Conference "Croatian Presidency of the Council of the EU - Competitiveness and Growth"

Croatian Presidency of the Council of the EU – an opportunity for the business community

“In January 2020, the Republic of Croatia, as a Member State of the European Union, will take over the important role of representing the common interests of the Member States. Considering that more than 60% of Croatia’s foreign trade is done with the EU, the Croatian Presidency of the Council of the EU represents a unique opportunity not only to show what we have, but also to learn from others. Because a competitive Croatia means a more competitive Europe,” said Andrea Doko Jelušić, Executive Director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Croatia, at the AmCham conference “Croatian Presidency of the Council of the EU – Competitiveness and Growth” held at Sheraton Zagreb Hotel on November 5th.

She underlined that AmChams see themselves as a bridge between the national economy in which they operate and the US, and that for decades the US and Europe have been each other’s most important foreign trade partner, collectively generating 5.5 trillion USD a year in trade and together employing nearly 16 million workers on both sides of the Atlantic. More importantly, the US and Europe are each other's primary source and destination for foreign direct investments. In 2017, 54% of direct foreign investments in the US came from Europe, while 55% of global American investments were invested in Europe. This all shows that the ties that bind us are deep and strong, said Doko Jelušić.

“Given that one of AmCham's main tasks is to contribute to improving the business of its members by advocating best business practices and strengthening relationships with decision-makers, we have decided to organize a conference precisely on the topic of the Croatian Presidency. Our aim is to familiarize the business community with the priorities of the Croatian Presidency, the impact of planned EU policies on certain sectors of the economy, the opportunities provided by the new Multiannual Financial Framework, and key industries for the EU,” said Berislav Horvat, President of the Board of Governors of AmCham.

“In principle, we have identified four program priorities that we will focus on during our Presidency. As part of the first one, a Europe that is developing, we will promote equally sustainable and inclusive growth and seek to address the urgent issue of demographic challenges within the EU. As part of the second priority, a Europe that connects, we will promote initiatives contributing to transport, energy and digital connectivity, and address the challenges of new technologies and digitalization. The third priority is a Europe that protects its citizens and strengthens their security, both internally and externally. We will work on a comprehensive approach to migration and all the challenges in this regard, especially those related to illegal migration. The fourth priority is a Europe that is open and assertive in its immediate neighborhood and globally,” said the President of the Republic of Croatia, Kolinda Grabar Kitarović, closing the today’s AmCham conference.

In her speech, the President also addressed the Three Seas Initiative and said that during the Presidency Croatia would focus on, among other things, improving and completing trans-European transport networks, maritime affairs and developing competitive and sustainable shipping, creating the conditions and removing the remaining obstacles for the full functioning of 5G networks, the continuation of the establishment of a functional digital single market, and the continuation of the establishment and implementation of the Energy Union as the backbone of the common European energy policy.

The conference also hosted a panel discussion where Josip Aladrović, Minister of Labor and the Pension System; Gordan Grlić Radman, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs; Joško Mrndže, Country Manager Adriatics, Google; Alexander Roediger, Chair of AmCham EU's Healthcare Committee and Executive Director Oncology Policy, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Canada (EMEAC), Merck Sharp & Dohme; Ruža Tomić Fontana, General Manager Coca-Cola HBC for Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Slovenia; and Davor Tremac, Uber Croatia General Manager spoke about their views of the direction of the Croatian and European economy, the key present and future challenges to their industries in the EU’s single market and globally, the necessary changes to national and EU policies in order to keep certain industries globally competitive, and examples of good practice in other Member States.

  • November 5, 2019
  • 11:30h - 15:00h
  • The Sheraton Zagreb Hotel (Grand Ballroom), Kneza Borne 2
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  • 11:30 – 12:00 Registration and welcome drinks
  • 12:00 – 12:10 Welcome speeches
    -Ms. Andrea Doko Jelušić, Executive Director, AmCham
    -Ms. Susan Danger, CEO, AmCham EU
    -Mr. Berislav Horvat, President of the Board of Governors, AmCham 
  • 12:15 – 13:30 Panel discussion
  • 13:30 – 14:00 Keynote speech
    -Kolinda Grabar Kitarović, President of the Republic of Croatia
  • 14:00 – 15:00 Lunch

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