The ninth edition of the conference titled „The Land of Rising Optimism” concluded with numerous interesting conclusions
Photo: MEETING G2 / Unimedia
Diaspora contributes 7% to the Croatian GDP with their investments, and this potential is ready for investment in Banovina.
After three rich days of programming at the Business incubator PISAK, the ninth edition of the Meeting G2 conference titled “The Land of Rising Optimism” officially concluded. Its goal was to connect business and the Croatian diaspora, and this year it was held for the first time outside Zagreb, in Sisak. With a symbolic start at 5 minutes to 11, the city of Sisak became the focal point of strong Croatian entrepreneurship from September 28 to 30, sending a clear message and a general conclusion that Croatia indeed has the knowledge, strength, and clear advantages for new business projects and visions. The conference was attended by more than 200 Croatian entrepreneurs and public figures from around ten countries, including the United States, Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, Venezuela, the United Kingdom, Austria, Germany, Macedonia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Over 50 panelists and key speakers presented their projects, ideas, and compelling stories with high potential for the economic revitalization of Banovina.
Antun Krešimir Buterin, President of the Meeting G2 Association, emphasized that the conference participants, through their proposals and projects, indicated that Banovina has high potential to become a top center for health tourism, a hub for profitable solar energy production promoted by the EU itself, as well as an IT center for the development of AI-driven applications and gaming. Additionally, based on the ideas of the participants, Banovina could also become a place for the production of quality wines, offering new forms of tourism, such as forest tourism, visits to a giant butterfly park that already exists in 40 countries worldwide, or after kayaking. “Sisak is in an ideal geographical position, near the Port of Rijeka, Zagreb, and our largest airport, connected by a network of modern highways. There is no reason why Sisak could not become a major transport and logistics center,” added Buterin.
The Croatian diaspora plays a significant role in the homeland’s economy. According to Darijo Magdić, Deputy State Secretary of the Central State Office for Croats Abroad, diaspora investments in Croatia stand side by side with some of the largest foreign investments. “In 2022, these remittances amounted to 5.1 billion euros, which is 7% of Croatia’s GDP,” explained Magdić.
The conference also highlighted several positive reasons for entrepreneurship development in Banovina. Along with available labor and more affordable land prices, the city of Sisak and its surroundings have a rich legacy of industrial production and engineering knowledge. Matt Darko Sertić, a returning entrepreneur and owner of the American company Applied Ceramics from Silicon Valley, agreed that, combined with non-refundable incentives for entrepreneurship, anything is possible. As an example of hosting the conference, as the owner of the PISAK entrepreneurial incubator in Sisak, he wanted to show how people from diaspora can return to their homeland and, with their investments and experience, contribute to the development of the local area. The conference organizers chose PISAK precisely because it operates in the war-damaged steelworks, symbolizing the creation of new positive business stories.
“When I wanted to open a new production facility for chip components, I thought a lot about Asia and the Far East. However, I chose Sisak. Now, 15 years after returning, I lead four economic projects and employ 200 people. I believe that the Sisak area is the right address for entrepreneurial investments because there is infrastructure and people who are industrially educated through generations, and there is no shortage of workforce,” concluded Sertić.
Boris Pogačnik, Director of Business Development at Infobip, addressed Croatian entrepreneurs and exporters at the conference, praising the important role that the Croatian diaspora played in the development and expansion of the first Croatian unicorn in the large market of South America: “Connect with our diaspora because you will gain not only a reliable business partner but also a friend with a big heart,” Pogačnik conveyed in his lecture.
Former Croatian President Kolinda Grabar Kitarović joined the conference from Washington. The conference was enriched with inspirational messages and stories of sporting success by rower Damir Martin, chess grandmaster Alojzije Janković, as well as comedian and impersonator Danko Ažić, who entertained the audience while caricaturists Davor Trgovčević and Krešimir Kveštek quickly drew them. All of this unfolded in perfect harmony with the slogan of this year’s conference, “The Land of Rising Optimism,” aiming to stimulate participants to think, awaken them, and infect them with entrepreneurial optimism.
The ninth Meeting G2 conference was held under the patronage of the President of the Republic, Zoran Milanović, the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, the Central State Office for Croats Abroad, Sisak-Moslavina County, and the City of Petrinja. Conference partners were Applied Ceramics, the PISAK entrepreneurial incubator, Kul-in, and Sunceco.
MEDIA ON MG2.9
- Dnevnik 2 HRT 1, prilog 28.09.2023. https://vijesti.hrt.hr/gospodarstvo/zemlja-izlazeceg-optimizma–11060362; ili https://enz.hrt.hr/ (Dnevnik 2 / 28. 09. 2023. prilog na 28:04 min)
- Večernji list, 01.10.2023, izvještaj s konferencije (paper issue)
- Večernji list, 02.10.2023, uvodnik (paper issue)
- Vecernji.hr, https://www.vecernji.hr/vijesti/iseljenici-dosli-sa-zeljom-da-uloze-u-banovinu-politika-ih-ignorirala-1713338
- HRT.hr, https://vijesti.hrt.hr/gospodarstvo/zemlja-izlazeceg-optimizma–11060362
- Danas.hr (RTL), https://danas.hr/hrvatska/susret-poduzetnika-i-dijaspore-u-sisku-zelimo-povezati-znanja-iseljene-i-lokalne-hrvatske-za-revitalizaciju-banovine-c5bcff54-5e3f-11ee-a472-da569ebd8d0a
- Glashrvatske.hrt.hr, https://glashrvatske.hrt.hr/hr/hrvatska/200-poduzetnika-iz-iseljenistva-i-hrvatske-na-konferenciji-meeting-g2-u-sisku-11061635
- Pixsell.hr, https://www.pixsell.hr/a/pxl/sisak-organizirana-deveta-konferencija-pod-nazivom-zemlja-izlazeceg-optimizma-2814279
- Bloomberg Adria, https://hr.bloombergadria.com/ekonomija/hrvatska/41070/poslovna-dijaspora-okupila-se-u-sisku/news/
- Poslovnifm.com, https://www.poslovnifm.com/gia/gia-hrvatska/meeting-g2-9-zemlja-izlazeceg-optimizma/
- Dijaspora.hr, https://www.dijaspora.hr/jedan-od-najuspjesnijih-hrvata-u-americi-kapital-je-uvijek-moguce-pronaci/15204
- Sisak.info, https://www.sisak.info/2023/09/29/pocela-meeting-g2-konferencija-cak-200-poduzetnika-iz-iseljenistva-i-hrvatske-okupilo-se-u-sisku/
- Croexpress.eu, https://www.croexpress.eu/u-sisku-otvorena-poslovna-konferencija-meeting-g2-9-koja-za-cilj-ima-povezati-poslovnu-zajednicu-i-iseljenicke-hrvate/
- Portal53.hr, https://portal53.hr/u-sisku-otvorena-9-meeting-g2-konferencija-zemlja-izlazeceg-optimizma-koja-povezuje-domovinsku-i-iseljenu-hrvatsku/
- Matis.hr, https://matis.hr/vijesti/najava-konferencija-meetingg2-zemlja-izlazeceg-optimizma-odrzati-ce-se-u-sisku/
- Nacionalno.hr, https://www.nacionalno.hr/cak-200-poduzetnika-iz-iseljenistva-i-hrvatske-u-sisku-otvorili-devetu-meeting-g2-konferenciju-zemlja-izlazeceg-optimizma/
- 044portal.hr, https://044portal.hr/sisak-domacin-konferencije-meeting-g2-zemlja-izlazeceg-optimizma/?fbclid=IwAR0dGmuGxWlSpuqhoMPFjSKn0X6J1eT314-Ry8kAjL2eEVMMrm6QEhc04V0
- Ps-portal.eu, https://ps-portal.eu/2023/09/28/cak-200-poduzetnika-iz-iseljenistva-i-hrvatske-u-sisku-otvorili-devetu-meeting-g2-konferenciju-zemlja-izlazeceg-optimizma/? fbclid=IwAR35tB0oaUlcdhDwFcfwFeZp2R5sU76t_bxgU2IU9C3eFrOJpiDCERJXVRU
- ZGkult.eu, https://www.zgkult.eu/2023/09/28/cak-200-poduzetnika-iz-iseljenistva-i-hrvatske-u-sisku-otvorili-devetu-meeting-g2-konferenciju-zemlja-izlazeceg-optimizma/?fbclid=IwAR2WyqhLAGgJDy0BdCk6ZDHhURhvgZnmNb4LNIYjzHh1fEoqIQlhDO0Sdxc
- Petrinja.hr, https://petrinja.hr/deveto-izdanje-konferencije-meeting-g2-odrzano-u-sisku/
- Sisak.portal.hr, https://sisakportal.hr/sisak/zavrsio-meeting-g2-iseljenistvo-svojim-investicijama-spremno-za-ulaganja-u-banovinu/
- Sisak.info, https://www.sisak.info/2023/10/03/zavrsio-meeting-g2-9-doznake-iz-inozemstva-cine-7-hrvatskog-bdp-a-a-taj-potencijal-spreman-je-za-ulaganja-i-u-banovinu/
- Poslovnifm.com, https://www.poslovnifm.com/gia/gia-hrvatska/zavrsio-meeting-g2-9-iseljenistvo-svojim-investicijama-cini-7-hrvatskog-bdp-a-a-taj-potencijal-spreman-je-za-ulaganja-u-banovinu/
- Obican.info, https://obican.info/index.php/2023/10/03/zavrsio-meeting-g2-9-iseljenistvo-svojim-investicijama-cini-7-hrvatskog-bdp-a-a-taj-potencijal-spreman-je-za-ulaganja-u-banovinu/
- PS-portal.eu, https://ps-portal.eu/2023/10/03/zavrsio-meeting-g2-9-iseljenistvo-svojim-investicijama-cini-7-hrvatskog-bdp-a-a-taj-potencijal-spreman-je-za-ulaganja-u-banovinu/
- Vinkovci.com.hr, https://vinkovci.com.hr/savjeti/zavr%C5%A1io-meeting-g2-9-iseljeni%C5%A1tvo-svojim-investicijama-%C4%8Dini-7-hrvatskog-bdp-a-a-taj-potencijal-spreman-je-za-ulaganja-u-banovinu
- Dugoselo.info, https://dugoselo.info/savjeti/zavr%C5%A1io-meeting-g2-9-iseljeni%C5%A1tvo-svojim-investicijama-%C4%8Dini-7-hrvatskog-bdp-a-a-taj-potencijal-spreman-je-za-ulaganja-u-banovinu
- Mojzagreb.info, https://mojzagreb.info/savjeti/zavr%C5%A1io-meeting-g2-9-iseljeni%C5%A1tvo-svojim-investicijama-%C4%8Dini-7-hrvatskog-bdp-a-a-taj-potencijal-spreman-je-za-ulaganja-u-banovinu