01 09 2010
President Josipović meets with representatives of Croatian Australian community (HINA)
President Ivo Josipovic met with representatives of the Croatian emigrant community from Australia, mainly business people, saying that the Croatian diaspora was a link between Croatia and the world.
"The question of the diaspora is neither a party nor political issue for us. Relations with the diaspora are very important to Croatia," President Josipovic said.
Presidet Josipovic said that cooperation between Croatia and its diaspora could only advance the country, inviting Croatian business people from Australia to invest in the land of their ancestors. "Croatia should be a place where they can return and invest."
The painter Charles Bilich said that President Josipovic could be an ideal bridge between various ideologies regardless of the fact that the Croatian diaspora, unlike the President of Croatia, was traditionally conservative and right-leaning.
The successful Croatian Australians said Australia was the first country in the world to be emerging from the global economic crisis, adding that their business experience and possible investment could help in Croatia's economic recovery.
Croatian emigrants have shown an interest in investing in smaller projects. To date they have invested about 15 million US dollars in Croatia.
According to the 2006 census, 50,990 people in Australia were Croatian-born, while 118,051 said they were of Croatian descent, representing 0.56 per cent of Australia's population.