Croatian President Kolinda Grabar Kitarović says that the country’s emigrant community around the world is huge potential for Croatia, although there is room to improve the connection and economic platform…
Grabar Kitarović was speaking at the opening of the G2 conference, the first conference organised by Croatian returnees for Croatian returnees, in Zagreb yesterday, and the President stressed that more needs to be done to connect with Croatia’s emigrant community.
“History has shown that Croatia’s emigrant community has thought more about how to assist Croatia than vice versa and even though this has improved slightly recently, it is still not enough and I will do everything in my power to improve it further,” she said, adding that the G2 conference was one way of better connecting the Croatia with its large Diaspora.
Around 1.1 billion euros is believed to be sent to Croatia annually from its Diaspora community around the world and the President said that a stronger strategic approach was needed as there was an unconstitutional approach to the emigrant community which she believed was Croatia’s strength.
“The large outflow of young people from Croatia is probably the greatest long-term economic and social problem of the country,” she said, calling on emigrants to be partners in boosting Croatia’s economic development through projects that will keep young people in the country.
“The aim of the G2 conference is for participants to network, introduce new projects to potential investors in the Diaspora, to restore their confidence and also keep young people in Croatia. Croatia is not lacking good ideas – just funds,” said project director Josip Hrgetić.
The conference, which is being attended by over 100 participants, half of whom are second and third generation emigrants from mainly South America, USA, Canada and Germany, ends in Zagreb on 30 October.