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article imageChinese interests in Croatia increase: drinks, medicine, airports

By Paul Bradbury     Mar 1, 2012 in Business
A delegation of Chinese businessmen, accompanied by the Croatian ambassador to China, is due in Croatia shortly to evaluate investment projects.
Chinese business interest in Croatia is increasing, and a delegation of businessmen is due this week, accompanied by the Croatian ambassador to China, Ante Simonic, according to a report in Vecernji List on Feb. 29.
As previously reported by Digital Journal, leading drinks producer Badel 1862 signed an agreement worth 1.5 million euro to supply the Chinese domestic market with alcoholic drinks. The deal, signed with Zhang Zhuben of the Tadee Holding Group, was described as symbolic by first deputy Prime Minister Radimir Cacic, and it included a visit to the Svirce winery on the island of Hvar, as well as Zhuben's presence at the opening ceremony for a project to produce an exclusive wine on Hvar's fabled southern slopes.
With the recent change of government in Croatia, interest in cooperation with China has increased, according to the report in Vecernji List.
"China is a country that affects the formation of a new world order, China is a chance for Croatia, and if we do not recognize it, we could stay out of it," said Ambassador Simonic, who is an enthusiastic promoter of business links between the two countries:
"In China we can find everything we need, there are people who have money, knowledge, interest, we can find investors, get credit, and get Croatian goods on the Chinese market."
Chinese interests in the imminent delegation extend far beyond the initial wine and popular Croatian liqueur Pelinkovac, according to the Croatian Times, with airports, green energy, tourism and the port of Rijeka on the Chinese radar, while Chinese representatives will be on hand to promote Chinese medicine, massage and acupuncture.
There are numerous opportunities to be explored between the two countries, including tourism. As Vecernji notes, of the 70 million Chinese tourists who went abroad last year, only 15,000 came to Croatia.
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