ZAGREB, Oct 22 (Croatia Sun News) – Croatian Economy Minister Darko Horvat and his visiting German counterpart Peter Altmaier on Monday met in Zagreb for talks on boosting bilateral economic cooperation, notably in the fields of the car industry, industry 4.0 and innovations.
Addressing a press conference after the meeting, Minister Horvat described Germany as Croatia’s most important bilateral economic partner and said that in 2018 Croatia-Germany trade was €5.4 billion.
Horvat said that Altmaier’s visit to Croatia ensued a few days before his planned presentation of Germany’s new industrial strategy whereby Germany wants to make headway in industry 4.0, and Croatia also intends to outline its national digital economy plan by the end of this year.
Horvat said that the purpose of today’s meeting was also to adjust the development and methodology of the development of the German and Croatian industries.
Croatia soon to join EU Battery Alliance
The Croatian minister also underscored that Germany was at the helm of the European Battery Alliance (EBA), and that his German counterpart had told him that Croatia would soon become a full member of that alliance. The European Commission has put €5 billion at the disposal of that initiative.
Horvat told the news conference that the Croatian side had informed the German delegation of “Croatia’s readiness to create prerequisites for German investors who want to direct a segment of the automobile industry towards eastern or central Europe”.
Croatia has a skilled labour force, well-regulated business zones as well as an encouraging legislative framework ready for German investments in the car industry, according to Horvat.
Minister Altmaier said that the aim of the German delegation’s visit to Zagreb was to raise the relations between the two countries to a higher level.
Since Croatia’s admission to the European Union, growth and a faster rate in economic growth have been visible and Germany wants this trend to continue, he added.
Asked by the press about the possible impact of the projected deceleration of Germany’s economy on Croatia, Altmaier answered that in the last 10 years Germany had experienced growth and this year’s stagnation of 0.5% was due to the trade conflicts between China and the USA and due to Brexit. However, he said he was glad to see that all that had not affected Croatia’s economy.