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Croatia and China: New agreements and chances for Croatian companies

Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic (L) meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping's special envoy Meng Jianzhu

The summit on the EU and China set to take place in the Belgian capital of Brussels on the 9th of April is expected with interest, and Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang is coming to Croatia.

According to sources, Croatian companies have a chance for further growth and more exporting if Croatia decides to deepen its business ties and cooperation with China, the country which is currently undertaking the mammoth task of constructing Pelješac bridge.

As reported the news, bilateral talks between Keqiang and Prime Minister Andrej Plenković are on the agenda, as well as the signing of several already concluded bilateral agreements in Zagreb. The sources said that Croatia and China could strengthen their blossoming cooperation with as many as ten brand new agreements. Other major Croatian expectations for the strengthening of overall relations with China are also awaited, with the greatest interest being expressed in the areas of infrastructure, tourism and SMEs.

The Croatian president this week met representatives of China Communications Construction Company Limited (CCCC) and China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC), with whom she talked about the Peljesac Bridge construction and possible cooperation in transportation projects in the country.

A total of more than 700 entrepreneurs have been registered, and many opportunities are on offer to Croatian companies when looking at entering the giant Chinese market, meaning that the initiative is on them. The major promise for Croatian companies which operate within a multitude of different sectors lies in exports when it comes to deeper cooperation in doing business with China.

Croatia's visibility for the Chinese is continually growing, by about fifteen percent annually, while the number of tourists from China has increased by an enormous 120 percent over the past two years alone. In 2018, Chinese tourists made up 234,118 arrivals and 345,293 overnight stays in Croatia, representing a growth of 46 percent in 2018, while 2019 projections show more than 300,000 arrivals and more than 430,000 overnight stays from the Chinese market.