Switzerland, Croatia to Promote Cooperation Even More

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, November 29, 2019 – Switzerland is very much interested in further advancing its relations with Croatia, notably in the economic sector, and great cooperation possibilities are opening up in the area of new technologies and tourism, Swiss President Ueli Maurer said in Zagreb on Friday.

There are 30,000 Croats in Switzerland, many Croats have dual citizenship and we can say that Croatia has become a nice face in our everyday life, as embodied by your president, Maurer told reporters after meeting with Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović.

Maurer is on an official reciprocal visit to Croatia, six months after Grabar-Kitarović visited Switzerland.

The fact that we have met twice in less than six months proves that relations between Croatia and Switzerland are really excellent, both at the official and at the personal level, said Maurer.

Maurer expressed support for Croatia’s accession to the Schengen area, assessing that Croatia is meeting its obligations very well.

He said that his country would strongly greet Croatia’s accession to the area of passport-free travel as Croatia had an important strategic position in Europe.

Maurer also expressed satisfaction with cooperation with Croatia in international bodies where the two countries support one another without any reservations.

As regards bilateral relations, Switzerland is very much interested in further advancing the existing good relations, notably in the field of economy. Croatia is a very interesting country for investors from Switzerland, he said, stressing that there were great possibilities in the area of new technologies, such as the blockchain technology.

He noted that there were over 1,000 startups in Switzerland.

Croatia is a stable country that has a highly trained workforce, it belongs to the same cultural circle as Switzerland and in that sense it could serve as a springboard for exports by Swiss companies that would start operating in Croatia and export their products to other countries, Maurer said, stressing that his country was also interested in cooperation in tourism.

You are a friendly nation, you have a beautiful country and we will give you technical support and agree on further points in tourist trade and cooperation, he said.

Speaking of Croatia’s EU presidency in the first half of 2020, he said that Switzerland, a non-EU member, wanted to strengthen its cooperation with the EU and expected Croatia’s support in that regard.

President Grabar-Kitarović said that Switzerland ranked 12th in terms of investment in Croatia.

Bilateral trade in 2018 was 352 million euro, and Croatian exports to Switzerland have increased this year as well. In the first eight months, they increased by more than 15% to close to 140 million euro, while imports from Switzerland totalled 103 million euro, she said.

Swiss investors have so far invested in the pharmaceutical, mechanical and electronic industries, as well as in the insurance sector, and cooperation in the food industry has been growing as well, it was said.

The two countries also cooperate well in the field of research and technology.

Grabar-Kitarović informed her Swiss counterpart about the priorities of Croatia’s EU presidency. “We will advocate a balanced and sustainable economic growth, dealing with burning demographic challenges, strengthening competitiveness and connectivity in the EU and strengthening the security of European citizens, both internal and external,” she said.

“We will work on a comprehensive approach to migrations as well as on new EU guidelines in the area of freedom, security and justice and continue to support the EU’s active role in the neighbourhood, notably Southeast Europe.”

“We will pay special attention to processes that concern better functioning of the Schengen area, which we will join in the near future and which we consider to be of crucial importance for the EU and countries of the European Economic Area,” she concluded.

More news about relations between Croatia and Switzerland can be found in the Politics section.


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