Germany is Croatia's most important trade partner, however, there is ample room to improve and intensify economic relations, particularly in innovative technologies, and EU funds can be useful in strengthening cooperation, a meeting of German and Croatian companies heard on Thursday.
The online meeting, Go Global – Go Virtual, was organised by the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK).
“Germany is traditionally a very important market for Croatia and it is no wonder that more than 250 Croatian companies registered for talks with German companies,” HGK president Luka Burilovic said.
He noted that the purpose of the online meeting was to further connect the Croatian and German business communities. “Because even though Germany is our most important trade partner, there is significant room for improvement and to intensify economic relations, particularly in the field of innovative technologies,” Burilovic underscored.
He added that Croatian companies are interested in cooperation in the automobile, automation, energy, textile and food industries as well as the services sector. “Particularly great potential exists in the health industry, with emphasis on pharmaceutical and medical products, especially those related to containing the pandemic,” said Burilovic.
He recalled that Croatian companies had many years of experience in doing business with German partners and that the Go Global-Go Virtual platform could help overcome the current restrictions caused by the pandemic.
Germany’s Ambassador to Croatia, Robert Klinke, said that the pandemic had seriously disrupted the global economy and changed the way globalism was perceived.
European Institutions, he said, have adopted measures that balance people’s health with preserving economic activities and all countries have adopted measures to provide financial assistance to entrepreneurs.
“EU funds are geared towards developing sectors that will support economic recovery and our companies have a role in that too. Those funds open the door to new projects and partnerships between Croatian and German companies. Let’s use that chance to additionally improve our cooperation and business relations,” said Ambassador Klinke.
Croatia’s Ambassador to Germany, Gordan Bakota, agrees with this stance and considers that now is the right time to connect entrepreneurs.
“I am confident that this pandemic is an opportunity for our economies, to deepen cooperation in the field of industry, agriculture, tourism and environment protection. We also want to encourage cooperation in the exhibition industry,” Bakota underlined.
Reinhold von Ungern-Sternberg from the German association of SMEs noted that international trade is of vital importance for the economies of all countries, which is particularly challenging for small and medium-sized enterprises.
The association can provide professional assistance in networking, facilitate innovation and international expansion, he said and added that he hopes partnerships will be established today as well.