Photograph: Hina/ Tomislav Pavlek/tp

During her visit to the Zagreb-based TZV Gredelj rolling stock company on Wednesday, Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic praised the company for having persisted in efforts to save itself from bankruptcy and for showing that it can also create jobs, while criticising the state-run Croatian Railways (HZ) operator for having its trains repaired abroad instead of in the TZV Gredelj company.

"I am glad to be able to visit TZV Gredelj after our recent successful journey to Iran where (Gredelj) made the first steps for concluding a contract worth up to US$ 100 million," the president said.

Last week, she visited Iran, accompanied by several ministers and dozens of business people. On that occasion, Croatia made the first major step towards its return to the Iranian market after UN sanctions against that Asian country were lifted. The two countries signed an agreement on economic cooperation and a Croatian-Iranian business forum was held.

The visit of the Croatian president and the Croatian business delegation was meant to help establish a framework for cooperation that should yield results in the medium and long terms, and some Croatian companies, specifically TZV Gredelj and AD Plastik, already made steps to sign the first contracts in Iran.

TZV Gredelj is likely to be awarded a job for the repair and upgrade of various types of locomotives and passenger carriages with a total value of more than $100 millions, the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK) said this past Friday after its return from Iran.

During today's visit, President Grabar-Kitarovic said that she was unhappy to see how some Croatian companies treat TZV Gredelj. They do things not conducive to the Croatian economy, she warned.

In this context she criticised the HZ that sends its locomotives abroad to be repaired. Our TZV Gredelj can do this job very well too, she said.

Gredelj's bankruptcy trustee Pero Hrkac informed the president that  80% of the jobs done by Gredelj was commissioned by foreign clients.

Currently, 480 people are on TZV Gredelj's payroll.

Hrkac said that upon the return from Iran, the company's executives had prepared concrete projects for the Iranian companies Raja, Mapna, Taamloko and Wagonpars.

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