The hybrid conference was organised by the Croatian Employers’ Association (HUP) in cooperation with the US Embassy in Croatia and two consulting companies — the Armatus Prudentia and Trans-Atlantic Market Development — which are engaged in helping Croatian businesses to come out on the US market.
The US Embassy’s charge d’affaires, Mark Fleming, said that the US continued to be the best place for doing business in the world. With a market of 325 million consumers it is the most attractive and strongest consumer market in the world and it can help companies to build global success.
Fleming underscored Croatia’s progress towards the aim of having the U.S. visa waiver program being applied on its citizens as well as the advanced negotiations on concluding a double taxation avoidance agreement.
It’s time to strengthen bilateral trade and investments, the diplomat said and added that he expects more Croatian companies to explore the possibilities of doing business on the American market in the years to come.
He said that some Croatian companies were already doing business on the US market such as Infobip, Five, Infinum, HS Produkt, Šestan Busch, Dok-Ing and others.
HUP president Mihael Furjan thanked former US ambassador Robert Kohorst because huge steps were achieved during his ambassadorial term and as a result a double taxation avoidance deal should be signed soon.
Croatia mostly exports medicine and handguns to USA
Furjan said that Croatia’s exports to the US were relatively low, and mostly involved medicine and handguns, however, there were at least 50 IT companies doing serious business in the USA.
“If you wish to come out on the global market to develop business then the most important step is entering the US market…if you succeed there you will succeed anywhere,” said Furjan, underscoring the importance of competitiveness, cost efficiency and good ideas aimed at attracting consumers.
There are huge American investments in Croatia which are not that evident because many are coming via the Netherlands due to efforts to avoid double taxation, he said.
Businessman: easier to do business in USA than most European countries
Emir Avdić of the Trans-Atlantic Market Development company confirmed that the most popular pistol in the US is the one produced by HS Produkt in Croatia.
Avdić claimed that it is easier to do business in the US than most European countries. The US is known for its minimal red tape and it is quite easy and cheap to launch a business there, he added.
He cited low import tariffs compared with other markets, access to global supply chains which could facilitate accessing other markets like Canada and Mexico as advantages..
Mauro Lukić from the Croatian, Armatus Prudentia consulting firm said that the conference has motivated Croatian businesses to internationalise their business.
The wish is to strengthen economic relations with the USA, said Lukić, expressing hope that this will add a new rhythm and impact a gradual growth of Croatia’s economy.
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