Prime Minister Plenković and Business Delegation to Visit Ukraine Next Week

Total Croatia News

Croatian Prime Minister will be accompanied by about a hundred business representatives.

Next week, Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković will visit Ukraine, which will be his second foreign visit since taking over the government. He will be accompanied by a large business delegation, led by the president of the Croatian Chamber of Economy (HGK) Luka Burilović, which will participate in the Ukrainian-Croatian economic forum, reports on November 18, 2016.

The business delegation will include about a hundred businesspeople from sixty companies, including Zvijezda, Dalekovod, Stražaplastika, Podravka, Adriadiesel, and many others. The goal of the forum is to improve economic cooperation between the countries and increase trade.

“In the last two years, the Ukrainian GDP has been halved. In 2015, there was a decline of as much as 9.9 percent of GDP, while inflation climbed to 43.3 percent”, said Burilović. He added that in the forthcoming period he expected that a peaceful solution for the conflict in Ukraine would be found, as well as that financial assistance and investments will result in economic growth and stronger economic cooperation. He stressed that Ukraine is the 26th most populous country in the world with around 45 million inhabitants, which means it is a market ten times larger than Croatia.

The greatest opportunities for Croatian companies are seen in the food and processing industry, trade, pharmaceuticals, engineering and energy sector. Burilović expects that the implementation of the free trade agreement between the EU and Ukraine (DCFTA) will in the long-term have beneficial impact on an increase in trade between Croatia and Ukraine, but warned that it was important to normalize business conditions as soon as possible.

“At the moment, the priority is the implementation of the Minsk peace agreement. That is a prerequisite for business development and a proof to companies that their capital will be safe in this market”, he said and added that this was the biggest problem for Croatian companies operating in Ukraine.

“The situation is stabilizing and despite the difficulties we need to invest even greater efforts in improving cooperation, because Croatian company have much to offer to this market. I am convinced that our companies are ready to take advantage of improving business climate in Ukraine”, said Burilović.

In his opinion, the progress in this direction is already somewhat visible. Optimism is mostly based on the fact that in the first half of the year Croatia exported just two million dollars worth of goods less than in the whole of 2015, when it exported goods worth 13.49 million dollars. That same year, the imports reached 32.56 million dollars. In the first six months of this year, Croatia lowered its trade deficit with Ukraine by nearly 50 percent compared to 2015. It exported goods worth 11.03 million dollars, while it imported goods valued at 22.62 million dollars.


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