The Croatian Minister of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure, Oleg Butković, met with Chinese Transport Minister Li Xiaopeng in Beijing on Sunday for talks on cooperation in transport infrastructure, the possibility of Chinese companies using the northern Croatian Adriatic port of Rijeka and of opening direct flights between Zagreb and Beijing, the Croatian ministry said in a press release on Monday.
Butković cited the Pelješac Bridge as the most significant project that provided a boost to cooperation between Croatia and China. He emphasised Croatia’s favourable geographic position and informed his Chinese counterpart of activities Croatia was undertaking, especially with regard to railway infrastructure in the Mediterranean corridor.
Li said that China was encouraging its companies to apply for tenders and to comply with deadlines and Croatian regulations. He pointed out that the two countries were fostering friendly relations and that Croatia was an important partner to China.
Cooperation in the area of infrastructure is only in its initial, but very good phase and will continue to deepen through the One Belt, One Road and China+16 initiatives, Li said.
The meeting with the Chinese transport minister was the first of several meetings the Croatian delegation will have during their official visit until January 26.
The Croatian delegation includes representatives of the Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure, the HŽ Infrastruktura rail company, the Hrvatske Ceste road construction and maintenance company and the Rijeka port operator.
The visit marks the continuation of the process of intensifying relations between the two countries and preparations for this year’s summit between China and 16 Eastern and Central European countries, which will be hosted by Croatia.
On Monday, Butković is scheduled meet with executives of the China Road and Bridge Corporation, which is building the Peljašac Bridge, and the China Communication Construction Company.