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PRESS RELEASE December 13, 2018

Croatia Strategic Partnership Focus of World Bank Vice President’s Visit

ZAGREB, December 13, 2018 — Cyril Muller, World Bank Vice President for Europe and Central Asia, visited Croatia to discuss how the World Bank can further assist the country in increasing its growth potential and improving living standards of all Croatians.  Mr. Muller met with Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Agriculture Tomislav Tolušić, Minister of Finance Zdravko Marić, Minister of Regional Development and EU Funds Gabrijela Žalac, Minister of Science and Education Blaženka Divjak and Governor of the Croatian National Bank Boris Vujčić. Mr. Muller was joined by Arup Banerji, World Bank Regional Director for European Union countries, and Elisabetta Capannelli, World Bank Country Manager for Croatia and Slovenia.

During the discussions, the Prime Minister reconfirmed the Government’s interest to work jointly with the World Bank under the new Country Strategy 2019-23. He asked the World Bank to accompany, advise, and finance Croatia in its program to accelerate growth and convergence to European income levels, and reduce vulnerability and regional disparities.

During the visit, Mr. Muller also visited the Rijeka Port Authority to see the results of the World Bank supported Rijeka Gateway Program and discuss future development plans for the port. In Rijeka, he was joined by Minister of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure, Oleg Butković.

“We are encouraged by Croatia’s continued progress on fiscal consolidation, debt reduction and sustained economic recovery,” said Cyril Muller during his visit. “With these important building blocks now in place, the forthcoming Country Strategy will support Croatia’s efforts in increasing productivity and competitiveness, deepening technology adoption and innovation, and investing in people while also creating opportunities in the less developed regions of the country.”

Since joining the World Bank Group in 1993, Croatia has benefited from the World Bank’s financial and technical assistance, policy advice, and analytical services. To date, the World Bank has supported more than 50 operations amounting to around US$3.5 billion. The Bank’s current engagement focuses on transport, health, innovation, business environment, land administration, agriculture, economic development of the Slavonia regions and support for the preparation of the National Development Strategy.

For more information on the World Bank’s work in Croatia, please visit:


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