“Croatia looks resolutely towards future at the national, research and economic levels”
The Croatian Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Damir Krstičević took part in the Croatia- U.S. Defense Forum co-organised by American-Central European Business Association (ACEBA) and the Croatian Defense Industry Competitiveness Cluster, with the assistance from the U.S. Embassy to Croatia, the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Croatia and the Zagreb Innovation Centre, and held in Zagreb on 13 November 2019.
Alongside numerous representatives of the United States and Croatian defence industry, of the Ministry of Defence, of the Ministry of Economy and of the Ministry of Finance, the Croatia- U. S. forum was attended by the Croatian Ambassador to the United States, H. E. Pjer Šimunović and by the United States Ambassador to Croatia, H. E. Robert Kohorst, by the Defence Attaché of the United States to Croatia Colonel Robert Mathers, by the President of ACEBA Eric Stewart, by the Chairman of the Croatian Defense Industry Competitiveness Cluster and by the Director of the Zagreb Innovation Centre Frane Šesnić.
The objective of the Croatia – U. S. Defense Forum is to stimulate future defence and security co-operation between the United States and Croatia.
The Forum was organised to stimulate further economy co-operation and bilateral relations between the United States and Croatia related to security and defence and to create an opportunity for the exchange of interests and potentials for future partnership of the Croatian and the U.S. firms.
Minister Krstičević praised the Croatia – U.S. co-operation and the continued defence-related support from the U.S. consisting in valuable military equipment donated to the Croatian Armed Forces over the past 20 years.
The Minister underlined the 5th Adriatic Sea Defense & Aerospace Exhibition (ASDA), held in Split in April 2019, organised by the U.S.-based TNT Production Inc. and under the auspices of the Government of the Republic of Croatia and supported by the Ministry of Defence, which gathered 185 internationally renowned manufacturers from 26 countries, 34 senior delegations (meeting with the representatives of the Croatian Government and of the economy sector) and the highest number of visitors to date.
“Allow me to take this opportunity to invite you to the next ASDA, dedicated to new defence technologies and unmanned systems, to take place in Split from 21 – 23 April 2021,” said the Minister.
Krstičević: We should be rightly proud of the Croatian defence industry and its progress
“Croatia looks resolutely towards the future, at the national, the research and economy levels. We can be proud of the Croatian defence industry and its progress.
Minister Krstičević quoted the example of the Croatian firm “UTILIS” as a producer of internationally recognised quality. The firm is a recipient of funds from the European structural and investment funds (with the support from the European Defence Agency), for a research project “Cyber Conflict Simulator” worth nearly HRK 4.5 mil. The project has been welcomed as the “first fully fledged defence project funded from the ESIF”.
The Minister said the European Union and the Republic of Croatia were the United States’ strategic partners and stated: “We shall welcome each opportunity to intensify the partnership, for the benefit of the two countries and their economies and to create a positive setting for mutual prosperity, safe from modern-day hybrid threats and asymmetric threats”.
The Forum has provided an opportunity to intensify the partnership, for the benefit of the two countries and their economies and to create a positive setting for mutual prosperity, safe from modern-day hybrid threats and asymmetric threats.
U. S. Ambassador to Croatia: I look forward to seeing the U.S. companies included in this endeavor whenever feasible
The U.S. Ambassador to Croatia Robert Kohorst praised the Forum gathering nine leading U.S. firms. The Ambassador stated he had visited several Croatian defence industry companies and underlined the potential for intensified defence-related co-operation. He also appreciated Croatia as a reliable NATO partner for the United States, essential for keeping peace and stability in the southeast Europe and joining the U.S. forces in several missions worldwide.
Ambassador Kohorst recalled the continuous support from the United States with the modernisation of the Croatian Armed Forces.
“The United States has over the past 10 years invested more USD 600 mil assistance into the defence sector.
As the U. S Ambassador, I look forward to seeing the U.S. companies included in this endeavor whenever feasible. This will provide a strong basis for the continuous development of our bilateral relationship”, said Ambassador Kohorst.
The Croatian Ambassador to the United States H.E. Pjer Šimunović highlighted the vast potential for the co-operation of the Croatian and the U.S. defence industries, and extended appreciation to the United States for the military assistance programmes provided that had significantly upgraded the capabilities of the Croatian Armed Forces.
The President of ACEBA-a Eric Stewart said the Forum was the first event of the kind, intended to promote the co-operation between the United States and Croatia and expressed belief it would produce future joint deals and projects of mutual benefit. “It is a win-win situation. Croatia is aware of the importance of national security and defence. I am optimist and convinced that this Forum will open a series of events that will serve as opportunities to discuss new co-operation for the respective firms and governments.
The President of the Croatian Defense Industry Competitiveness Cluster Goran Basarac presented the best known achievements and products of the Croatian defence industry.