Agreements on the cancellation of visa requirements and on double taxation avoidance "would be a big step forward in Croatia-US relations, Foreign Minister, Gordan Grlic-Radman, said after a meeting with prominent representatives of the Croatian emigrant community in New York on Wednesday, state agency Hina said.
Grlic-Radman and President Zoran Milanovic, who are visiting New York for the 76th session of the UN General Assembly, held a two-hour meeting “with 14 prominent representatives of the Croatian emigrant community in the United States from different walks of life,” Hina said.
After the meeting, Hina quoted Grlic-Radman as saying that they “mostly inquired about the cancellation of visa requirements and about when an agreement on avoiding double taxation would be signed,” which, he said, “Croatia expected to happen soon.”
“We see those two agreements as a big, big step forward in relations between Croatia and the USA,” Grlic-Radman was quoted as saying.
As for the lifting of visa requirements for Croatian nationals traveling to the United States, Grlic-Radman said that “it was very important, politically and psychologically, for all Croatians” and that it represented “a kind of second act of recognition by the USA.”
“It will primarily help business people, strengthen cooperation and communication, help establish better ties in the business community and help Croat expatriates planning to return to Croatia, notably pensioners,” he said, noting that “the interest in the Croatian American community in returning to Croatia was great.”
“That is the largest Croatian diaspora in the world, they want to help, they are Americans but also Croatian patriots. Many spoke of how much they have invested in Croatia and how much they have helped Banija after the earthquake,” he said.
“Croatia welcomes investments,” he said, adding that “the meeting also discussed which areas and sectors needed investments and how one could contribute to further increasing Croatia’s visibility globally.”
The talks also discussed the establishment of direct flights, and Grlic-Radman “noted that there was a direct seasonal flight between Dubrovnik and New York but that one should work on introducing direct flights between the capital cities.”
Also discussed at the meeting was a new law that would facilitate the acquisition of Croatian citizenship, Hina said.