Bilateral relations between the Republic of Croatia and South Africa

Bilateral relation between the Republic of Croatia and South Africa Overall bilateral relations between the Republic of Croatia and the Republic of South Africa are very good, but not very intensive. This is understandable if one takes the geographical distance, the different foreign policy priorities. The Republic of Croatia considers South Africa as the leader not only in the Southern Africa but also in the wider region of Sub-Saharan Africa. For that reason we want to improve bilateral relations with South Africa, particularly in the political and economic area. Economic relations and cooperation are at a satisfactory level, considering the real possibilities that exist. Strategic goals of the Croatian and South African economies are similar and in a way mutually competitive (for example both countries want to attract foreign investments, develop and expand the tourism sector, create new jobs, grow exports etc.). Despite this, the exchange of foreign trade in the last five years has been improving significantly, reaching almost 100 million USD in 2008. It is also important to stress that in the last years the trade balance has moved in Croatia’s favour. Reciprocal investments are not large, but they are growing. Important aspects to bear in mind when attempting to improve bilateral economic cooperation could include: Croatian immigrants living in South Africa, South African tourists, South Africans with significant capital investments, South Africans with expertise and skills, and those who want to invest and work in Croatia. Cultural cooperation is very encouraging, particularly with regard to the promotion of Croatian culture in South Africa, which for the last couple of years has been undertaken successfully by the Embassy. However, we regret that many years after the signing of the Agreement on Cultural Cooperation between Croatia and South Africa, the Three Year Programme on Cultural Cooperation has to date still not been finalized.

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