Full text of keynote speech：Ms. Jiang Yu, founder of Z-Run Well Ton Industry Co., Ltd., was invited to participate in the Zagreb Infrastructure Summit on May 21, local time.
Dear ladies and gentlemen,
I am very honored to have this opportunity to speak today. Since my first visit in 2018, I have visited Croatia almost 10 times together with my colleagues and fellow investors. Last month, the 8th China-CEEC Summit was held in beautiful Dubrovnik City, during which Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang made his first official visit to Croatia, marking one of the most significant moments in bilateral relationship between our two countries since the establishment of diplomatic relations. During the Prime Minister’s visit, I was also in Croatia, and I would like to share with you two little, but nevertheless exceptional experiences that truly show the amount of support and welcome we are experiencing here in Croatia:
One was in a restaurant, not far away from Zagreb, where I was having lunch with my team. The waiter greeted us warmly, and just before serving the meal, he happily showed us the newspaper with the news article about the visit of our delegation to Croatia, and he said “You are particularly welcome to invest in Croatia.” . Another one was when we were buying fruit in the open market. The stall owners and people around helped us pick the fruits with a wonderful smile on their faces. Before we leave, we were asked to take photos with them, which is a very wonderful and warm scene.
As a Chinese investor, when I walk on the streets of the cities in your country, I feel like every old building tells a story of history and culture, and that every visitor that comes to Croatia feels welcomed and respected.
Recently, I have heard the information that, according to a research in Croatia, 89% of the people consider Sino-Croatian relations to be friendly, 85% think China would be a reliable partner to Croatia, and 86% of Croatians support Chinese investments in infrastructure and tourism. This information is definitely important to us, and I am always happy to share my experiences with my friends and business partners back in China, about how welcoming Croatia is, and how passionate Croatians are.
At present, the economic cooperation between China and Croatia is quickly developing, and the bilateral relations between the two countries have entered into the best period in history. We are aware of Croatia's superior geographical position in Europe, practically in the “heart of Europe” and with the access to the open sea. Through our efforts, Croatia has the opportunity to use its advantages for development of trade and logistics, since the trips of goods from Far East to Europe can be shortened by 1/3 of the time. From a position of an investor, I can tell you that Croatia has exceptional geographical advantages.
The choice we would like to invest in Croatia, especially in big projects like infrastructure, comes from recognizing opportunities in Croatia as well as knowing current trends in the world. And the most importantly, identifying WHAT people need. Every development project should go in line with the interests of people that live here, and for that reason I hope to work closely with Croatian government, local governments and our Croatian friends that can help us achieve this. Projects that we are interested in are the ones that will built better infrastructure, improve public service facilities, create more jobs and improve people’s lives.
Croatia’s success at the World Cup in Russia was an incredible moment for Croatians, and it was a very personal moment for me as well, because I was visiting your country several times and got acquainted with many good friends and close partners. I could not help watching all of the Croatia’s games, I was as excited as the people who love Croatia. And I clearly remember the words of your national team coach Dalic, just before the semi-final game: “Everything is possible in our country, the whole Croatia is celebrating our success. However, the infrastructure and overall conditions in which our football players develop is unthinkable, even to countries that achieve much less in sports. Croatians are carried by talent and emotion.”
His words made me think, made me respect Croatians very much, they are diligent, brave, united and born fighters. At that time, we were doing initial evaluation of several investment projects, so we also looked into current level of the sports infrastructure in Croatia. We were surprised with how little, in terms of sports infrastructure and related facilities, you have made this tremendous football success. After inspecting the overall situation we have defined initial plans for the investment into a sports stadium in Croatia, but also into the Football Academy, the Sports Centre and some other projects that could be successful, especially in case of deeper cooperation with Chinese sports institutions and various football and other sports clubs and academies.
Sport brings much attention in Croatia, together with tourism as an important industry sector. We are also concentrated in tourism-related projects in Croatia, especially in the niche of health tourism where Croatia has unique advantages. We are willing to talk with the Croatian government about strategic development and broader cooperation in several fields, such as special economic zones and transport infrastructure like airports, seaports and railways.
The reason why we pay so much attention to infrastructure, is that these kinds of investments, in a long run, exponentially contribute to the growth of GDP, and create additional value for the local community. By knowing everything what I know now about Croatia and Croatian people, it made my decision easier to support sustainable development here, and to bring investments from the Far East to Croatia. Our partners here in Croatia and local people that welcome us every time, bring us so much positive emotion which I never forget to mention when back in Peking.
Today, I was happy to share my feelings about Croatia, and mention a few investment areas that my team intents to work on. It is a very gratifying thing to see that the leadership of our two countries spare no effort to promote mutual cooperation, and work on formulation of various policies to support investment and economic development.
I am also very grateful to the leaders in the Croatian governments at all levels. I have visited many cities in Croatia, and every county governor, mayor, and government official show their devotion to the development of their local community.
I would like to give special appreciation to my closest partner in Croatia, Mr. Mario Rendulić, President of Chinese Southeast European Business Association (CSEBA). With his recommendation and continuous help, all our projects here are currently in progress.
I believe that, in the near future, in business and everyday life, Croatia will become my second home. My friends and I will continue to work hard for our common goals, with passion and dream.
Thank you Everyone!