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

Today, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Croatia, a seminar for Croatian economic counsellors was held for the second year running. The seminar was opened by the introductory speech given by Mr. Stjepan Mesić, the Croatian President. The emphasis of his speech was on the need of strengthening and proSmoting Croatian exports in which diplomatic and consular network may play an important role. After citing comparable data on the rate of exports per capita in Croatia, he also spoke of key elements to be included by Croatian economic diplomacy.

He emphasised the role of diplomacy in preparing official international meetings, negotiations and in concluding bilateral agreements in the field of economy, as well as in lobbying in the favour of Croatian entrepreneurs in concluding major ventures abroad. This was illustrated by examples of economic cooperation between Croatia and France, the Russian Federation and Bavaria. President Mesić also emphasised the growing role of the Croatian economic diplomacy in attracting foreign investment and cited some past experiences. He pleaded for building a model economic diplomacy with the joint participation of the President’s Office, the Government, the Croatian Chamber of Economy, the Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Croatian National Bank and the Croatian entrepreneurs.

Foreign Minister Picula reminded of the last year’s seminar when the model of economic diplomacy Croatia needs was discussed, while at this year’s seminar, its speedy and efficient application was discussed. He emphasised that both seminars included 108 diplomats from 60 diplomatic and consular offices of the Republic of Croatia and representatives of 16 government and non-government institutions from Croatia. Minister Picula welcomed the establishment of the Agency for the Promotion of Exports and Investment and informed the audience of the recent establishment of the Division for Economic Diplomacy with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He also pointed out the need to include various government and non-government institutions in implementing the new model of economic diplomacy, referring to experiences of the most developed transition countries. Further, he advised on the current foreign policy developments and gave a review of bilateral economic agreements in the field of economy concluded to date by the Republic of Croatia. In this regard, he announced the meeting and a presentation of Croatian businessmen in the European Commission in Brussels in October this year, which is to contribute to successful presentation of Croatia in the world. At the end, he emphasised that foreign policy and economic goals may only be achieved by promoting a successful image of Croatia.

In his speech, Mr. Ljubo Jurčić, Minister of the Economy, singled out the importance of the future cooperation between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Agency for the Promotion of Exports and Investment in the activities of economic diplomacy. He spoke of the process of globalisation and its consequences for the successful implementation of economic policy, including international economic activities. Further, he pointed out the role of economic counsellors in the promotion and attracting foreign investment in Croatia, in elaborating various economic analysis of companies, and the need to elaborate a strategy for the appearance of the Croatian economy at each foreign market separately.

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