The cooperation between Croatia and Spain has deepened on the economic and military fronts in 2015, and this year has also seen more frequent meetings between the two countries' officials, Croatia's Ambassador to Spain, Svjetlan Berkovic, said.
On July 1 Spain opened its labour market to Croatian nationals but considering the country's unemployment rate of 21% and the fact that countries like Germany are traditional destinations for Croatian economic emigrants, there has been no significant influx of Croatian workers on the Spanish market, Berkovic said at a Christmas reception organised by the Croatian Embassy in Madrid on Wednesday evening.
The ambassador recalled this year's visits to Spain by Croatia's Foreign Minister Vesna Pusic, Culture Minister Berislav Sipus and Tourism Minister Darko Lorencin.
Croatian Navy vessels participated in military exercises in Spain's territorial waters for the first time this year, he said.
Speaking about economic relations, he pointed to a project to build two ships for Spanish clients and to cooperation possibilities in the renewable energy sector.
In the first nine months of this year Croatia exported EUR 139 million worth of goods to Spain, which is a 56% increase from the same period of 2014, show data from the Croatian statistical office.
Croatia's imports from Spain continue to be higher than its exports to that country and in the first nine months those imports totalled EUR 286 million, 34% more than in the same period of last year.
Croatia's popularity as a tourist destination has continued to grow on the Spanish market and in the January-November period the number of Spanish visitors was 13% higher than in January-November 2014.