By Abdul Kerimkhanov
Croatia is interested in creating joint ventures (JV) with Azerbaijan in various fields, Chargés d'affaires ad interim of Croatian embassy in Azerbaijan Branko Zebic told Trend.
He believes that creation of JVs can ensure greater bilateral cooperation in the future.
"The two countries have potential to create joint ventures in such spheres as pharmaceutical industry, building shipyards and vessels, which Croatia produces and has already sold to Azerbaijan, as well as IT, construction, science and technologies," Zebic said.
He further noted the importance of cooperation between the two countries in the field of agriculture, transfer of know-how and in ports industry.
Zebic recalled that two countries signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation between the ministries of agriculture of Azerbaijan and Croatia in September.
He went on to say that first of all, Croatia would like to attract Azerbaijani investments in the sphere of energy and tourism.
As for the business environment in Croatia, the diplomat said that his country meets European standards and is constantly improving it to create favorable conditions for foreign investors.
"We hope that the business environment of Croatia will be attractive for Azerbaijani investors," added Zebich.
He said that this is the only Croatian embassy in the South Caucasus region.
The purpose of opening the embassy in Azerbaijan is to develop energy cooperation, promote investments in both directions, connect people, he said.
In one of the interviews, president of Croatia Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic said that economic cooperation with Croatia can develop in several areas: growth in commodity exchange through joint bodies that promote economic cooperation (Joint Intergovernmental Commission for Economic Cooperation); opening up space for investments, particularly in the sector of energy and tourism; and increasing the number of tourists.
Earlier, she also said that Croatia can share experience in the pharmaceutical and energy sectors and in other areas. In this regard, the Croatian president noted that a joint venture between Croatia and Azerbaijan could be established by companies of the two countries. Thanks to this, pharmaceutical companies will have an opportunity to enter Central Asia and, in general, the region of the Caspian basin, and in addition, they can operate in Azerbaijan.
At the same time, an important work in the shipbuilding industry is being carried out. Azerbaijan and Croatia held a discussion on six vessels. Grabar-Kitarovic expressed hope that the negotiations between the two countries in this regard will continue.
Azerbaijan has established a model of strategic cooperation with Croatia, a member of the EU. The parties are determined to further develop relations in all spheres.
Data from Azerbaijan's State Customs Committee shows that trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Croatia amounted to $105.1 million in January-October 2017.
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