The Invest-EU conference, part of a sweeping investment program headed by the European Commission, was held in Zagreb on Monday.
Organized in cooperation by the European Investment Bank (EIB), the Croatian Chamber of Economy, the European Commission (EC), and Hanza Media, the conference is part of a European Commission program with an investment potential of 650 billion euros that provides entrepreneurs with new and better financing opportunities.
The head of the EIB's Zagreb office, Anton Kovačev, said entrepreneurs needed to prepare to take advantage of the opportunities offered by InvestEU. EIB support for investors in Croatia, he says, currently exceeds six billion euros.
Luka Burilović, the president of the Croatian Chamber of Economy, said Croatia's Presidency of the Council of the European Union, which gets underway in January next year, was a unique opportunity that could either provide the country with "a lot or very little". He added that it was the perfect opportunity for Croatia to take over the mantle from the countries who, he said, had missed their window of opportunity.
Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Zdravko Marić said the program was a continuation of the EU's strategic investment plan, better known as the Juncker Plan - named after outgoing Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. Marić added that there were four key areas of focus: sustainable infrastructure, investment, innovation and digitization, small and medium-sized enterprises, social inclusion, and cohesion.
"Most people and entrepreneurs are interested in are certain guarantees," said the minister. "Through guarantees, opportunities, and incentives, we can open up additional long-term sources of financing with more favorable terms in order to further stimulate investments."
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