Chile – Unused Potentials for Croatian Companies
WE PRESENT THE CROATIAN CHAMBERS ABROAD
200,000 Croats live in Chile
Chile is the sixth largest country with Croatians in the world after the United States, Germany, Argentina, Australia and Canada, with estimates of about 200,000 Croats.
We asked chamber president Alex Tudor how to achieve better economic co-operation and the potential for Croatian companies in Chile. Mr. Tudor has lived and worked in Croatia for several years as a representative of the Lukšić Group. He was also General Manager of Karlovačko Brewery and had the opportunity to participate in other companies of Lukšić Group in Croatia, mainly in the tourism sector. Now he lives in Chile where he has his own business. He is also a representative of the Croatian Government Council for Croats outside Croatia.
What is the potential of the chamber you represent for stronger economic cooperation between the two countries and how can you help Croatian exporters in the country where you operate?
One of the proposals would be for the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK) to gather Croatian companies interested in coming to Chile and provide information about companies and in which branches they want to make connections. We then have enough time to arrange quality meetings with local importers, distributors and customers. We can also help companies that do not come physically to Chile to connect them with business representatives who could be business partners, so communication can continue by phone, mail, or someting similar.
We are a small chamber, so we do not have enough resources for market research, but we are happy to link Croatian companies to those sectors / companies where we have contacts. In order to make a stronger impact, it would be ideal for the Croatian Embassy in Chile to appoint a commercial advisor who would, among other things, work on market research. In that way the Croatian exporters would already have market analytics and contacts in those sectors where we are not present. Unfortunately, that is not the case. It is possible that the priorities are different, and we know that the resources are always limited, which is understandable.
Clearly, the opportunities for improvement should be considered at the level of economic institutions in Croatia in charge of strengthening international affairs. But do you have any idea how much interest from Croatian export companies has been in Chile so far?
Over the past few years, large and small businesses have joined us, through the embassy, our chamber, or directly. Delegations came through the HGK. For example, in March 2017, when President of the Republic of Croatia Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović accompanied by the President of the Croatian Chamber of Economy Mr. Luka Burilović and the delegation of businessmen visited us. For a more concrete entry to the Chilean market, it is necessary to invest more time in market research, insight into the real opportunities of competition and start cooperation with the best importers / distributors in Chile, as I explained in the previous answer. After that, our chamber can arrange meetings in Chile which I believe will give good results.
What is the first association of Chileans when mentioning Croatia?
What are the most promising industries, and which industries are rapidly developing in your country? Where do you see the chances for our exporters?
The biggest economic sectors in Chile are mining, wood and fruit industries, and potential is in the fastest growing industries – solar energy, astronomy, fisheries, agroindustry, food production and software development. I am firmly convinced there are numerous business opportunities for Croatian companies.
Right now, the situation is that most Chilean exports come to Croatia but not directly, but through other countries such as the Netherlands (Rotterdam) or Germany (Frankfurt). The trade exchange between Croatia and Chile amounts to $ 2.5 million a year, almost as if it did not exist.
For the last question, we are interested in your opinion about the Meeting G2 Conference where you have participated several times. How much can such initiatives help to develop cooperation between Croatia and the world?
I recommend Meeting G2 and I invite people who want to know what is happening in Croatia and meet with entrepreneurs from the world, with different geographic latitudes, to come to the next meeting in November this year.