Chinese are intersted in Croatia because it is strategically quite well positioned
Chinese are intersted in Croatia because it is strategically quite well positioned
Author: CSEBA / SEEbiz / Glas Slavonije
28th April 2019
OSIJEK - Recently a delegation of Chinese businessmen was visiting in Osijek, whose visit was organized by the Chinese Southeast European Business Association (CSEBA) and the Osijek-Baranja County.

In search of opportunities for business cooperation and investment they were attracted by Slavonian agriculture and transportation and transport potentials of the East of Croatia.

Chinese businessmen visited the Osijek Airport, and besides the possibility of an airport, they were also interested in the possibility of a river port. Chinese entrepreneur Jiang Yu said that she was for the first time in Osijek, after which the investment team should analyze the opportunities and make an evaluation from which to move forward.

After the Dubrovnik Summit, Croatia, the organizers of the meeting said, has been given a special position in economic cooperation with China. This is a turning point in China's policy towards the southeast of Europe. Slavonia sees its chance. According to the announcement by Chinese premier in Dubrovnik, Li Keqianga, who has visited hundreds of businessmen from the Republic of Croatia, China will try to include Croatia as a whole in its business plans. Concrete projects are too early to speak, but given the speed of the Chinese business's reaction, investment opportunities exist.

- The Chinese do not invest because they have a lot of money, so they want to share it with a fist and a cap. There is no philanthropy in international relations. Their investments are related to their global strategy of creating influence and linking the Eurasian world on a continental basis. By investing in infrastructure, ports, roads and railways, they make their goods easier to reach customers - says prof. Dr. Vlatko Cvrtila for Glas Slavonije, adding:

- In order to maintain its economic growth, China must have a market. And in infrastructure projects they actually make the market more widespread. China can not stop, while the bike has to rotate the pedal. Chinese are everywhere where they can create prerequisites for the distribution of goods. In Greece in ports, in Montenegro, in the construction of a motorway, in Croatia on the Peljesac Bridge. This is a win-win situation for all, because in the long run, any investment in infrastructure can improve the country's economic performance. "China therefore created the 16 plus 1 format (now 17 plus 1, because Greece joined), where its investment helps countries that do not have much foreign investment.

- Europe has survived a difficult financial crisis and there is no "free finance" to enter SE Europe. China's investments are in fact Europe's response, as the Union of China has developed non-competitive but increasingly strategic economic relations by realizing that they can contribute to its economic growth - emphasizes Cvrtila.

Croatia, according to him, is fortunate because it is strategically quite well positioned: it is closer to the heart of Europe than to the northern European space, and, de facto, is located at the intersection between the East and the West.

Unfortunately, Croatia has not used its geostrategic advantage yet. We do not have our own investments, Europe has no capacity anymore, and that is why the Government is seriously considering deals from China, concludes Cvrtila.

Therefore, we do not need to be afraid of the Chinese, but actually have to use it for our own interests.

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