Presentation of the Croatian wood industry held at the Croatian Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai

The Croatian Pavilion at EXPO 2020 Dubai hosted a business networking event, during which Croatia presented its wood industry, as well as the perspectives of its development and its wood products. I

The guests were shown promotional videos about Croatia, its forests, and numerous high value products from companies involved in wood processing and furniture manufacturing, while the introductory speeches were given by Ivić Pašalić, President of CEA – Wood and Paper Industry Association, Milka Kosanović, Director of Membership Affairs of the CEA, Tomislav Ćorić, Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Croatia, and Shaikh Mubarak Ali Abdulla Hamad Alkhalifa, Chairman of the Board of Bluesun Hotels. The event was also attended by Tomislav Bošnjak, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary in the Arabic Republic of Egypt and Jasmin Devlić, Consul General and Director of the Croatian Pavilion. During their presentation in Dubai, the eighteen most successful companies from the Croatian wood industry were divided into four groups according to their final products and types of production. After the presentations, Andrea Nikolić, a professional musician, violinist, conductor, and the general and artistic director of the CRO-ArT Festival had her performance.

„The Croatian wood sector has good numbers, and we are recording constant growth. The 20% growth in exports is the best evidence of this, while official statistics show steady growth in employees, wages, total revenues, and exports. This is a sector with strong development and investment potential. We generate total revenues of around 1.8 billion euros, exports are over 1.05 billion euros, and we are the only sector that has a surplus in foreign trade. That surplus amounts to 367 million euros, making up over 7% of Croatia’s merchandise exports,“ Ivić Pašalić, President of CEA – Wood and Paper Industry Association, pointed out in his introductory speech.

In their participation in EXPO so far, the Croatian representatives have shown that they can compete with more developed and larger countries. The knowledge, tradition, and product quality prevailed during today’s presentation of the wood processing sector. This presentation opened many doors to numerous markets in which Croatian products have not been represented in a larger percentage so far, and potential suppliers from all over the world followed our presentation with great interest. We are especially pleased that our wood processing sector in recent years, which were challenging in many ways, has managed to further step up and improve its business, and is one of the pillars of the Croatian economy with almost 7% of exports in total exports of goods.

„The domestic wood processing industry is one of the most important industries in Croatia. It is therefore not surprising that the delegation of our companies from this sector attracted great interest from visitors. This event is an excellent opportunity to present the potential of Croatian companies to business partners from all over the world and further strengthen the presence of Croatian producers on the world market,” said the Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development, Tomislav Ćorić.

In Dubai, Croatian entrepreneurs have shown that Croatia is not only a prestigious tourist destination but also a place where high-quality final wood products are produced, emphasizing the world-renowned value and quality of Slavonian oak. The countries that are the most important trade partners of Croatian exporting companies are Italy, Germany, Austria, and Slovenia, which corresponds to the overall structure of Croatian foreign trade, while the appearance in Dubai will undoubtedly expand the export of Croatian wood products, primarily to Asian markets.

Photo credits: Marko Zirdum

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