ZAGREB — Ambassador to Croatia Hu Zhaoming said on July 10 that the bilateral relations between China and Croatia have entered the best period as Croatia will be the host of the summit of China and 16 Central and Eastern European Countries (CEEC) next year.
Hu is confident that Croatia will be a great host of the China-CEEC summit next year. He expressed hope that the Croatian government would communicate with all political parties in promoting the “16+1” cooperation.
“Croatia has been participating actively in the cooperation of ‘16+1’. Croatia took the lead on forming an association for small and medium-sized enterprises and this coming September Croatia will host a ‘16+1’ conference of tourism ministers,” the ambassador told a news conference held in the Chinese embassy.
According to Hu, China-Croatia relations have entered the best period in history. Trade volume between the two countries increased more than 20 percent last year, while Croatian export to China increased more than 45 percent. Chinese tourists coming to Croatia reached 160,000 in 2017, an increased of nearly 60 percent from previous year. Chinese investment last year increased more than 100 times as a Chinese consortium led by China Road and Bridge Corporation bid successfully for the Peljesac Bridge, one of the biggest strategic infrastructure projects in the southeastern European country.
The ambassador also noted great support for China from the general public in Croatia, which can be proved by a survey conducted in February. In the survey, 89 percent of Croatian respondents regard China as a friend while 86 percent of them welcome Chinese investment.
He pointed out that the successful bidding of the Peljesac Bridge by Chinese consortium showed that bilateral relationship had reached a new height. The construction site of the bridge would be handed over to the Chinese contractor at the end of this month, Hu revealed.