Hrvatsko-turski gospodarski forum.jpg
Photograph: HINA/ Lana SLIVAR DOMINIĆ/ lsd

Economic cooperation between Croatia and Turkey is good, but still far from the two countries' potential, it was said at the start of the Croatian-Turkish Economic Forum in Zagreb on Wednesday.

The forum, organised by the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK) and the Turkish Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK), brought together representatives of about a hundred leading Turkish enterprises, headed by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The co-chairman of the Croatian-Turkish Business Council, Zlatan Frolich, said that the Council had been operating for 21 years and that significant changes had happened during that time.

In 2003, trade between the two countries reached EUR 150 million and has more than doubled since, he said.

Frolich said that principal business agreements had been signed with Turkish companies, expressing hope that further agreements would be signed with companies attending the forum.

Speaking of historical relations between the two countries, Frolich said he hoped that Turkey would complete its EU membership talks soon. He described Croatia as a bridge that could help Turkish enterprises in developing their business, adding that Turkish companies were very attractive to the Croatian market.

The co-chairman of the Turkish-Croatian Business Council, Burak Baykan, spoke of Croatia as a very attractive tourist destination and a potentially interesting partner to the Turkish companies in attendance.

Both speakers noted the unused potential for improving business between the two countries.

The head of the HGK Investment Attraction Department, Svjetlana Momcilovic, said that Turkey was Croatia's 20th most important trading partner.

In 2015, trade between the two countries reached EUR 314 million, with Croatian exports accounting for EUR 94 million and imports for EUR 220 million. Imports mostly included monitors, textiles and household appliances, Momcilovic said.

The forum will discuss investment potential and the business and investment environment in Croatia and Turkey.

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