Croatia is interested in strengthening economic cooperation with Azerbaijan, as well as the cooperation in other areas of common interest, including the vital area of energy, said Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović in her interview.
“Croatia is very satisfied with the decision of the Shah Deniz consortium on the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) as an integral part of the Southern Gas Corridor and an optimal option for gas supply of South East Europe,” she noted. “This project (TAP) was recognized by the European Union (EU) as one of the Projects of Common Interest and is crucial for improving the security of gas supply.”
For a number of years, Azerbaijan has been achieving excellent economic growth and has been good at directing its efforts towards diversifying its economy, said the Croatian president adding that Azerbaijan is a Euro-Asian transport hub.
As such, Azerbaijan has undertaken significant reforms in order to improve its business and investment climate and has great potential for the development of the IT sector and tourism, added Grabar-Kitarović.
In this context, the EU can play a significant role in the continuation of the modernization process in Azerbaijan, she said.
“Economic cooperation with Croatia can develop in several areas: growth in commodity exchange through joint bodies that promote economic cooperation (Joint Intergovernmental Commission for Economic Cooperation); opening up space for investments, particularly in the sector of energy and tourism; and increasing the number of tourists,” she noted.
Grabar-Kitarović said also that the energy supply from the Caspian region is of significant interest to the EU and that, consequently, relations with Azerbaijan are especially important to the EU.
“I am deeply aware of the importance of achieving strategic partnership with Azerbaijan and I believe that, along these lines, we can further observe mutual benefits, both for the countries participating in the Initiative and for Azerbaijan and the Caspian region,” noted the Croatian president.
For Croatia, the priority is to increase its profile and visibility in Azerbaijan, she added.
“The main factors that we rely on in this effort are our export products of high added value and quality, such as ships and vessels, electrical assemblies and components, medicines and medical aids, machines for humanitarian demining and software solutions,” said Grabar-Kitarović.
Caspian Energy journal