Croatia interested in attracting Azerbaijani investors (exclusive) (PHOTO)

Croatia interested in attracting Azerbaijani investors (exclusive)   (PHOTO)

Baku, Azerbaijan, Oct.25

By Leman Zeynalova – Trend:

Azerbaijan and Croatia have much greater potential for cooperation, head of Croatian Chamber of Economy Luka Burilovic, who is on a visit to Azerbaijan with a business delegation, said in an exclusive interview with Trend and Azernews.

“When we talk about the bilateral relations between Azerbaijan and Croatia, it is important to say that even though Croatian companies are not unknown to this market and their Azerbaijani counterparts, our mutual cooperation is still small and below the potential level,” he said.

“One of the reasons why our bilateral trade does not correspond to its real potential could be seen in the lack of information of the business possibilities and conditions for doing business in both of our countries,” said Burilovic. “That’s why this visit of the Croatian business delegation to Azerbaijan is so important, to give the opportunity to our businesses to get to know each other, make contacts that will hopefully result in some concrete business deals.”

He pointed out that economic development of every country can only be greater with political and institutional support.

“That’s why we are very grateful to both presidents, Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev and Croatia’s President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic that this visit of the Croatian business delegation has occurred on the occasion of their official meeting at the highest level,” added Burilovic.

“I do hope that this visit will also result in an increase of Azerbaijani investments in Croatia, since they have not been significant so far,” he said.

One of the goals of this visit is also to send the message to Azerbaijani businessmen and to potential Azerbaijani investors that Croatia is an attractive and favorable country for doing business, being a Central European, Mediterranean and EU member country, offering numerous opportunities for joint projects and guaranteeing stability and the safety of business activities and investments, according to Burilovic.

Further, he pointed out that some of Croatian companies have already established a successful cooperation with their Azerbaijani partners, especially in the field of ICT, shipbuilding, energy sector, food and pharmaceutical industry.

“But the potential is much greater. Besides already mentioned sectors, the possibilities for cooperation exist in the field of infrastructure, electro, metal and chemical industry, sectors of energy, oil and gas, construction, tourism, just to name a few,” he added.

There are many Croatian companies with an excellent track record on foreign markets that can participate in the modernization and construction of petrochemical plants, railway system, its electrification, signalization, as well as projects of construction of gas and oil networks, hydropower plants, according to Burilovic.

“Even though Croatian companies have been oriented to known European and neighboring countries, they are ready and willing to go and do business on other, not so traditional markets like Azerbaijan,” he added.

Regarding the investment and business climate, Croatia guarantees by law the same rights to foreign investors as it does to Croatian ones, said Burilovic.

By constantly improving the investment climate, and in addition to benefits provided by agreements for the avoidance of double taxation signed with over 50 countries, Croatia offers numerous incentives for business activities to investors, such as tax incentives, incentives for employment and education, and additional incentives for capital expenses and labor intensive investment projects, he said.

Burilovic pointed out that in its Doing Business 2016 report, the World Bank ranked Croatia 40th among 189 countries in the world.

“As the president of the Croatian Chamber of Economy, a modern, professional institution representing more than 110,000 members, I can offer a full support to the Azerbaijani companies in every step they take to the Croatian market,” he said. “Our tradition lasting more than 164 years is a guarantee that we are a reliable partner to every foreign company wishing to do business in Croatia.”

With numerous professional associations, 20 county chambers in Croatia and representative offices abroad, Croatian Chamber of Economy is a reliable source of information for all companies wishing to do business in Croatia being constantly at their disposal by providing business data, services and contacts, according to Burilovic.

“We provide investors with all the necessary support before, during and after investing and doing business in Croatia, in dealing with necessary administrative and legal proceedings and in finding them a suitable business partner,” he added.

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