Split Hosts First Joint Conference of Adriatic and Ionian Chambers of Commerce, Cities and Universities

Daniela Rogulj

The conference began today at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Split. 

As part of the 1st Joint Conference of the Fora of the Adriatic and Ionian Chambers of Commerce, Cities and Universities, held at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Split on October 17, 2018, seven roundtables will be held, dedicated to themes of common interest for the region: Blue Growth, Connecting the Region, Quality of Environment and Agriculture, Sustainable Tourism, Women’s Entrepreneurship, Social Challenges, and Economic Analysis, reports Dalmacija Danas on October 17, 2018. 

The conference was attended by renowned experts from these areas from eight countries, representatives of relevant ministries, representatives of the European Parliament, representatives of Chambers of Commerce, cities and universities, and representatives of companies – businesspeople. 

The opening of the conference was attended by the president of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce in Split Mirjana Čagalj, mayor of the City of Split Andro Krstulović-Opara, County prefect Blaženko Boban, Minister of Regional Development and EU Funds Gabrijela Žalac, and other distinguished guests from politics and economy.

“I would like to congratulate the president of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce in Split, Mirjana Čagalj, for organizing this great event. When it started 19 years ago, such high-quality results were not achieved in the initiative. And it is exactly here in Split, the city I said a year and a half ago needs to gain a new dimension and significance that had been omitted in previous periods. This is not just a center of culture, economics, and sports in Southern Croatia, but in a much wider area. It is exactly what is happening today,” said mayor Andro Krstulović Opara.

“Many universities, chambers of commerce and numerous cities that have gathered at this forum are the true testimonies of what cities can do with their people which advancements in politics and diplomacy cannot. 18 years ago, the political and diplomatic map of this area was completely different, this is a region in motion, serious things are happening here. We can and must cooperate,” concluded Krstulović Opara.

“Thank you to everyone. Today we organized the first joint conference of universities, chambers and cities. We have presented our joint association as well as the presentation of the agreement between the Adriatic-Ionic and Chamber of the Danube Region. I thank Minister Žalac and delegates of the president and prime minister who have responded to this gathering. The Minister has also presented the programs that can be applied for EU funds, which is the goal of this forum. After two mornings and seven-afternoon panels, new topics will emerge that will allow us to apply for EU funds,” said Mirjana Čagalj, president of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce Split.

“Our region is made up of 70 million people in eight countries that are extremely rich in natural beauty and diversity, history and culture. Though our roots and economic indicators are mostly different, we are on the path to an equally developed, competitive and viable region together. Conversely, we will lose everything. Namely, the economy is a prerequisite for the development of cities and universities, without the educational staff, there is no economy, and yet another condition for the existence of cities,” Čagalj added. 

“The agreement we are introducing today will be signed on 29 November in Novi Sad. It is a joint platform of the Adriatic-Ionian and Danube regions, which will open new and additional incentives for joint projects. It is mostly about communication, but it is about education and the movement of labor in these areas with special emphasis on young people,” concluded Čagalj.

“The support of the Government of the Republic of Croatia and the five ministries itself shows how important the conference is within the framework of the Adriatic-Ionian Initiative and Strategy. We will certainly talk in the panels about the key topics, such as how to improve project activities and report on available funds from the EU,” said Minister Gabrijela Žalac.

“People have been emigrating, trading and have had an identical cultural heritage in this area for thousands of years. That is why I was talking about two very important themes in the introduction to this conference, creating a sustainable tourism study for this area and protecting the Adriatic-Ionian Sea. The two seas that are our jewels, but are still closed at the world level and must have a special environmental sensitivity towards them,” emphasized county prefect Blaženko Boban.


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