A Polish-Croatian Economic Forum, which was held in Warsaw on Thursday, showed that companies from both countries had a lot of interest for cooperation in the fields of energy, transport and construction, the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK) head, Luka Burilovic, said.
"Poland's market is almost ten times that of Croatia's. It has great potential which we should definitely utilise," Burilovic told reporters during the forum that attracted more than 100 Croatian and Polish companies.
Burilovic said that potential existed in the energy, transport, construction, food, IT and tourism sectors. Tourism is an important economic branch considering that last year around 700,000 Poles visited Croatia.
He said that in two years since Croatia joined the European Union, the Croatian-Polish commodity trade had grown and exports to Poland had increased by 39% and imports from that country had grown by 24.5%.
The head of the Polish National Chamber of Commerce, Andrzej Arendarski, explained to reporters why Poland did not have a negative growth rate during the general recession and what its secret was to absorbing money from European funds.
"We approached the question of European funds very seriously and conducted very strict procedures," he said and as far as Poland's economic success is concerned, we were in a "continual process of reforms."
Poland was the fourth fastest growing economy in the EU in 2014. At the same time it is one of the highest absorbers of European funds and in the period 2007 - 2013 it enriched its economy with 85 billion euro from European funds.
Of the fifty Croatian companies at the forum, the Polish side apparently showed the most interest for the Port of Rijeka and the port's executives conducted a separate panel discussion with interested parties within the forum.
"The list of companies that showed interest was indeed great and that is why we prepared a special panel at the forum to present the Rijeka port," the port's CEO Vedran Devcic said.
In his opinion "when there is a political framework, then it is much easier for the economic side," and he was grateful for the new initiative to connect Europe's north and south which is supported by Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, adding that the Port of Rijeka fitted well into this idea.