President Begins Visit to Chile

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, March 16, 2018 – Croatian president Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović began her official visit to Chile by attending a business forum in Santiago de Chile on Thursday, accompanied by executives of 15 Croatian companies looking for new business opportunities.

Addressing those gathered, Grabar-Kitarović expressed a strong desire to create closer ties between Croatia and Chile. “We want to support the mutually beneficial interests of the two countries, their stable development and the aspirations of our respective peoples for a better life and prosperity.”

She underscored the good and friendly relations between Croatia and Chile and deeply rooted connections forged by several generations of Croats who had found their homeland in Chile.

Speaking of future partnerships between Croatian and Chilean enterprises, Grabar-Kitarović cited various industries, tourism, commerce and maritime activities as potential areas of cooperation.

“The defence industry is one of the interesting areas in which Croatia, with its know-how and technologies, can offer unique opportunities for cooperation. Companies from this sector of the Croatian economy are known globally and their excellence and quality puts them at the very top of the European defence industry,” Grabar-Kitarović said.

The president also mentioned shipbuilding as a potential area of cooperation, saying that it was one of Croatia’s most successful export industries. Speaking of trade, she said that Croatia was interested in exporting industrial products, such as transformers, generators and machines, and pharmaceutical and food products. She mentioned the seaports of Rijeka and Ploče and modern infrastructure for the marketing of Chilean products in Croatia and in Central and Southeast Europe.

Citing information technology as another area of cooperation, Grabar-Kitarović said that in the last decade Croatian IT companies had expanded outside Europe and established a presence in global markets.

She called on Chilean entrepreneurs to take into account the potential of tourism as an interesting area of cooperation, welcoming investments by the Lukšić Group, the largest Chilean investor in Croatia. She said this group was very active, enjoyed an excellent reputation in Croatia and had the full support of the Croatian authorities.

The president said she particularly appreciated the fact that the Lukšić Group had begun investing in the Croatian economy during the 1991-1995 Homeland War, thus providing support to Croatia in the most difficult of times.

“The fact that Croatia and Chile are connected by Chilean entrepreneurs of Croatian origin, who are making a significant contribution to the Chilean economy, is encouraging for the progress of our economic cooperation,” Grabar-Kitarović said, noting that the Croatian economy was growing steadily. She invited Chilean entrepreneurs to explore business and investment opportunities in Croatia.

The Croatian president continues her visit on Friday by meeting with the newly-elected President Sebastian Pinera, only five days after he took office. She is due to visit Santiago, Punta Arenas and Antofagasta, the cities with the largest Croatian communities in the country. An estimated 250,000 Chileans have Croatian origins, which makes Chile one of the countries with the largest Croatian communities.


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