Economic relations between France and Croatia - TV report

Last year, France was the 11th trade partner of Croatia. In the first 8 months of this year, Croatia exported goods worth 320 million euros to France, which is 18% more than in the same period last year. But we imported more goods from France, about 462 million euros, which is 16% more than last year. When it comes to foreign investments, the French are ninth with around one billion euros invested.

As for economic cooperation, the construction of the Istrian Y is the biggest French project in Croatia. The concession was signed in 1995 for 32 years, and last year it was extended for another 12.

- We have invested over a billion euros, which is the largest French investment in the Republic of Croatia, in one phase construction of the Istrian Y from Umag to Pula. Then again recently from Pazin to the tunnel almost 400 million euros in the last four years, and we also recently launched the second tube of the Učka tunnel with an investment of 200 million euros, said Dario Silić, CEO of Bina-Istra.

Another important infrastructure and public-private partnership project connects Croatia and France. EUR 300 million has been invested in the construction of the airport in Zagreb.

- The French have a certain know-how in some niches such as public-private partnerships and I think they can contribute a lot in Croatia where public-private partnerships are underdeveloped, I would say, or maybe developed in some bad way, so there is a real possibility of transferring the know-how, believes David Gabelica, a member of the Management Board of Zagreb International Airport.

The corona-virus crisis has shaken the business of all airports, including this one, but jobs have been saved for now.

- We have kept all the employees and we manage to increase the number of routes, so I think that this know-how brought by the French partners is extremely important for Zagreb Airport, Gabelica added.

French partners are also important to the domestic car parts manufacturer, which generates 60% of its revenue in this market.

- What is important and what makes us happy is that we continue contracting new projects. The projects we agreed on earlier are being developed in accordance with the plans and will be realized. For example, this year alone we have contracted with French customers 50 million euros of new projects we are working on, said Marinko Došen, President of the Management Board of AD Plastik Group.

Exporters expect even more business when Croatia joins the eurozone.

- For all members of our chamber, and investors, it is a big plus that will enable much better cooperation between both parties, both French investments in Croatia and our exports to France, explained Visnja Ježić Sorić, President of the Franco-Croatian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

(c) Hrvatska radiotelevizija, HRT1 Dnevnik, 23.11.2021.