Croatian Diaspora Business Conference Meeting G2.4 Ends

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The Meeting G2.4 “A Look in the Future” conference has concluded. During two days, it brought together at the Forum Congress Centre in Zagreb more than 200 participants, including more than 70 successful businesspeople of Croatian origin from 19 countries. The conference was aimed at creating business links between the diaspora and Croatia and featured seven panel discussions on various topics, numerous networking sessions and a competition of Croatian startups.

One of the main conclusions of the Meeting G2 conference is that the state should take advantage of the potentials of successful businesspeople of Croat descent, especially in distant markets, and appoint them as business representatives for connecting Croatian exporters and local economies. For example, there are 425 million people living in South America, of which 600,000 Croats, but there is not a single business representative from Croatia. On the other hand, Spain has as many as 40 representatives just in Chile.

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The representatives should be emigrant Croats who live in these countries and know the local markets well and who could help Croatian export companies which want to establish relevant business contacts. At the same time, they would not generate any costs because they already live and work in these countries. The potential is enormous since, at present, as much as 87% of the Croatian commodity exchange is with Europe, while the Americas and Australia account for just 3.1%, which means there is a huge potential for growth.

“It’s about time to find a direction, we need to know what we want and what we are looking for. That is why we believe that the President’s initiative regarding the branding of Croatia is of national interest! This is the key thing because the branding would connect everything – people, culture, heritage, economy. So we have everything! But if we do not sort out our ideas and find the right direction, it’s just as if we have nothing! I believe that we must look optimistically into the future that we are all building for Croatia today,” said Josip Hrgetić, the president of the Meeting G2 association, the organizer of the conference.

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The conference also concluded that Croatian companies, both immediately after the establishment and later on, should not only focus on positioning in the local market, but realize that the potential lies in the large global market, which means they should be oriented towards exports. These activities could be greatly helped by successful Croatian emigrants in various countries. Also, institutional efforts should be directed towards Croatian emigrant chambers in various countries that can provide relevant information on business opportunities, state incentives, and the like. Also, there is an idea about linking diaspora chambers globally, which would further facilitate the export offensive.

The MG2 conference once again underlined that there are many in Croatia who lack the will and courage to create changes, especially with regards to reducing the state administrative system, changing the legal framework, reducing taxes and creating an economic framework for large and for mid-sized and small companies.

During the conference, seven panel discussions were held. At the panel on the potential of Croatian chambers in the world, the approach of the chambers in Australia was presented. They help establish trust and transparent relationship with Croatian companies and direct them to business opportunities, both with local Croat-owned companies and with other local businesses. The panel of non-traditional forms of tourism pointed out that only unique concepts can enrich tourist offer and extend the tourist season. When the approach is enriched with positive energy and emotions, the result is a superior combination. The panel on system integrators emphasized export activities of Croatian companies and the need for recruiting highly-educated staff, and Croatian emigrants have been invited to return and work for these companies because there are open positions waiting.

Panels on innovative design in the wood industry, Croatian delicacies, real estate and blockchain in Croatia were also held as part of the Meeting G2 conference.

On the first day, a startup competition was organized together with the website. The winner was RioBot, a chatbot based on artificial intelligence which facilitates booking and monitoring of scheduled appointments with various service providers.

For more on Croatian diaspora, click here.


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