11 07 2012
President Josipović receives Slovakian President Ivan Gasparovič (HINA)
Political relations between Croatia and Slovakia are excellent and more efforts need to be invested in boosting economic cooperation between the two countries, Croatian President Ivo Josipovic and his guest, Slovakian President Ivan Gasparovic said.
"We want to increase trade and we are developing long-term strategic projects, notably in the energy sector and transport infrastructure," President Josipovic said after talking to Gasparovic, who is on an official visit to Croatia.
The Slovak president said it was important to translate the pace of the political dialogue into economic cooperation.
Trade between Slovakia and Croatia tripled from 2000 to 2011, and last year it amounted to EUR290 million. However, this is not the best result if we compare other central European countries, Gasparovic said.
He recalled that after the break up of Czechoslovakia, Slovakia was faced with serious economic problems, adding that by implementing laws, notably the tax policy, the country managed to attract foreign investments, adding that today Slovakia was a leader in car production per capita.
The Croatian president said Croatia must "relax its regulations", implement tax reforms, change its attitude towards foreign investors and remove "obstacles in people's heads" so that it could open doors wide open to foreign investment.
The two presidents expressed their conviction that Croatia's EU entry, scheduled for 1 July 2013, would give an additional boost to economic cooperation.
Josipovic recalled that since Croatia gained independence Slovakia had been showing its friendship not only by supporting Croatia's EU path but also as the first country to ratify Croatia's Treaty of Accession with the bloc, even before the Croatian parliament had ratified it.
Presidents Josipovic and Gasparovic met already three times this year.
Gasparovic was on his first official visit to Croatia in October 2008 and President Josipovic made a return official visit to Slovakia in May 2010.