About Us India-Croatia Bilateral Relations

Embassy of India
Zagreb

India - Croatia Relations

The Republic of Croatia (Republika Hrvatska in Croatian language, population around 3.9 million) proclaimed independence on 25 June 1991 after breaking away from the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.  

India formally recognized Croatia in May 1992 and diplomatic relations were established on 9 July 1992. Croatia opened its Resident Mission in New Delhi in February 1995. The Indian Mission in Zagreb was opened on 28 April 1996, and upgraded to Ambassadorial level in January 1998.

During the days of former Yugoslavia, Croatia played an important role in the close links between India and Yugoslavia. Croatia accounted for more than two-thirds of trade between the two nations, including large scale purchases of Croatian ships by India in the 1970s and 1980s. Marshal Tito, who ruled Yugoslavia for more than three decades, was a Croat, and maintained close relations with the Indian leadership. Prime Minister Nehru and Marshal Tito were also pioneers of the Non-Aligned Movement.

These friendly linkages with India have continued after Croatia’s independence, though Croatia’s initial focus after independence was on addressing the ethnic conflict that followed the breakup of former Yugoslavia, and thereafter on integration with NATO (1 April 2009) and the European Union (1 July 2013). Croatia has joined the Schengen Zone and adopted the Euro currency on 1st January, 2023, fulfilling all criteria in challenging times.  Croatian Government’s next focus is to join Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development (O.E.C.D.).

High level visits

From Croatian side, there was a series of high-level visits in the years after independence. Then President Stjepan Mesić paid a State Visit to India in November 2002. Visits at the level of Dy PM took place in April 1995 (Mate Granić, who was also Foreign Minister) and November 2000 (Goran Granić). Ministerial visits took place in April 1992 (Zvonimir Separović, Foreign Minister), November 1998 (Nenad Porges, Minister of Economy), March 1999 (Bozo Biškupić, Minister of Culture), May 2001 (Tonino Picula, Foreign Minister) and September 2003 (Pave Zupan Rusković, Minister of Tourism). After a gap, high-level visits resumed with Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Marija Pejcinovic Buric visiting India in October 2018.

Mr. Veljko Kajtazi, President of India-Croatia Friendship Group in the Croatian Parliament, visited India in March 2018 under ICCR’s Distinguished Visitor Programme. Ms. Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic, former President of Croatia visited India in March, 2023 also under ICCR’s Distinguished Visitors Programme where she visited four Indian cities, viz, Delhi, Hyderabad, Udaipur and Agra and gave public addresses in three of those cities. Mr. Marko Filipović, Mayor of Rijeka and Mr. Domagoj Hajdukovic, Member of Parliament visited India under ICCR’s Gen Next Democracy Network Programme in April 2023. In February, 2023, former S&T Minister and world’s leading genetic forensic expert, Dr. Dragan Primorac made his maiden visit to India as the Professor Emeritus of the National Forensic Sciences University in Gandhinagar.

From the Indian side, President Shri Ram Nath Kovind paid a State Visit to Croatia in March 2019.  Former Vice-President Shri M. Hamid Ansari visited Croatia in June 2010. Other ministerial visits are Shri Pranab Mukherjee, Commerce Minister (September 1994), Dr. B.B. Ramaiah, MOS (Commerce) (September 1997), Shri Shatrughan Sinha, Minister of Shipping (August 2003), Shri Digvijay Singh, Minister of State for External Affairs (September 2003), Smt. Bhavnaben Chikhalia, Minister of State for Tourism & Culture and Parliamentary Affairs (October 2003), Shri Kapil Sibal, Minister of Science & Technology and Earth Sciences (February 2007), Shri Anand Sharma, Minister of State for External Affairs (September 2007), Smt. Preneet Kaur, Minister of State for External Affairs (February 2014), General (Dr.) V.K. Singh (Retd), Minister of State for External Affairs (April 2016) and Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of Commerce and Industry [Independent Charge] (February 2017).  

Over the years, a number of Croatian Members of Parliament (Parliament is known as Sabor) have visited India, including Vladimir šeks, Acting Speaker (March 1999), Zdravko Tomac, Deputy Speaker (January 2003), Marija Lugaric (January 2007), Furio Radin, Chairman, Committee on Human and National Minority Rights (Feb 2008), Luka Bebic, Speaker (March 2010) & Veljko Kajtazi, MP for National Minorities and President of Indo-Croatian Parliamentary Friendship Group (March 2018). From the Indian side, Speakers of Lok Sabha have visited in July 1997 (Shri P.A. Sangma) and July 2002 (Shri Manohar Joshi).

Recent G-2-G Engagements

On 22 December 2020, a meeting through virtual conference was organised between Minister of State for External Affairs Shri V. Muraleedharan and his counterpart Mr. Frano Matušić, State Secretary for Political Affairs, Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, Republic of Croatia. The joint press release issued on this meeting is available at the MEA press release portal which clearly identifies contours of bilateral cooperation between India and Croatia.

On 3rd September 2021, EAM Dr. S Jaishankar paid the first ever Official visit by Indian EAM to Croatia. He met with Prime Minister of Croatia H.E. Mr. Andrej Plenković in Zagreb and discussed opportunities to further expand bilateral cooperation, including in pharma, digital and infrastructure as well as "pressing global issues". EAM Dr. S Jaishankar also met with his Croatian counterpart Gordan Grlić Radman. On 2-4 March, 2023  Minister Radman  visited New Delhi to attend Raisina Dialogue. In the bilateral meeting with the EAM, Dr. Jaishankar, the two Ministers signed the MoU on Defence Cooperation, apart from discussing other important areas of bilateral relationship. In a gesture showing the importance of sports in India-Croatia relationship, FM Radman presented  EAM with the Croatian national football team jersey with number 10 and EAM’s name written on it (jersey number 10 is worn by most popular Croatian footballer Luka Modric).

On the fringes of the COP26 conference in Glasgow on 1 Nov 2021, Croatian PM Plenković met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi about which the former tweeted.

Nine rounds of Foreign Office Consultations at Secretary-level took place between 1995 and 2011, and an attempt to resume them was made in April 2021 when COVID19 pandemic postponed its happening after all arrangements. Later, on 4th November 2022 tenth round of India-Croatia Foreign Office Consultations were held in Zagreb, led by the Secretary (West), Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, Shri Sanjay Verma & Director General for Political Affairs at Ministry of Foreign & European Affairs, Mr. Petar Mihatov.

Minister of State for External Affairs and Culture of India, Mrs. Meenakashi Lekhi, MoS (ML), paid an official visit to Croatia from 15-17 April 2023. MoS (ML) met on 17 April with representatives of the University of Zagreb and constituents who cooperate with Indian higher education institutions in the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Zagreb. MoS signed MoU between Lalit Kala Akademi and Academy of Fine Arts which has detailed specifics of cooperation for the five year period of 2023-28. This MoU, when executed, would create  new connections between our artists and youth and make our relationship stronger bottom up. MoS also, along with Rector, planted a tree at the university campus to symbolize the foundational seeds that were sown during this visit of MoS to the University of Zagreb. MoS visited the Special Hospital of St. Katarina, a leading genomics centre of Croatia.  Ms. Nina Obuljen Koržinek, Minister of Culture received MoS and discussed the possible intensification of cooperation between Croatia and India in the protection and preservation of cultural heritage, archaeology, archival, museum and audiovisual activities and in the visual and performing arts. MoS met the State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, Mr Frano Matušić, during a working lunch. MoS also visited ISKCON temple in Zagreb. 

Three months later, MoS Smt. Meenakashi Lekhi visited Dubrovnik in Croatia from 7-8 July 2023 to participate in the Dubrovnik Forum, a prestigious geopolitical forum since 2006. Besides, MoS met Croatian PM Andrez Plenkovic and FM Radman exchanged views on bilateral, regional and international developments. MoS and the Mayor of Dubrovnik, Mr. Mato Frankovic discussed about increasing cultural cooperation between India and Dubrovnik, building on historical links between Goa and Dubrovnik.  

Important Bilateral Agreements/MoUs

  • Trade and Economic Cooperation Agreement (2017). The Joint Economic Commission under the Agreement met in New Delhi in November 2017.  

  • Maritime Transport Agreement (1997).

  • Agreement on Cooperation in Culture, Science & Technology, Education and Sports (1999). 

  • Agreement on Cooperation between Diplomatic Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Croatia and Foreign Service Institute (FSI), Ministry of External Affairs (2000).

  • Modified Air Services Agreement (2000). Croatian Airlines and Air India entered into a Code Share Agreement in November 2016, which came into effect on 1 April 2017.

  • Agreement on Cooperation in the Fight against International Illicit Trafficking of Narcotic Drugs, Terrorism, etc. (2001).

  • Agreement on Agricultural Cooperation (2002).

  • Agreement on Exemption of Visa Requirement for Holders of Diplomatic and Official / Service Passports (2007).

  • Agreement on Cooperation in Health and Medicine (2010). The first JWG on Health and Medicine was held in Delhi in February 2018.

  • Agreement on Double Taxation Avoidance (2014).

  • Agreement on Gainful Occupation of Family Members of Diplomatic and Consular Posts (2018).

  • Cooperation between Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development (HBOR) and EXIM Bank of India (2000).

  • Cooperation between Export Credit & Guarantee Corporation of India Ltd. (ECGC) and Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development (HBOR) (2002).

  • Programme of Cooperation in Science and Technology for 2005-08 (2005).

  • Cultural Exchange Programme (CEP) for 2005-07 (2005), which was followed by subsequent renewals.  During visit of former Croatian FM Ms. Marija Pejcionvic Buric to India in October 2018, CEP was renewed for 2019-22. The CEP was further renewed during MOS, Smt. Meenakashi Lekhi’s visit to Croatia (2023).

  • Educational Exchange Programme (2006), renewable every five years.

  • MoU between ICCR and University of Zagreb for establishment of ICCR Chair of Hindi (2009). The MoU was renewed during President’s State Visit to Croatia (2019).

  • MoU for establishment of ICCR Sanskrit Chair between ICCR and University of Zagreb (2019).

  • MoU on tourism cooperation between Ministry of Tourism of India and Ministry of Tourism of Croatia (2019).

  • MoU on sports cooperation between Sports Autority of India and Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Zagreb (2019).

  • MoU between Lalit Kala Akademi and Academy of Fine Arts for cooperation for the five year period of 2023-28.

  • MoU on Defence Cooperation between the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of India and the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Croatia (2023).


Economic and Commercial Relations

Croatian GDP is estimated at Euro 58.21 billion (2021), with per capita GDP at Euro 14,969 (2021) [Source: Croatian National Bank]. Its total foreign trade in goods in 2022 was Euro 60.35 billion (2022), with imports of Euro 38.29 (2022) billion and exports of Euro 22.06 billion (2022) [Source: Croatian Bureau of Statistics].  Latest available figures of India's trade with Croatia are given below (both Indian and Croatian statistics):

Croatia-India Bilateral Trade (In millions)

Year

2017

2018

2019

2020

2021

2022

Croatia’s Exports

$32.27

$35.70

$56.72

$31.90

$72.25

$54.81

Croatia’s Imports

$167.18

$150.28

$144.98

$137.47

$365.38

$459.36

Total Trade

$199.45

$185.98

$201.70

$169.37

$437.63

$514.17

(Source: Department of Commerce)

India’s exports include aluminium ingots, chemicals and fertilizers, pharmaceuticals, machinery and equipment, metals, readymade garments and textiles, rubber and plastics, while we import plastic & rubber machinery, instruments and appliances for measuring and testing, food products and wood products. There is potential for increasing India’s exports in segments such as textiles, leather, pharmaceuticals, basic chemical products, coffee, tea, industrial and electrical machinery. Opportunities also exist for India to use Croatia as a gateway to the South-East European markets using its major ports of Rijeka and Ploce.

According to latest available figures published by Croatian National Bank, Indian total direct investment into Croatia, during the period 2001- Q3 2022, amounted to Euro 40.05 million, while Croatia had Euro 5.55 million of direct investment into India in the same period. Although Croatian economy is relatively small with limited prospects for outward FDI, there is potential for collaboration in complementary sectors like infrastructure, defence, tourism, automotive, construction, ship-building, renewable energy, agro processing, IT and pharmaceuticals.

In pursuance of the Article III of the Agreement on Economic Cooperation between the Government of India and Government of Croatia signed on 14th Feb 2017, the Second Session of the Joint Commission on Economic Cooperation was held in a virtual format on 13 October, 2022. The Joint Commission Session was co-chaired by Ms. Nidhi Mani Tripathi, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Commerce and Industry (Department of Commerce), Government of India on the Indian side and by Ms. Nataša Mikuš Žigman, State Secretary, Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development, the Government of the Republic of Croatia on the Croatian side.   

As regards investments, despite being a small market, some Indian companies are now present in Croatia. ACG World Wide acquired Lukaps (Ludbreg) in 2007 and has since become a major supplier of gelatine capsules to EU. It plans to expand further by doubling its capacity in 2023 and  with the establishment of an R&D Centre. It also acquired a Croatian IT company, IN2 Trace, specializing in pharmaceutical serialization solutions, in April 2017. 

Capital Group of India through the Croatian Subsidiary Karma Group has invested in past two years in Agro & real estate sector in Croatia. Orient Green Power (Europe) owned by Orient Green Power (Chennai) invested in construction of wind power plants near Sibenik in 2011. Infosys Engineering Delivery Centre was officially opened (Karlovac) in 2017 after taking over GE engineering operations, with 100 qualified engineers, making it the main near shore Centre for Europe. JGL, a Croatian pharmaceutical company signed two five-year license agreements with Dr. Reddy's in 2017. Croatian-Hungarian trading company A&A BIOENERGY VIRO invested in cogeneration plant for wood biomass of 3 MW electric power output at the Antunovac Entrepreneurial Zone in Virovitica in November 2019. Power plant uses the Indian turbine which was purchased from TRIVENI TURBINES Ltd. (Bangalore, Karnataka) based on shortest delivery deadline and references. TRIVENI TURBINE’s employees were present during commissioning and testing of the turbine. Karma Agro signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Government of Petrinja, which envisages up to €50 million investments in agriculture in the Petrinja area in growing hazelnut, walnut and chestnut plantations.

Croatian company Altpro, specialist in research, development and production of safety and signaling equipment for rolling stock and infrastructure, signed a contract with Indian company Sigma (owned by Texmaco) for supplying its product “Train Detection System’’ and ToT. In April 2019, Altpro got the approval from Research Designs & Standards Organisation (RDSO) for exporting its products to Indian market. In October, 2020, the joint venture was awarded Euro 5.3 million contract by Indian Railways for supplying signalling equipment. Altpro has unique technology in the world when it comes to train detections systems and it is exporting its product to over 47 countries.

Croatian engineering major Končar signed several contracts with Indian industrial groups such as Jaypee and Virgo for mutual cooperation. Končar is actively involved in some small hydro power projects in India.  It is also in touch with some Indian companies for cooperation in the field of non-conventional sources of energy, particular wind energy. Končar is currently cooperating with Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation Limited (TANGEDCO) and most of its business activities are located in southern India.

Infobip, one of Croatia’s leading IT companies, has been doing business with Indian companies since 2009. Founded in 2006, Infobip has grown into one of the world’s leading communication platforms for the processing and delivery of SMS messages, push notifications, OTT messages, voice messages and emails for its business clients. Infobip collaborates with some of the largest, leading companies in India and it has offices in New Delhi, Mumabi, Bangalore and Pune. 

Telegra, Croatian artificial intelligence traffic management company installed Electronic Toll Collection System (ETCS) at one of the highways in India and exported some of Croatian Road Traffic Signalling Equipment to India. Telegra's current business activity in India is maintaining this ETC system.

MM Farmachem, the Croatian pharmaceutical company has been doing business with Indian companies since 2004. It has office in Hyderabad and it employs 10 Indian workers. It imports API (Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients) from India and supplies to South-East Europe. It also obtains, for its buyers, all necessary documentation regarding registration of the medicines in the particular country.

According to data published (10/02) by the Croatian Central Bureau of Statistics (DZS), in 2019, Croatia had a total of 69,131 Indian tourist arrivals or 7.27% more than in 2018, with 153,354 overnight stays, 8.12% more than in 2018.  The pandemic has drastically reduced the number in 2020 & 2021. From Croatia, on an average, 3000 visitors visit India every year.

Hon’ble President of India H.E. Shri Ram Nath Kovind, visited Croatia in March 2019.  A 35-member business delegation consisting of members from Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM), Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) also visited Croatia on the occasion. The India-Croatia Business Forum and B2B meetings were held in coordination with the Croatian Chamber of Economy (CCE). The occasion was also used for signing MOUs between the Croatian Chamber of Economy and FICCI, ASSOCHAM, CII.

A “Virtual India-Croatia Business Forum 2021” between Indian and Croatian companies was organised jointly by FICCI, Croatian Chamber of Commerce and this Embassy on 13th April 2021 in which 23 Croatian Companies and 45 Indian companies participated.

In an interview in the August 2022 edition of Croatian Business Magazine Lider, Mr. Deepak Bagla, Managing Director & CEO, Invest India, highlighted the forefront of bringing global companies and investments into the Indian market which enabled New India to allocate in the past 8 years, over USD 523 billion across over 62 sectors. On 21 Sept, at the 14th Annual Big Plans Day Conference organized by Business Magazine group Lider at Zagreb Fair Congress Center, Mr. Deepak Bagla presented to over 300 business leaders of Croatia, the unique transformation that is taking place in India and the opportunities that it opens up to our global business partners. 

Cultural Relations

India has been well known in Croatia for centuries, and the earliest Croatian visitors to India were Missionaries. Links have been found between the Principality of Dubrovnik and Goa, and the Church of Sao Braz was reportedly built by Croatians around 1563 in Goa. Ivan Filip Vezdin, a Croat, is credited with publishing the first printed Sanskrit grammar in 1790, and plaque to commemorate him was unveiled in Trivandrum in 1999.

In contemporary times, a Department of Indology has been functioning at the University of Zagreb for more than 60 years. There is also widespread interest in Yoga and Ayurveda in Croatia. There are several India-oriented cultural Societies in Croatia, comprising mostly of Croatian nationals, such as Yoga in Daily Life, Art of Living, ISKCON, Bhakti Marga, Vedic Centre. A number of Croatian students have learnt various forms of Indian classical dance in India under ICCR scholarships as well as on self-financing basis.  In response to demand for Hindi, a Hindi Chair was set up by ICCR in 2009 at the Indology Department of the University of Zagreb, which was renewed in 2019 during visit of Rashtrapatiji to Croatia.  Similarly, an MoU was signed during Rashtrapatiji’s visit to Croatia in 2019 for establishment of a Sanskrit Chair in the Indology Department of the University of Zagreb, which has started from the 2022 fall Semester. The Indology Department has been active in promoting Sanskrit and Hindi in Croatia.  Croatian troupes also participate from time to time in cultural festivals in India.

A Cultural Exchange programme for the period 2019-22 was signed during the October 2018 visit of former Croatian DPM and Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Ms. Marija Pejcinovic Buric to India.  This is renewed in December 2023 upto 2025.

First International Yoga Science Conference was held in Zagreb on 16 June 2019 with participation of Yoga teachers, scientists and experts from Europe, USA and Russia.  The 7th International Vedic Conference was organized by the Indology Department of Zagreb University in Dubrovnik on 19-24 August 2019.  Mahatma Gandhi bust, donated by ICCR during Rashtrapatiji’s visit in March 2019, was unveiled by Croatian PM and Mayor of Zagreb at the famous Bundek Park in Zagreb on 2nd October 2019 to mark Gandhi@150.  Mission organized various seminars, exhibitions, events, publicity activities, etc. throughout 2019 to celebrate Gandhi@150 and 550th Birth Anniversary of Guru Nanak Devji.  As part of Festival of India (FOI) in Croatia in 2019, four Indian dance troupes, sponsored by Ministry of Culture, performed in 12 cities across Croatia.  As part of FOI, Food Festival of India was organized in Zagreb and Split in February 2020 with the participation of 2 eminent Chefs from India.  A 10-member Kalaripayattu martial dance troupe from Kerala performed in the famous Rijeka Carnival and in Zagreb in February 2020.  A year long festival titled “India: Indus Valley and Beyond” showcasing Indian civilization in all its manifestations through lectures, workshop, travelogues and exhibitions started in Archaelogical Museum of Zagreb, in partnership with the Mission, on 02 March 2020.  Since 2016, a tradition has commenced of taking out the annual ‘Ratha Yatra’ in downtown Zagreb, to replicate the age-old ancient tradition of Odisha. 

DG ICCR visited Croatia from 25-27 October 2021 and and met with Mrs. Nina Obuljen Koržinek, Minister of Culture of Croatia. 

President, Indian Council For Cultural Relations (ICCR), Dr. Vinay Sahasrabuddhe visited Dubrovnik on 14-15 August 2023 and delivered a keynote address at the ICCR- supported 10th Dubrovnik International Conference on Sanskrit Epics and Puranas (DISCEP) on 76th anniversary of Independence Day of India at the final event of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav in Croatia at Inter University Centre Dubrovnik on 15 August 2023, where some 50 experts representing 30 institutions of 15 countries with five Indian researchers participated. Dr. Sahasrabuddhe was given a bird’s eye view of the rich heritage of the historical old town of Grad Dubrovnik by the Mayor’s office. He  also met with Sanskrit scholars as well as the Hindi and Sanskrit Chairs sponsored by ICCR, both of whom had joined University of Zagreb in their current two year terms in October, 2022. 

On 2 October 2022 at Bundek Park in Zagreb, Mahatma Gandhi’s 153rd birth anniversary was celebrated in Zagreb on with the presence of about 75 friends of India along with remembrance of Second PM Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri on his 118th birth anniversary.  The event was marked as International Day of Non-Violence with the organisation of a seminar on the topic “Non-violence is a weapon of the strong” in the evening at FER, University of Zagreb. The Embassy of India, Zagreb, FER, University of Zagreb & Croatian Indian Society partnered the special evening celebrating Culture, Customs, Conversation, Creativity & Cuisine. 

In a first, the prestigious interliber Zagreb book fair invited the famous Indian author and former diplomat Ambassador Vikas Swarup as the main guest of the fair, with Indian tricolor flagging for the first time at Interliber. Similarly, after a gap of almost 2 decades back to back two cultural groups from Croatia participated in cultural festivals in India in October and November 2023 sponsored by Ministry of Culture in Croatia and ICCR.

Sports Cooperation

An important milestone in India-Croatia sports cooperation was the appointment of Croatia’s famous footballer Igor Stimac as the head coach of Indian national football team for a two year term starting from 15 May 2019, which was further extended by one more year recently. Three Croatian football players have been contracted recently by Indian clubs and a few Indian male and female players have attended training programme in Croatia in 2022.  These engagements in the area of football would surely bring positive momentum to Indian football scene using the best practices developed by Croatia.  

Indian Tennis Team visited Zagreb to play Davis Cup against Croatia in March 2020. Twenty eight-member Indian shooting team delegation came to Croatia for their Tokyo Olympics preparations and stayed for two months before going to Tokyo.  Vishwanathan Anand, who is a Chess Grandmaster of India and five time World Champion, has played thrice in the Grand Chess Tour in Zagreb, first in 2019, in July 2021, and recently in July, 2023.

On 15 March 2023, Mission in association with Croatian Chess Federation organised International Chess Lovers Tournament - “Ambassadors Cup” in Zagreb where members of diplomatic corps and Croatian friends participated. The tournament was inaugurated by Mr. Frano Matusić, State Secretary in Croatian MFA. 

On 6 June, 2023, the Embassy of India, in cooperation with the STARR Table Tennis Club, hosted the International Table Tennis-Diplomatic Tournament, which was held at the Zagreb Fair. The tournament was attended by 11 diplomats from 8 different countries and 11 guests, who played 63 games of table tennis in 3 hours. 

Indian players, both male and female, have started getting contracts to play in Croatian football and table tennis clubs in recent years. 

Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav Celebrations in Croatia

Since the launch of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav celebrations in India from 12th March 2021 till 15th August 2023, 100 physical and 50 virtual events under 6 different themes of AKAM celebrations  have been organized in Croatia with the partnership of different stakeholders and institutions who are working towards strengthening India-Croatia cultural relationship. In all these celebrations, 3 Ds – Democracy, Demography & Diversity of India, 3 Ts – Trade, Technology & Tourism, and 3 Ss of Speed, Scale and Sensitivity of New India were the visible highlights making our celebrations unique and memorable for all the participants as well as to the people of Croatia who observed it though the coverage in social media and print & visual media. Details of all the AKAM events may be accessed at the online link:https://www.indianembassyzagreb.gov.in/news_detail/?newsid=222

In his monthly Mann Ki Baat programme on 30th January 2022, Prime Minister Modi spoke about having received 75 post cards from friendly country Croatia on which students of School of Applied Arts & Design in Zagreb have congratulated people of India on Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav and thanks Croatia and its people on behalf of people of India.

On 12 Oct, Foreign Minister of Croatia H.E. Mr. Gordan Grlić Radman participated in the ceremony for presentation of the book "Croatia-India ties: 30 chapters for 30 years of diplomatic relations", at the Faculty of Philosophy, Zagreb University on the occasion of marking the 30th anniversary of the establishment of India-Croatia diplomatic relations. This book serves as a reference book for understanding how many of Croatian personalities contributed in bringing Indian wisdom to Croatia in past 250 years.

International Day of Yoga

Mission has been organising International Day of Yoga since its inception in 2015. In the last three editions, i.e., 7th, 8th and 9th IDY, we could collectively organize 175 events in whole of Croatia in those 3 months of June, 2021, 2022 and 2023. Details of all these  events may be accessed at the online link: https://www.indianembassyzagreb.gov.in/docs/1693390351225.pdf

AYUSH Cell Activities

Embassy of India in Zagreb has an AYUSH supported Cell for supporting the Croatian friends and institutions who are pursuing traditional systems like Yoga and Ayurveda for long time.  The summary of AYUSH Cell’s activities for the year 2021 can be seen at the link: https://www.indianembassyzagreb.gov.in/docs/16377357895.pdf.  Embassy also organized the first International Yoga & Ayurveda Conference in Zagreb on 3-5 October 2021 with the participation of about 40 experts from Croatia, India and other countries in Europe.  In all, about 200 persons participated in the conference.  The complete details of the conference are available at the website at link : https://www.indianembassyzagreb.gov.in/news_detail/?newsid=185.

On 6 October, Delegation of AYUSH had a meeting with representatives of Kvarner Health Tourism Cluster in Rijeka, followed by a presentation of the Cluster and the signing of a MOU between the Kvarner Health & Tourism Cluster in Rijeka & All India Institute of Ayurveda of Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India with a shared desire to develop collaboration in the study of traditional medical systems including Ayurveda. 

In the 3 day long heated living fair, India was the sole partner country where we could showcase India’s traditional system like Yog and Ayurveda including products from brand Patanjali. The fair saw a large footfall of people of Zagreb.

AYUSH Cell of the Embassy has organised regular fortnightly webinars/virtual sessions with local & International experts from Yoga & Ayurveda for the last 18 months.

Digital & Startup Ecosystem Cooperation

Indian Digital Revolution in the past five years, has created a great success story for the people by the people of the people of India. It is a great story for democratizing the digital opportunities in the world’s largest Democracy. Croatian budding innovation ecosystem would benefit immensely by connecting to Indian ecosystem. We are very happy to see some initial efforts in the past one year made by our Embassy here and some deliverables have already been achieved. On 20th December 2021, India-Croatia Startup Bridge was launched between the responsible institutions of the two sides HAMAG BICRO from Croatia and Startup India from India.  The objectives of the bridge initiative are knowledge sharing, creating networking opportunities, organizing joint programmes, capacity building and creating opportunities for cross investments. 

India-Croatia Startup 50-day long challenge was organised from 10 April 2022 in collaboration with Infobip, Končar - Electric Vehicles Inc., and HexGn, supported by the Embassy of India, Zagreb, after the establishment of the Bilateral Startup Bridge on 20/12/2021 between India and Croatia to exploit the potential of the two innovation ecosystems. HAMAG-BICRO, Croatia and Startup India invited startups to apply for the India-Croatia startup challenge  thus organized. Over 300 submissions and 13 winners pointed to the vast potential that exists between India & Croatia. Indian Educational Startup CIREE EDUTECH LLP was declared the winner of challenge on 14 June 2022 in the concluding ceremony. The above event was widely covered in the local media by publication of a number of articles.

Skill Development & Human Resources Cooperation

Demography is an important area of complementarity between India and Croatia. India’s experience in skill development and skills focused New Education Policy provides great possibilities for Croatian companies to benefit from the predictable and desired skill set possessing human resources from India through the cooperation with Skill Development Ministry and National Skill Development Corporation of India. We have organized many virtual meetings between different stakeholders to share the relevant information to take this potentially beneficial cooperation forward.

Defence & Maritime Cooperation

The MoU on Defence Cooperaton between two countries is ready for signing. The cooperation as such is taking place between the institutions and the companies and we should continue to explore further opportunities in this regard. There are some initiatives in the pipelines for cooperation in defence R&D. Similarly, Croatian defence companies should look at opened up Indian defence market for new opportunities without having the baggage of past experience as we are now in an era of new India. Invest India has expressed dedicated support to Crotian companies in this regard.

Tourism, Cultural Cooperation and People-to-People contacts

In this area, we have made tremendous visibility despite the pandemic in terms of the events and initiatives that have been launched in the past 18 months in Croatia, espeically celebrating Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, traditional healthcare related events in the field of yoga and ayurveda and the cultural events to celebrate the 30 years of establishment of diplomatic relationship between the two countries. The Cultural Exchange Programme of 2019-2022 is being renewed for next cycle soon to ensure continuation of our excellent cultural cooperation in the coming years.

Yearwise Tourist Visas issued to Croatian Nationals from 01.01.2018 to 14.03.2023


Visa Type

2018

2019

2020

2021

2022

2023

[Jan-Aug 2023]

E-Visa

1347

1290

431

58

827

809

Visa

[Issued at Embassy]

1048

854

189

246

455

307

Academic & University Cooperation

In order to strengthen P2P connections through Academic cooperation between India and Croatia, new partnerships were launched such as: 

·University of Zagreb Faculty of Electronics & Computers (FER) with IIT GandhiNagar

·University of Zagreb Faculty of Economics & Business (FEB) with IIM Lucknow

·University of Osijek Faculty of Electronics & IT (FERIT) with IIT Indore

.University of Rijeka with Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT) Bhubaneswar

·University of Dubrovnik and National Institute of Oceanography (Goa)

.University of Varazdin and Sharda University, Noida.

·Ongoing ICCR Hindi Chair at University of Zagreb

·ICCR Sanskrit Chair at University of Zagreb

A 3-member delegation from Faculty of Agriculture, University of Zagreb left for Lucknow (UP) on 15 July 2023. Led by Dean of FoA of UoZ, the delegation had formal meetings with four Agricultural Universities of UP to see cooperation opportunities in near future. 

Indian Community

The Indian community in Croatia has changed over the last two years rapidly due to demographic situation in Croatia where a lot of foreign workers are being employed for carrying out work in different sectors of economy. On 06 December, 2023, the number of Indians residing in Croatian territory jumped to over 12000 from a figure of roughly 7500 in December, 2022. Many of the Indian workers are working on short to medium term contracts and therefore at least, 90% of the people among currently residing are those who form a part of the mobile population staying in Croatia for a specific contractual period. Of the Indians residing in Croatia, around 29 are PIOs and 26 Indian students.

On 10 January 2023, Mr. Joginder Singh Nijjar, a renowned member of the Indian community in Croatia, received the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award 2023 in recognition of his contribution in the field of Art & Culture/Education. Mr. Singh was conferred the award by the Hon’ble President of India during Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention 2023 held in Indore.


Useful Resources:

Embassy of India, Zagreb-Website: https://www.indianembassyzagreb.gov.in/

Embassy of India Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Indiaincroatia/

Embassy of India, Zagreb-Twitter: https://twitter.com/India_Croatia

Embassy of India, Zagreb-Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/india_in_croatia/

Embassy of India Monthly Newsletter: https://www.indianembassyzagreb.gov.in/page/embassy-of-india-zagreb-newsletter/ 


-------

As on 14th December 2023