The forum was organised by the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK) and the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, with HGK president Luka Burilović noting that “adaptability and resourcefulness are critical to the survival of business, notably in the current circumstances.”
The Croatian business delegation included representatives of Končar and Rimac Automobili, the IT companies Geld Data and Poslovna Inteligencija, as well as the Podravka and Paška Sirana food companies.
Trade between Croatia and the UAE has been growing in the past few years. In 2020 and 2019 Croatia’s exports to that country totalled US$ 70 million, and the trend continued in 2021 as well, with trade amounting to $63 million in the first eleven months of that year.
In previous years exports totalled half the amount of exports in the recent years, around $30 million.
Croatia mostly exports electrical transformers to the UAE, and they account for 40% of all exports to that country.
Burilović said that one of the current challenges, requiring adaptability and resourcefulness, was business sustainability.
“The most important thing that we have to change in that regard is the perception and vision of the future because only those companies that prepare on time and adapt to the challenges of the green transition will be competitive,” he said.
The Croatian business delegation also included businesses offering products in the area of sustainable development and renewables, with the HGK noting that Dubai Chamber vice-president Faisal Belhoul confirmed openness to cooperation and support in the UAE market.
The forum was also attended by Croatian PM Andrej Plenković, who said the event provided a unique opportunity for intercultural and business cooperation.
“Many Croatian companies contribute to and promote our cooperation, including Infobip, Podravka, Končar, Đuro Đaković, HS Produkt and others,” he said as carried by the HGK.
Dubai Expo 2020 is taking place from October 2021 to the end of March 2022. It has brought together states, multilateral organisations, companies and educational institutions, with 192 countries presenting their products. An estimated 25 million visitors are expected to attend, of whom 70% are international guests and 30% local.
Originally scheduled for 20 October 2020 to 10 April 2021, Dubai Expo 2020 was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite being postponed, organisers kept the name Expo 2020 for marketing and branding purposes.
The theme of the event is “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future”, with three subthemes: opportunity, mobility and sustainability.
The World Expo event is marking its 170th anniversary.