4th meeting of the Inter-state Diplomatic Commission...

By today’s visit to Koprivnica, the seminar for economic counsellors of diplomatic missions and consular offices of the Republic of Croatia which began yesterday at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, terminated.

Fifty diplomatic counsellors headed by Foreign Minister Picula, met in Koprivnica with Mr. Josip Friščić, the County Prefect of the Koprivnica and Križevci County, and Mr. Damir Polančec, member of the Podravka Management Board.

County Prefect Friščić presented the economy of the Koprivnica and Križevci County and possibilities of further investment. He also presented goals in the field of economy: increase in the number of the employed in small and medium-sized companies, increase of competence in small and medium-sized companies, strengthening of the existing market position and reaching out to new markets. The goal is also to increase the efficiency of supporting institutions and to determine capacities in entrepreneurship. County Prefect Friščić presented economic activities with comparable advantages in the Koprivnica and Križevci County: production of food and drinks, agricultural production, wood industry, and energy and mine industry.

Mr. Polančec pointed out the points of contact in the cooperation between Podravka and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and that in this, the role of economic counsellors is decisive. It is necessary to continue concluding trade agreements, to lobby permanently for opening of new markets for Croatian products and companies, to protect intellectual property and to be well informed of the legal framework and procedures of the receiving country, as well as the need of a particular market.

Minister Picula thanked for the welcome and the cooperation achieved to date between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Podravka. Podravka proves that Croatian economy may cooperate on an equal footing with large partners, and the Republic of Croatia needs companies that are already integrated in global markets, Minister Picula emphasised.

Presentations given by Mr. Friščić and Mr. Polančec raised many specific questions. Economic counsellors were interested why some of Podravka products cannot be found in countries in which they represent Croatia, they were also interested in Podravka’s regional strategy, how economic counsellors may assist in protecting intellectual property, how to combat forged Croatian products (it refers mainly to Vegeta). Mr. Polančec replied to some questions, while others will require further close cooperation between economic diplomacy and representatives of Croatian companies.

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