The opening of the Pelješac Bridge has finally united the Croatian territory into one whole, and will further strengthen the economic potential of Croatia and increase the competitiveness of the Dubrovnik-Neretva County economy, Luka Burilović, president of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK), pointed out on Tuesday.
"The opening of the Pelješac Bridge finally unites the Croatian territories into one entity. Apart from the fact that this is our clear strategic goal, it is also the goal of the EU", said Burilović.
The importance of the bridge, as he pointed out, can also be seen in the fact that its construction was supported by the USA, dominantly financed by the EU, built by Chinese companies under the supervision of Croatian institutions and experts.
With the opening of the Pelješac Bridge Croatia is slowly rounding off the network of modern roads, said Burilović, stating that from a traffic-isolated country with less than 300 kilometres of highways thirty years ago, today with more than 1,300 kilometres of highways and expressways, Croatia is the fourth best EU country by number of kilometres per million inhabitants.
He stated that the Republic of Croatia was officially admitted to the euro area on July 12 and will adopt the euro as the official currency on January 1, 2023, and should enter the Schengen area on the same day. It is not without reason that all three key rating agencies have raised Croatia's credit rating to the highest level since gaining state independence, Burilović said, adding that as of January 1, 2023, Croatia will become part of the institutional core of the EU.
According to him, membership of the euro area and Schengen represent a permanent improvement of the institutional framework in Croatia - goods and people will move more easily, and the euro brings lower borrowing costs and the elimination of the vast majority of currency risks.
"The Euro and Schengen are therefore an incentive for investments by domestic and foreign companies, a strong wind in the sails of exporters, and not least, a clear sign that Croatia is a credible partner to NATO allies and a loyal member of the EU," Burilović pointed out.
He emphasizes that all this was achieved at a time when the foreign political and economic environment is probably the most complex since the Second World War.