There is room for stronger economic cooperation between Croatia and France, notably in energy, transport and environmental protection, Finance Minister Zdravko Maric said after meeting with a high-level delegation of French companies in Zagreb on Monday.
Some of these French companies are already present on the Croatian market, while some are interested in investing in the Croatian economy, in particular in energy, renewable energy sources, the green and digital transition, transport and environmental protection, Maric said.
He said that there was an interest in various aspects of cooperation, with emphasis on the use of EU funds and the areas covered by the National Recovery and Resilience Plan, such as environmental protection and water management.
The meeting also focused on political aspects of cooperation, including the planned purchase of fighter jets for the Croatian Air Force, and “hopefully, a forthcoming visit by French President Emmanuel Macron.”
The French are the ninth largest investors in Croatia, Marić said, citing the Istria motorway project and the Zagreb airport project.
Maric said that they also discussed the investment environment in Croatia. He said that since the beginning of its term in office, the government has focused on economic issues. He said that the government has embarked on tax reform and consolidation of public finance to improve the business climate.
Maric said that great emphasis was also on the National Recovery and Resilience Plan and Croatia’s aspirations to join the Schengen area and euro zone, which he said would also help increase the interest of investors.
Asked to what extent the purchase of military aircraft from France would help attract French investors to Croatia, Maric said that this was difficult to say, but that today’s visit showed that Croatia was recognized in the right way.