Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Tihomir Orešković.jpg
Photograph: HINA/ Daniel KASAP / dk

Croatian Prime Minister Tihomir Oreskovic met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the government headquarters in Zagreb on Wednesday, announcing reforms designed to significantly facilitate business operations and provide a safe environment for investors.

Oreskovic said that Croatia was particularly interested in strengthening its economic cooperation with Turkey and increasing their trade. In that context, he announced reforms that will significantly facilitate business operations and provide a safe environment for investors, the government said in a statement.

The Turkish president said that he was satisfied with his visit to Croatia, underlining that the two countries' excellent relations were evidenced, among other things, by the presence of 600 business people at a Croatian-Turkish economic forum held in Zagreb earlier in the day.

Erdogan said that there was great potential for expanding cooperation in the energy sector, tourism, agriculture and the military sector, stressing that the goal in that regard was to expand bilateral trade to one billion dollars annually.

Erdogan said he was confident that the number of Turkish tourists in Croatia would increase after visa requirements were cancelled, as envisaged by an agreement between the European Union and Turkey.

Turkish companies have been present on the Croatian market for years and they plan to increase their investments, with Erdogan announcing a plan for the Turkish Development Agency to open its office in Zagreb.

Erdogan reiterated his statement after talks with Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic on Tuesday, that Turkey would not close its border to Syrian refugees. So far Turkey has allocated more than $10 billion to provide for refugees, Erdogan said, noting in that context that the aid promised by the EU was not enough.

Oreskovic welcomed the revitalisation of relations between the EU and Turkey, stressing that Croatia supported the implementation of the EU-Turkey agreement on refugees.

Both countries are interested in regional stability, and Croatia and Turkey share special responsibility for preserving security, peace and stability in Southeast Europe, the two statesmen concluded.

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