Eight Croatian companies closed deals on Tuesday in President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic's office with as many companies from Kazakhstan valued at 260 million euros or HRK 1.8 billion.

Representatives of companies from both countries signed contracts and agreements in the presence of the Croatian President and Kazakhstan's Ambassador Aslan Mussin. It was underscored that this represented the continuation of good economic and bilateral relations between the two countries.

"Croatian companies in Kazakhstan and that entire region are valued very much. Uljanik's ships sail on the Caspian Sea. Cooperation is being developed in the field of tourism and information technology and I believe that that needs to continue," Grabar-Kitarovic stressed.

She assessed that these contracts and agreements were essential for economic relations between Croatia and Kazakhstan and added that some other agreements between the two countries were in the pipeline.

Ambassador Mussin thanked the President for her assistance over these deals and announced that Kazakhstan's president would attend the signing of future agreements with Croatian entrepreneurs that are in their final stages.

"Croatia is a strategic partner for Kazakhstan's cooperation in the Balkans and both countries are relatively new and young," Mussin said and added that Kazakhstan was financially a well-developed country and believes that that is what attracted Croatian companies to that market.

"Croatia is interesting to Kazakhstan and its entrepreneurs. It has unique companies and production sectors and at the moment in Kazakhstan we are prepared to invest 600 to 700 million euros in business projects, and contracts for 260 million euros were signed today with Croatian companies," Mussin underscored, adding that he believed this was just the start of cooperation.

Two contracts signed today refer to the Pula-based Uljanik shipyard and Kazakhstan's Temir Zoly ferry construction and technology transfer company. The contracts refer to the construction of two ships to be delivered in 2017 and 2018. Uljanik CEO Gianni Rossanda said that Uljanik was already present on that market and in the region around Kazakhstan.

CEO of the Instrumentaria company Vinko Barisic, which closed a seven-year deal with Kazakhstan's Sultan company, said that Instrumentaria too was present in Kazakhstan and the region.

The Podravka company has also been present on the Kazakhstan market, CEO Zvonimir Mrsic said after signing an agreement on cooperation with the Vostok-Moloko company on the production of children's food in Kazakhstan.

"The birth rate in Kazakhstan and the surrounding countries is growing and there is huge potential to market children's food there, and we will investigate the possibility of producing children's food together with their milk production company. For a start, we will transfer our know-how and technology," Mrsic said.

The other companies involved in cooperation between the two countries include Croatia's Viadukt and Kazakhstan's Dorstroy-2, which signed a contract on cooperation for the construction of a cement-asphalt plant in Kazakhstan.

Agreements of cooperation were also signed between FossInternational Metal Fusion Corporation and Fosstis Corporation; Eurocable and Wunder Fenster; the Alfatec Group and Gulser computers; and the Shipping Institute and the 'Nafta' Scientific Research Institute.

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