krk represents an excellent opportunity for Croatia to become an energy leader in the region, and there is interest of American companies to participate in this and similar projects, said US Ambassador to Croatia Julieta Valls Noyes, reports Večernji List on December 15, 2016.
“With the help of commercial investors and European funds, and the ideal geographical location of the island of Krk, you can quickly start building a floating LNG terminal and thus produce energy and provide energy security both for Croatia and the region as a whole. We believe that the LNG project brings low costs and risks and represents a business opportunity for Croatia to demonstrate regional leadership and support the energy objectives of the Southeast Europe”, said the Ambassador at a business lunch organized by the American Chamber of Commerce.
She added that there was an essential interest of American companies to participate in major development projects in Croatia which, in addition to the LNG terminal, include the construction of the Pelješac Bridge, reconstruction of power plants, exploration and exploitation of gas, and other projects.
Valls Noyes also spoke about the situation in the Croatian economy, saying that, after a prolonged recession, the economy was on the right track to recovery. She warned about high unemployment rate among young people, the need to strengthen entrepreneurship and innovation, the importance of fostering a culture of creativity and risk-taking, and excessive role of the public sector in the economy.
“By becoming a member of the European Union and NATO, Croatia has fulfilled two large and crucial tasks for ensuring the stability, security and prosperity, and the process of accession to these organizations has led to important reforms. In order to further increase benefits from membership, Croatian government must continue to improve investment climate and the rule of law”, she added.
The Ambassador welcomed the tax reform as a “welcome step in the liberation of the business environment”, especially for small businesses, as well as for stimulating consumption. She noted that more needs to be done in eliminating numerous bureaucratic and regulatory barriers to business, saying that she was glad to see that this was one of the priorities for Economy Minister Martina Dalić.
Valls Noyes pointed out that recent informal survey found that at least 115 companies in Croatia were owned by US investors or were owned by Americans through their European subsidiaries. These companies employ a total of about 7,500 people, their total capital is approximately 820 million dollars, and annual income about 1.5 billion dollars.
“As for new investments, IBM has announced plans for this year to build an innovation centre in Zagreb, which is a good indicator of increased interest of American companies for Croatia”, concluded Ambassador Valls Noyes.