Bangladesh and Croatia established diplomatic relations on 18 December 1997. Since then the relations between the two countries have been slowly but steadily progressing. The bilateral relations got an impetus in August 2010, when the Foreign Secretary of Bangladesh held a Foreign Office Consultations with his Croatian counterpart and the Hon’ble State Minister for Foreign Affairs visited Croatia in June 2016.
Bangladesh’s military observers had been deployed in Croatia since April 1992 as members of UNPROFOR (United Nations Protection Force) and contributed in maintaining peace in several trouble spots in the country. Members of Bangladesh police helped training members of the civil administration in the disputed areas of Eastern Slovenia (especially in the Vukovar region) as part of UNTAES (United Nations Transitional Administration of Eastern Slovenia) forces and successfully handed over the area to Croatian authority in 1998.
Hon’ble State Minister for Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh, Mr. Md. Shahriar Alam, MP visited Croatia on 20-23 June 2016 and held meetings with the Croatian Deputy Minister of Foreign and European Affairs and Deputy Minister of Economy. He also held exchange of views with the Croatian Chamber of Economy. At the meetings, both sides underscored the importance of regular exchanges at the political, official and business levels to further deepening and strengthening the existing bonds of friendship between the two countries. Both sides observed that there is room for enhancing bilateral relations between the two countries in various fields, especially in the areas of shipbuilding, renewable energy and sports, for mutual benefits.
The first-ever Foreign Secretary-level consultation between Bangladesh and Croatia (FOC) was held on 6 August 2010 in Zagreb. At the FOC, the two sides agreed to advance the bilateral relations, especially in the fields of trade and investment, financial and technical assistance in power generation, cooperation in areas of shipping, science and technology, education, culture and tourism.
Bangladesh Embassy in The Hague has been in discussion with the Ministry of Labour and Pension System of Croatia as well as the Croatian Chamber of Economy (CCE) to explore employment opportunities for our professionals and skilled workers (physicians/ nurses /ICT experts/ tourism workers/ construction workers, etc.) in Croatia.
The bilateral trade between Bangladesh and Croatia is still at a very modest level but growing steadily. Bangladesh’s annual exports to Croatia stand at around US$ 15.00-20.00 million while Croatia’s exports goods to Bangladesh is worth of around US$ 5.00-7.00 million. The export basket of Bangladesh to Croatia consists of mainly apparels and other made textiles; while exports from Croatia to Bangladesh consist of mainly residues, organic chemicals, and electrical machinery, etc. A Memorandum of Understanding between the FBCCI and CCE is expected to be signed soon to foster bilateral trade and investment betweeen the two countries.