Domestic Economy

Zagreb Committed to Long-Term Cooperation

Zagreb Committed to Long-Term CooperationZagreb Committed to Long-Term Cooperation

Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture hosted Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, who was accompanied by representatives Croatian firms, in Tehran on Wednesday.

The Croatian president held talks with ICCIMA chief, Mohsen Jalalpour, and Minister of Industries, Mining and Trade Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh.

"Croatia is strongly committed to long-term economic cooperation with Iran," Grabar-Kitarovic said, emphasizing that strengthening Tehran-Zagreb ties will send a positive message to all the European Union countries that are considering engagement with the Islamic Republic.

She called for boosting bilateral trade ties and said Croatia seeks to fully exploit the opportunities in post-sanctions Iran.

According to Grabar-Kitarovic, food, energy, tourism, transportation and pharmaceuticals have the highest potential among other sectors for the expansion of mutual cooperation.

The value of Iran's exports to Croatia, primarily made up of fruits, livestock and plastic products, recorded its highest in 2010 at $8.4 million.

However, the imposition of sanctions against the Islamic Republic caused two-way trade to fall drastically to reach an all-time low of $500,000 last Iranian year (March 2015-16).

Iran's import during the same period stood at $3 million, mainly including pharmaceuticals, industrial machinery and auto parts.

Sanctions against Iran were lifted in January after the UN nuclear agency confirmed that the country was in compliance with the terms of last year's nuclear deal, which required Tehran to limit the scope of its nuclear program.  

Grabar-Kitarovic arrived in Tehran on Tuesday, a day after a high-ranking delegation comprising Croatian Minister of Economy Tomislav Panenic, Minister of Entrepreneurship and Crafts Darko Horvat and representatives of dozens of local companies from energy, industrial and mining sectors did.

Wednesday morning, the Croatian president met with her counterpart, President Hassan Rouhani. They oversaw the signing of two cooperation documents between the two countries.

For Iran, a major producer of oil and gas, Croatia's geopolitical location in Europe is of great importance. The country has the potential to act as a gateway for the distribution of Iranian products to many European countries.

The Balkan country possesses an extensive rail network spanning 2,722 kilometers across the country and is also home to some of Europe's busiest ports, thanks to its long coastline along the Adriatic Sea.

"Iran is ready and able to meet Croatia's demand for at least 25 key commodities," said Nematzadeh in a meeting with Croatian economy, entrepreneurship and crafts ministers, referring to potentials for trading in petrochemicals, copper, aluminum, cement, stone and tile sectors among others.

According to Iran's Minister of Communications and Information Technology Mahmoud Vaezi, Iran-Croatia Economic Commission will meet in the near future to restore bilateral ties to pre-sanctions levels.