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(E) Croatian President on a two-day official visit to France
By Nenad N. Bach | Published  06/20/2003 | Business | Unrated
(E) Croatian President on a two-day official visit to France


Croatian President on a two-day official visit to France


Croatian President Stjepan Mesic arrived in Paris on Wednesday on a two-day official visit and to attend the French-Croatian economic forum. The Croatian head of state also met with Christian Poncelet, the president of the French parliament's upper house. In a brief statement to reporters, Poncelet said talks focused on the development of cooperation between the two countries' parliaments and the advancing of trade and industrial relations. According to the French official, Croatia has great potential and French companies should be encouraged to participate in its development, so the country could enter the EU as soon as possible. The head of the Senate voiced satisfaction with the great efforts Croatia was investing into making relations with its neighbours as good as possible.

Croatia and France on Thursday signed three agreements - on the avoidance of double taxation, on cooperation between small and medium-sized companies, and on cooperation between the Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development (HBOR) and the French Export Insurance Agency (COFACE). The last barriers have been removed and investments are expected to grow. Croatian Deputy Prime Minister Slavko Linic said after signing the agreement on the avoidance of double taxation with France's Foreign Trade Minister Francois Loos at the French finance ministry. The signing of the three agreements marked the end of the official part of a two-day visit by Croatian President Stjepan Mesic and an economic and political delegation to France. The trip ends with a gala dinner organised by Croatia's National Tourist Board.

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