tihomir oreskovic london.jpg
Photograph: HINA / Slavko VUKADIN / mm

Croatian Prime Minister Tihomir Oreskovic presented strategic projects of his government and main cross-border energy and infrastructure investment projects at the Western Balkans Investment Summit of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in London on Monday.

We will pay special attention to all activities that encourage economic growth, create jobs and a positive investment climate, and raise the standard of living of our citizens, Oreskovic said at the summit, which brought together government officials and business executives from the Western Balkans region.

Among those attending were prime ministers Milo Djukanovic of Montenegro, Aleksandar Vucic of Serbia, Isa Mustafa of Kosovo, Edi Rama of Albania, and Denis Zvizdic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Oreskovic said that his government would unveil a well-balanced budget in mid-March, with the focus on fiscal consolidation and budget deficit reduction.

The next step will be to reduce public debt by activating 500 million euros in dormant capital, and our aim is to improve the credit rating so as to ensure lower costs of borrowing, he said.

Among other priorities, the Croatian government will create a EUR 500 million fund for small and medium enterprises, and will concentrate on drawing of EU funding, he said. Last year Croatia drew EUR 500 million from EU funds and this year it aims to draw between EUR 900 million and 1 billion to use for infrastructure, tourism and agriculture-related projects.

Oreskovic also highlighted the need to create a favourable investment environment and cut red tape by improving the efficiency of the public sector.

He noted that at this summit he was the only prime minister who had been an investor, saying that as the CEO of the Pliva pharmaceutical company he had invested about EUR 250 million.

Speaking of cross-border infrastructure projects, Oreskovic cited the construction of an LNG terminal on the northern Adriatic island of Krk, an Adriatic-Ionian gas pipeline, an Adriatic-Ionian motorway and the Croatian section of the pan-European transport corridor 5c which runs from Hungary via eastern Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina to the southern Croatian port of Ploce. He stressed that these projects were important for the private sector as well.

I am an optimist by nature and as such I believe that Croatia and its neighbours present an excellent opportunity for investment that will increase our mutual prosperity and ensure a platform for greater cooperation and a brighter future for all our citizens, Oreskovic said.

Before the summit, Oreskovic held a bilateral meeting with British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond and Trade and Investment Minister Francis Maude.

Related stories

Latest news

Reports: 12 injured as car runs into crowd at New Orleans parade

Twelve people were injured Saturday in the US city of New Orleans when a car struck a crowd watching a parade, local media reported.

"Moonlight" big winner at independent film awards

The coming-of-age drama "Moonlight" won six prizes including best feature at the 32nd Film Independent Spirit Awards Saturday, claiming the Hollywood spotlight on the eve of the Oscars.

Trump: I won't attend White House Correspondents' Association Dinner

US President Donald Trump said Saturday that he does not plan to attend the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner this year.

US Democratic Party chooses Tom Perez to be next party chief

The US Democratic Party elected former labour secretary Tom Perez as its next party chief at a meeting in Atlanta on Saturday.

73-year-old man dies after car ramming in Germany

A 73-year-old male pedestrian died from his injuries after being run over when a car rammed into people in the south-western town of Heidelberg, police said Saturday.

Syrian government vows retribution for Homs attacks that killed 42

The Syrian government vowed retribution for synchronized attacks on Saturday in Homs City that left 42 security personnel dead and reportedly involved up to six suicide bombers.

Between 250,000 and 300,000 Croatians suffer from rare diseases

Rare Disease Day, observed on February 28, was marked in Zagreb's Cvjetni Trg Square on Saturday.

German police shoot man who rammed car into pedestrians in Heidelberg

Police in Germany shot a man who rammed a car into pedestrians in the south-western town of Heidelberg on Saturday.

Egypt's al-Sissi orders cabinet to help Christians fleeing Sinai

Egypt's president Abdel Fattah al-Sissi ordered the government on Saturday to take all necessary measures to help Christians who escaped northern Sinai after the Islamic State militia killed at least six of them over the past month.

SDP MP calls on citizens to raise their voice against restriction of women's rights

Josko Klisovic, a Social Democrat member of the Croatian parliament, on Saturday called on all Croatians to raise their voice against a policy turnaround on women's rights after Croatia took a conservative position in a discussion on human rights in the Council of the European Union.

Egypt court acquits Mubarak's aide of 22 years

An Egyptian court on Saturday acquitted one of ousted president Hosny Mubarak's closest aides, ruling he was not guilty of corruption and illicit profits.

EU ambassador to Albania Romana Vlahutin under 24-hour police protection

EU Ambassador to Albania Romana Vlahutin and her family have been given 24-hour armed police protection due to threats she has been receiving lately, the Austrian paper Der Standard said on Saturday, explaining that the threats were linked to Vlahutin's monitoring of a reform of Albania's judiciary designed to curb corruption in that country.