Multisector economic mission 2018
Every two years, our office organises a multi sectoral economic mission, in cooperation with the AWEX, FIT and BIE.
This year, the Croatian part was held on the 19th and 20th of March.
The business trip began in Croatia, where the representatives of the Belgium companies stayed for 2 days before leaving to Slovenia and Serbia.
This year, 20 companies from Flanders, 8 companies from Wallonia and 2 companies from Brussels took part to the mission.
They arrived on Monday March 19th, had a welcome lunch and a presentation of the Croatian market by the Croatia Chamber of Economy. During the evening, the Ambassador of Belgium in Croatia offered a walking dinner to the delegation.
Tuesday March 20th was devoted to B2B meetings in the hotel and, for a few companies, several external visits.
After the last meeting around 5 pm, the delegation left by bus to Ljubljana.
Visit to Demateh
Demateh is a Croatian firm founded by Mr Božidar Pavlek in 1996.
Its headquarters are located in the outskirts of Zagreb (Rakitje), on the crossroads between major highways that connect Croatia with the West.
The company Demateh works in the field of automation and industrial logistics in the whole Balkan region. They produce belts and software for the supply chain in the industry; When the raw products arrive in the factory, they it go through all the processes from sorting out to packaging in one continued action until they are ready to be sent out to the buyers. That kind of system is efficient and economic. They are also providing a maintenance service for their products.
There are already well established in the Croatian market as we can see from their collaboration with major Croatian companies like Dukat, Ledo, Jamnica, Pan Pek, Meggle, Konzum, Zvijezda, …
Due to its location in a Balkan country, Demateh has a lot of business relations with neighboring countries.
Moreover, there have established partnerships with companies based in Austria, Belgium and Norway.
Their long-term vision of the company is to expand their business to other European countries like Belgium. They want to establish new partnerships, to export their product and to improve their skills by learning from foreign companies.
City Council Meeting on co-operation between City of Virovitica and Belgian Investors - October 26, 2017
The Mayor of Virovitica Ivica Kirin and the deputy mayor Vlasta Honjek - Golinac and their associates held a meeting with Antonio Garcia, Export and Investment Attaché at the Embassy of Belgium in Croatia.
The topic of the talks was the economic cooperation between the Belgian companies and the City of Virovitica through the Embassy.
It was agreed that the City would send a presentation and a letter of intent to the Belgian investors, as well as data on the connecting transport routes.
Moreover, on that occasion Mayor Ivica Kirin introduced to the Attaché the project Megazone, one of the largest economic zones in Croatia, and in the future in this part of Europe.
The meeting also emphasized that, from this area, foreign investors from this area can easily operate with the markets of South East Europe.
The 17th "Days of Oris"
The 17th "Days of Oris" (http://oris.hr/en/days-of-oris/news/days-of-oris-17-programme,1409.html) took place in Zagreb on 14 and 15 October.
Oris (http://www.oris.hr/en/about-us/) is the informal Croatian order of architects but also a very active NGO in the field of conservation and development of the architectural heritage. It has been bringing high-level world architects to Zagreb since 2001 (http://oris.hr/en/days-of-oris/previous-days-of-oris/days-of-oris-1).
Last year, the Belgian Ambassador and the Economic and Commercial Attaché visited these Days for the first time, under the leadership of the Flemish firm Reynaers Aluminum and its young Croatian subsidiary (https://www.reynaers.com/dealers/reynaers-aluminium-croatia). Various interviews were held later with Andrija Rusan (email@example.com), President of Oris, especially during the visit - with a view to a possible action - by Nathalie Brison (Wallonia-Brussels Architectures - http://www.wbarchitectures.be/en/).
Andrija Rusan, President of Oris and host of the Days of Oris.
This year, one step forward was taken: with the sponsorship of Reynaers (airplane ticket), the Ambassador of Belgium (accommodation at the Residence) and the Belgian Trade Office in Zagreb (local transfers... and Belgian chocolate on the stands), the architect Jo Taillieu (http://www.architectendvvt.com/about_us/jo_taillieu/) was the first Belgian invited to present his work and that of his associates (http://www.architectendvvt.com/about_us) to public knowledge: Croatian and foreign colleagues, but also students in architecture and interior design, entrepreneurs and local officials.
The Days of Oris have two components: the academic component (see program above) with its awards (this year was Catalan, with the Grand Prix Oris-Roca awarded to RCR Arquitectes from Olot (Catalonia) and presented by the newly appointed Delegate of the Catalan Government in Croatia), and the "Fair and B2B" component (a.o. stands of Reynaers Aluminum, but also of Betafence, another Belgian spearhead in Croatia).
Nina Timmermans (Reynaers Aluminium Belgium), Antonio Garcia (Belgian Commercial Attaché, Zagreb) and Jo Taillieu (architect and speaker) at the Days of Oris.
Diplomacy day in Karlovac
The day of diplomacy was held in Karlovac on the 26th of September 2017, organized by the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, the Karlovac County Development Agency “KARLA” and the Karlovac County. This event brought together more than 25 representatives of foreign embassies, including ambassadors and other diplomats accredited in the Republic of Croatia.
The distinguished guests were welcomed by the Karlovac county prefect Damir Jelić, the mayor of Karlovac Damir Mandić and the director of the development agency "KARLA" Vinko Šegrt. After introductory presentations on the importance of Karlovac, its culture, natural heritage, its economic and touristic potential, as well as its importance in the European Union, we had the opportunity to visit the first freshwater fish aquarium in the Republic of Croatia - Aquatica.
After the Aquatica tour, we proceeded to visit to the Karlovac Grammar School, paying special attention to the exhibition of didactic tools used by Nikola Tesla during his studies. The visit continued with an educational tour of the Homeland War Museum in Turanj and a visit to the Karlovac brewery (Heineken Croatia).
The closing part of the gathering took place in the Old Town of Dubovac, where, along with a tour of the museum's display and a beautiful view of the Karlovac nature, the delicacies of Karlovac County were presented to the guests. Representatives of the Economic Office of the Embassy of the Kingdom of Belgium to the Republic of Croatia responded to this invitation and during the day of diplomacy in Karlovac, saw a great deal of opportunities for cooperation and the development of Karlovac County.
“Brussels by bike”, the new map-guide for lovers of two-wheeled tourism
Fans of cycling now have their own map-guide. Thanks to 8 themed itineraries, cyclists of all levels can hop on their bike and set off to explore Brussels, its atmospheres, its culture and its heritage treasures.
Visit to Decospan d.o.o.
The Export&Investment Attaché Mr. Antonio Garcia and his team visited the veneer processing factory Decospan located in Oprisavci, Brod-Posavina County.
They were received by Mr. Jan Desmet, CEO and co-owner of the Decospan group, Mrs. Marisa Verfaillie (Sales Department at Decospan Belgium) and Mrs. Sanja Ivanović, Office Manager of Decospan/Decomat Croatia.
The Belgian company Decospan (www.decospan.com) is a family-owned company with 40 years of experience. The company processes veneers and employs around 250 workers in two companies (Decospan and Decomat). Expansion of production is planned for the near future. Most of their products are exported to the EU market.
A Seminar on „Belgium – your business destination in the heart of Europe“ was held in the premises of Sisak County Chamber
Following the introduction by Mr Boris Mesarić, President of the Sisak County Chamber, and H.E. Philippe Benoit, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Belgium to the Republic of Croatia, Mr Antonio Garcia, Export and Investment Attaché, introduced the entrepreneurs of the Sisak-Moslavina County with the business culture in Belgium, the customs and the desirable way of business communication.
■ Mr Boris Mesarić, President of the Sisak County Chamber and H.E. Philippe Benoit, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Belgium to the Republic of Croatia. Source: CCE
Mr. Garcia presented some examples of good practice of co-operation between Croatian and Belgian companies and the possibility of using an office in Brussels free of charge, for all Croatian entrepreneurs, over a three-month period. He noted that this was a great opportunity for entrepreneurs as they could use the work space, wireless internet connection, access to the e-library at Invest in Brussels for free during three months, as well as meeting rooms, etc. More information regarding this service, can be found at www.investinbrussels.com.
■ Antonio Garcia, Export and Investment Attaché. Source: CCE
The representatives of the companies IPS Konzulting d.o.o., Silac Optics d.o.o., Hidraulika Kutina d.d. and MMM Vukelić d.o.o. spoke about their experiences in doing business with Belgium. They pointed out their possitive experiences and the high-level professional responsibility of their Belgian partners.
The company IPS Konzulting d. o. o from Sisak was founded by the Belgian company DLV Group with the technical and professional support of the Belgian companies Innolab and Pantarein. It specializes in the agricultural and food processing industry, and offers consulting services, study design, project development and application of sustainable technologies. Mrs Ana-Marija Špicnagel Ćurko, Head of the office and specialist for renewable energy sources, explained how the cooperation with the Belgians started and why they had chosen the Sisak-Moslavina County to open an office, expecting a lot of investments by Croatia's accession to the European Union. She commended the co-operation with the Belgian partners and emphasized how much she had learned from them.
■ Ana-Marija Špicnagel Ćurko, Director of IPS Konzalting d.o.o. Source: CCE
The company Silac Optics d.o.o. from Velika Gorica is another good example of a Belgian company's experience on the Croatian market, as Anita Hozjan told the audience. She also stressed that the Belgian partners give a huge logistic and financial support. Partnership with them is, indeed, a real partnership; they are reliable and pleasant associates who respect every business agreement.
Dubravko Bazina from the company Hidraulika Kutina d.d., spoke about a business relationship with the Belgians, from the perspective of the Croatian company's business experience on the Belgian market. He said that their customers from Belgium recognized them and contacted them, thanks to the quality of their products. Bazina emphasized that when prospecting foreign markets, it was extremely important to participate in foreign fairs, where the Croatian Chamber of Economy provided them with a great support. They are presented to foreign partners, and product quality is a key factor in attracting new customers.
The company MMM Vukelić d.o.o. from Novska is also an example of excellent cooperation of Croatian company on the Belgian market. The owner, Marijan Vukelić, also emphasized his professional relations with the Belgians. He pointed out their accuracy in payment and other business obligations, as well as the understanding they show if, at some point, for objective reasons, the partner is unable to fulfill the assumed commitment.
Jelena Ravlić, from the Sector for International Affairs and the EU at the Croatian Chamber of Economy, presented services offered by the CCE to entrepreneurs when prospecting, foreign markets. She mentioned several examples of connecting Croatian companies to foreign partners through the European Business Network and announced the organization of a business delegation of Croatian companies to Brussels, which will be held this year.
The seminar extends the excellent cooperation between the Sisak County Chamber and the Belgian Economic and Commercial Office, by connecting Sisak-Moslavina County entrepreneurs with Belgian partners.
■ From left to right: Ana-Marija Špicnagel Ćurko, IPS Konzulting d.o.o., Anita Hozjan, Silac Optics d.o.o., Jelena Ravlić, CCE, Marijan Vukelić, MMM Vukelić d.o.o., Dubravko Bazina, Hidraulika Kutina d.d., Antonio Garcia, Belgian Economic and Commercial Office
The Ambassador of the Kingdom of Belgium visited Zadar
The Ambassador of the Kingdom of Belgium to the Republic of Croatia H.E. Philippe Benoit and the Export&Investment Attaché Mr. Antonio Garcia visited Zadar on May 24th. (photo by CCE)
They were received by Mr. Dario Jurin, President of the Croatian Chamber of Economy – Zadar County Chamber, and the Director of the Chamber, Mr. Denis Ikić.
Representatives of the CCE Zadar informed the Ambassador about the county's economy and foreign trade with Belgium, and they pointed out possible areas of cooperation.
At the end of the meeting, Antonio Garcia proposed the holding of a seminar on the topic : “Belgium - your business destination in the heart of Europe” at the Zadar Chamber, in order to familiarise local businesses with the economic situation and the business environment in Belgium.
Urban Culture Guide
visit.brussels launches its first Urban Culture Guide
On Friday 19 May, during a press visit, visit.brussels launched its first Urban Culture Guide. The growing interest among tourists for the numerous aspects of urban culture was the reason for the creation of this guide. Street art, tattoo parlours, skate & roller parks, record stores… this new guide provides lovers of the genre with all the city’s best spots.
Read the press release
Visiting Omco Croatia d.o.o.
On May 9th, The Ambassador of Belgium in Croatia, Mr. Philippe Benoit, and our Economic Attaché Antonio Garcia visited the 100% Belgian-owned company Omco Croatia d.o.o.
The European leading manufacturer of moulds for glass bottles celebrated this year its 20th anniversary, showing a significant development : starting with 115 employees in 1997, Omco gives now work to 650 people, 10% of which have been here from Day 1.
On the following link you will see a few pictures taken during the visit of the production unit, part of a 100.000 m2 site:
Omco is and remains by far the biggest Belgian investment in Croatia.
Belgian Ambassador and Attaché visited Fidelta
On April 12th, the Belgian Ambassador Philippe Benoit and Export and Investment Attaché Antonio Garcia visited the company Fidelta, a branch of the Galapagos Group (http://www.glpg.com/).
They were welcomed by the new Managing Director, Mrs Adrijana Vinter, PhD, MBA, who replaced the now retired Phil Dudfield.
The main topic of the meeting was the wish of Fidelta to expand its Zagreb premises.
To this purpose, they look for an investor/owner who would erect a custom-made building for a contract research organization (CRO) like Fidelta.
Can Brussels lure London companies keen to relocate before Brexit?
Expansion of Omco Croatia
"Omco Croatia has finished the construction of a new building with a surface of 10.000m², which will allow us to separate the manufacturing of cavities from the neck ring components in environmentally friendly and spacious surroundings."
Prior to the completion this plant was already the world`s biggest single facility mould manufacturer, now with capacity to produce almost 90.000 cavities and 380.000 neck rings.
(Source : http://www.omcomould.com/ ↗)
Omco Croatia’s Headquarters in Hum na Sutli.
One of Omco’s bestsellers: Coca Cola classic bottle.
Darko Ranogajec, CEO of Omco Croatia and member of the Board of BMT Group.
Reynaers Aluminium in cooperation with Modern Line in Kastav
a fruitful business cooperation
Last Thursday, Ambassador Philippe Benoit and the representatives of the commercial section of the Embassy, attended an official event in the city of Kastav, celebrating the fruitful business cooperation between the Belgian company Reynaers Aluminium and the Croatian Modern Line.
Albertas Jerusevicius, Reynaers Aluminium Regional Director
The event gathered numerous Croatian and foreign professionals in the field of construction and architecture.
On Friday, the Belgian delegation was received by the Mayor of Kastav, Mr. Ivica Lukanović, and presented several business opportunities in this area.
Presentation of the Investment Projects in Sisak-Moslavina County
5th Annual Assembly of the Croatian Chamber of Agriculture
Field Trip to the Zagreb County
Brussels in Zagreb 2016
In close cooperation with Visit.Brussels (www.visitbrussels.be) and Brussels Airlines (https://www.brusselsairlines.