Delegations

At the end of September and beginning of October 2014, the American Chamber of Commerce in Croatia invited a delegation of the Croatian Government, led by Prime Minister Zoran Milanović, to discuss the development of cooperation with the top managers of five IT companies from the USA – Cisco, HP, IBM, Microsoft, and Oracle.

A working visit of the delegation of the Croatian Government to the top US IT companies – September 2014.

These five American companies together generate an annual revenue of over 370 billion dollars and employ over a million people around the world. Visits at this level are a common way of developing relations with global companies of this size and magnitude. The Prime Minister was joined by several ministers and top experts from Croatian public technology companies, chief executives of these American companies in Croatia and AmCham representatives.

The discussions in the companies were held at the highest level, and Milanović, the Prime Minister at the time, spoke with CEOs from Cisco and HP. The five companies have been present in Croatia for a number of years, exerting a powerful influence on the country’s IT industry. The Croatian IT industry is experiencing growth despite the financial crisis – it is constantly recruiting, has the potential for further growth, and represents one of the leading exporting sectors of the Croatian economy.

In recent years, a growing number of Croatian startups have been successfully doing business on a global scale and cooperating directly with companies in the USA. The technology sector has been recognized as the leader of global development, and Croatian companies have demonstrated their ability to compete on the global market. This visit is expected to contribute to the modernization of public governance and the development of the ICT industry and startups in Croatia. Andrea Doko Jelušić, AmCham’s Executive Director in Croatia, said that this visit further proves that the Croatian IT sector is finally receiving the attention it deserves. – The IT sector is one of the most powerful drivers of economic development, which is reflected in the recently adopted industrial strategy. However, in order to achieve the ambitious goals set out in the strategy, companies must develop their presence on the global business scene. Visits such as these serve this exact purpose: looking for partnership opportunities, developing relations, and learning about the practices of the world’s leading companies – said Doko Jelušić.

The official portion of the visit began at Microsoft’s headquarters in Redmond, where the Prime Minister and his delegation were met by Executive Vice President and CFO, Amy Hood. On Tuesday, the Croatian delegation visited Silicon Valley, the area with the world’s highest concentration of high-tech companies. They were first received by John Chambers, the CEO of Cisco, an international technology company that designs and produces network systems. This was followed by meetings with Mark Hurd, Chief Executive Officer of Oracle Corporation. It should be noted that the delegation’s visit coincided with the world’s biggest technology conference, Oracle OpenWorld in San Francisco, which attracted 60,000 attendees. The following day included a scheduled visit of the Prime Minister and the delegation to HP, a company that began “in a garage” in the 80s and grew to become one the world’s biggest IT companies. The Prime Minister and a team of his closest associates were received at the highest level at HP, where they sat down with the company’s CEO. After a visit to Stanford University, which is well-known for its role of an incubator for startups, the delegation ended its official tour in New York, where they were hosted by Chuck Prow, General Manager at IBM Global Business Services, a company that has been present in Croatia in various ways since 1935. (September/October 2014)

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