Meeting G2, Miro Kovac.jpg
Photograph: Hina/ Dario GRZELJ/ dag

Economic development, growth and productivity can be facilitated by connecting business people from Croatia and the Croat emigrant community - this is the message of the business conference "Meeting G2.2", which started at the Forum Congress Centre in Zagreb on Tuesday.

The three-day conference Meeting G2.2, entitled "Croatians United in Business", is being held October 10 - 12 under the auspices of the State Office for Croats Abroad. Its purpose is to connect business people from Croatia and its diaspora through the exchange of know-how and social networking. The conference attracted about 170 entrepreneurs from 18 countries.

"This is a worthwhile attempt at connecting Croats in the diaspora and the homeland on a rational base, at making the cooperation even more intensive based on economic interest. We have very capable people abroad, in Europe, and overseas. This is an opportunity for people who live outside Croatia to see a chance to invest the capital they have earned elsewhere, in Croatia," Foreign Minister Miro Kovac said opening the conference, adding that such projects were the best recipe for sustainable cooperation.

"We have emotions, however, that all has to be rational. For people who live outside Croatia, the most important thing is that the system is stable, that Croatia is a country where people feel good and where investors will be protected," Kovac said.

He underscored that Croats and other people would invest in Croatia only if the situation was stable, if state administration was efficient and if the judiciary functioned well. "If they don't feel secure, they won't invest. It is up to us to strengthen institutions and positively impact local administration so that people who decide to invest feel that their investments are well protected," Kovac said.

Minister of Entrepreneurship and Crafts Darko Horvat presented a legislative framework and measures to boost investments in Croatia.

"Our aim is to make 2016 a turning point with regard to investments. Without any large state investments and those in infrastructure, this year trades, micro and small and medium-sized businesses managed to make investments worth HRK 16 billion. Of that, more than HRK 7.5 billion was absorbed from European Union investment funds," he said.

The head of the State Office for Croats Abroad, Zvonko Milas, said: "Our common objective is to strengthen our homeland, keep young people here, and create good living and working conditions in Croatia."

"I hope this conference will provide good and innovative solutions and an opportunity for mutual connections as that is the foundation for success," said Milas.

The Meeting G2 (Meeting Second Generation) is a multidisciplinary team of Croatians from the diaspora and the homeland whose main goal is to connect business people from Croatia and the Croat emigrant community. The project was launched by successful businessman Josip Hrgetic.

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