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Meeting G2: ‘We believe Croatia actually has 8 million inhabitants’

MEETING G2: ‘We believe Croatia actually has 8 million inhabitants’

(Photo: Meeting G2.9)

MEETING G2.9: The Land of Rising Optimism

In just under a month, the 9th edition of the oldest business conference that connects business professionals from Croatia and the diaspora will take place. 

After its first eight years, the Meeting G2 conference, which fosters business connections between the homeland and the diaspora, is moving away from Zagreb for the first time. It will be held in Sisak from September 28th to 30th. 

The organizers aim to accelerate the economic recovery of Banovina, a region affected by the 2020 earthquake, with the assistance of Croatian expatriates from around the world.

Over the first eight Meeting G2 conferences, more than 1,100 attendees participated, including approximately 350 individuals from 34 countries worldwide. They had the opportunity to get acquainted with nearly 300 Croatian companies, interact with hundreds of local entrepreneurs, and learn about around 40 startups.

This year’s conference, titled “The Land of Rising Optimism,” will take place in Sisak under the patronage of the President of the Republic of Croatia, the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, the Central State Office for Croats Abroad, the Sisak-Moslavina County, and the City of Petrinja. 

The event will be hosted at the Entrepreneurial Incubator PISAK, owned by Matt Sertić, a successful returnee from the United States. The conference will be ceremoniously opened by the President of the Republic of Croatia, Zoran Milanović.

In contrast to the previous eight conferences, this year’s event is moving outside of Zagreb to Sisak. The organizers want to showcase the business potential of Banovina to Croatian business professionals from around the world and strengthen the local economy in a region devastated by the earthquake in 2020.

The conference is expected to attract numerous successful businesspeople of Croatian origin from all corners of the globe, including Australia, Europe, South America, and North America. They aim to network with Croatian business professionals, entrepreneurs, and exporters. In the first eight meetings of Meeting G2, around 350 business professionals from 34 countries participated, with more than 1,100 attendees overall. 

These attendees engaged in 47 panel discussions with 250 panelists, witnessed presentations from 42 domestic startups, and became familiar with over 300 local companies.

“The goal of our association, Meeting G2, remains the same this year: to connect businesspeople of Croatian origin from all over the world, increase diaspora investments in Croatia, help promote Croatian products globally with the assistance of the diaspora, and stem the ‘brain drain.’ We believe that Croatia actually has eight million inhabitants, not just four, as indicated by the census! We are firmly convinced that, with more optimism and belief in our own strengths, we can become one of the most developed European countries,” emphasizes the president of the Meeting G2 Association, Antun Krešimir Buterin.

The Meeting G2 Association is part of the global initiative ‘One Croatia,’ which, following the earthquake, brought together around 30 associations from Croatia and around the world. They raised approximately half a million USD, which was donated to the Sisak hospital, firefighters, engineers, and the Vrbina Children’s Home. 

MEETING G2: ‘We believe Croatia actually has 8 million inhabitants’

(Photo: Meeting G2.9)

“The reconstruction of Banovina after the earthquake has been significantly accelerated, and the state will undoubtedly rebuild all the destroyed houses, bridges, roads, hospitals, and schools. However, if people don’t have jobs and the opportunity to earn an honest living, we fear that these new buildings will soon be left empty. That’s why we have modified the previous format and placed a special focus solely on Banovina, a region rich in potential, conveniently located just 20 minutes from the largest airport, and unjustifiably one of the poorest areas in Croatia,” explains Buterin, highlighting the motivations for choosing Sisak as the conference location.

Over the course of the two-day conference, visitors will have the opportunity to learn about various attractive business opportunities, quality investments, accelerated economic development, and the creation of new jobs through about ten panels featuring over 40 top experts. Among the topics discussed will be the potential of the Sisak port, the navigability of the Sava River, the transformation of Banovina into a new transport and logistics center, canal construction, the grand project of Termi Siscia and its rich geothermal water sources, green agriculture, solar panels, renewable energy sources, the indigenous grape variety Škrlet, the tourist potential of rivers and forests, as well as Banovina’s connection with modern technologies such as AI, robotics, drones, and the gaming industry.

The program will also feature several experts from the Netherlands who, through cooperation with the KroNland Association, will share Dutch experiences in constructing and using river canals for cargo transport and river tourism development. They will also present two exciting projects for which Banovina is an ideal location: the construction of a giant butterfly garden and self-sustaining bio-houses. The organizers also announce several surprise guests, including motivational speakers from the world of sports, comedians, caricaturists, musicians, and more. “Our ‘Land of Rising Optimism’ deserves a bit of entertainment, diversion, and—above all—optimism,” emphasize the Meeting G2 Association.

The conference will take place at the Entrepreneurial Incubator PISAK, in partnership with Applied Ceramics, both owned by Matt Sertić, a successful returnee from the United States who has launched multiple successful factories and companies in his hometown of Sisak. Additionally, this spring, he opened a hotel in Jablanac where all his employees can vacation for free.

MEETING G2: ‘We believe Croatia actually has 8 million inhabitants’

Pisak (Photo: Meeting G2.9)

For more information about previous meetings, please visit the official website. 

Tickets are already available online through the Entrio system. 

For more information, feel free to contact them via email at [email protected]. 

Below is the music video for”Jedna domovina” dedicated to the diaspora by Zaprešić Boys, with active support from the Meeting G2 Association and the One Croatia initiative:

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