ZAGREB, February 2, 2018 – Thirty-five contracts worth over 280 million kuna were signed on Friday with 26 Croatian manufacturers of military equipment, and Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, who attended the signing ceremony, said that the contracts evidenced the synergy of activities by the Defence Ministry, the Armed Forces, the Croatian business sector and the country’s export-oriented defence industry.
“The fact that we sent a contingent to Afghanistan – more than 400 Croatian soldiers, fully equipped with Croatian-made equipment, are serving in missions around the globe – presents an opportunity to promote our defence industry. I believe that we are promoting Croatian exports that way,” Plenković told reporters after the signing ceremony.
He expressed satisfaction that last year all public procurement procedures in the defence sector were declassified, which, he said, showed that they were transparent and open. “I think that this is a good signal for activities that lie ahead this year,” he added.
Plenković went on to say that in the defence and security sector all main goals from the government’s programme for last year had been met – the defence budget was increased, a national security strategy and a law on homeland security were adopted, and working conditions and living standards of members of the Armed Forces were improved.
The PM said the government’s defence and security concept was evidenced also by the permanent engagement of the Armed Forces in removing the consequences of natural disasters that hit Croatia in 2017. He noted that the partnership with the business sector was in the interest of both the state and the private sector.
Defence Minister Damir Krstičević thanked the government for its support and for improving the situation in the defence system as well as for increasing this year’s defence budget by 445 million kuna as against 2017.
He said the increased funding would be used to improve the army’s capabilities and its members’ standard of living and working conditions.
In two months’ time new contracts worth 200 million kuna will be signed, Krstičević said, adding that this was proof that the Ministry helped in the development of the defence industry. He noted that contracts worth close to half a billion kuna would be signed in 2018.
Krstičević said the Croatian defence industry employed more than 5,000 people and that the new contracts would help in its development and promote it internationally.