INDIA, CROATIA TO STEP UP BILATERAL TRADE
MARKETING CENTRE IN CROATIA MOOTED
Date : 15 Apr 2002
Location : New Delhi
India and Croatia have agreed to take steps to further increase and diversify bilateral trade on a mutually beneficial and balanced basis. The bilateral trade was reviewed at the Sixth Session of the Indo-Croatian Joint Committee on Trade and Economic Cooperation held here today, which noted with concern the stagnating trend in the volume of trade in the past few years and emphasised the need for major initiatives to tap the vast existing potential. Shri S.N. Menon, Additional Secretary, Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and Industry and co-chairman of the Indian side, led the Indian delegation while the Croatian delegation was led by Ms. Olgica Spevec, Assistant Minister for Trade Policy & Economic Relations, Ministry of Economy, Government of Croatia, at the one-day Joint Committee Meet.
Both sides have agreed to support the initiatives for setting up of a Marketing Centre in Croatia to promote bilateral trade between India and Central & Eastern European countries. The Croatian side is ready to offer use of the warehouse at Rijeka Port. The Croatian side also informed about the Croatian Law on free zones and invited Indian companies to use facilities of the Port of Rijeka and existing free zones in Croatia.
The Indian side impressed upon the Croatians the need to activate efforts to step up exports from India to Croatia in non-traditional or niche product groups such as engineering items, software/information technology, electronics, plastics, packaging, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment and food processing etc. as also for expanding the traditional export basket to include medicinal herbs, and herbal medicines, processed foods, automobiles & auto parts, silver and kitchen ware etc. The Croatian side on their part, expressed interest in increasing their exports to India on various items especially different kinds of ships and boats, complete equipment for power plants especially generators, turbines etc.
Both sides have agreed to advise their respective banking agencies to initiate banking arrangements to establish Line of Credit to finance exports of both sides with focus on machinery, industrial manufactures and related services. Exim Bank of India would explore possibilities of signing credit guarantee agreement with the Croatian Bank for reconstruction and development (CBRD). It was also agreed that the Agreement on Avoidance of Double Taxation would be finalised for signing as early as possible.
Cooperation in the areas of textiles, leather & footwear, tourism, engineering, energy, oil industry, chemicals, petro-chemicals & pharmaceuticals, electronics & software/IT, telecommunications, ship building, industry especially machine building and food processing would be further explored. In respect of textiles, both sides agreed to improve the manufacturing of Indian textile semi-products in Croatia for exports to third country markets.
The Croatian side also responded favourably to the Indian suggestion for creation of joint ventures between Indian and Croatian companies for setting up of customs bonded warehouses which would facilitate prompt and timely delivery of goods to Croatian importers.
The Indian drafts of Agreements for Cooperation in Agriculture and
Allied sectors, Health & Medicines, Plant Quarantine & Plant Protection, Science & Technology and on National Televisions were handed over to the Croatian side for consideration, with both sides agreeing to initiate negotiations on these agreements soon. This is indicated in the Protocol of the Indo-Croatian Joint Committee on Trade & Economic Cooperation, which was signed this afternoon by Shri S.N. Menon and Ms. Olgica Spevec on behalf of their respective governments