Canadian-Croatian Chamber of Commerce

November 19, 2016 16:14 ET

Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic on Working Visit to Canada

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Nov. 19, 2016) - The Canadian-Croatian Chamber of Commerce is pleased to be welcoming the President of the Republic of Croatia, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, during her first visit to Canada in her capacity as President. The Chamber and its members will be hosting a number of events featuring the President in Toronto and surrounding areas during her visit from November 20-22, 2016.

The Croatian President will, among other activities, be meeting with Croatian-Canadian community and business leaders and professionals; addressing Croatian-Canadian students at a youth mentorship event in Norval; meeting with Mayor Berry Vrbanovic in Kitchener; touring the innovation ecosystem (including the University of Waterloo, the Lazaridis Quantum Nano computer centre, Communitech, and Velocity) that is part of the Toronto-Waterloo Region Corridor; meeting with representatives and students of Croatian language studies at the University of Waterloo; meeting with Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and Ontario Lieutenant-Governor Elizabeth Dowdeswell in Toronto; visiting the Donnelly Center for Cellular and Biomolecular Research at the University of Toronto; engaging in a roundtable discussion with leading female executives in Canada; and meeting with business leaders on Bay Street in Toronto to discuss potential investment opportunities in Croatia.

To conclude her visit to Canada, the Croatian President will deliver a keynote address to nearly 1,000 members and friends of the Croatian community in Canada at a sold-out gala dinner and fundraiser being organized by the Chamber at the Burlington Convention Center. The event will benefit the restoration of the Vukovar water tower, one of the most famous symbols of Vukovar and the suffering of that heroic city as well as the Croatian War of Independence during the early 1990s.

"We are honoured to host the Croatian President during her visit to Canada," said Ivan Grbesic, a member of the board of directors of the Chamber and one of the coordinators of the visit. "Significant time and effort was invested in ensuring that this working visit would contribute to expanding existing ties and exploring new opportunities between Canada and Croatia, especially given the recent signing of the CETA trade deal. The visit will also be a historic one for members of our Croatian-Canadian community in general and one that will be remembered for years to come given that it is the first time that a sitting Croatian President will visit our community since Croatia declared its independence 25 years ago", he added. "We also expect that this visit will lay the groundwork for an official visit to Ottawa by the Croatian President or recently elected Croatian Prime Minister in the near future".

President Grabar-Kitarovic became the first female and youngest president of the Republic of Croatia in 2015 and is one of seven female heads of state in the world today. Her election as President capped a two-decade career in politics and diplomacy, including key roles as: the country's first female Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration, Croatia's Ambassador to the U.S., and the Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy at NATO (the first woman Assistant Secretary-General ever in the history of NATO and the highest-ever ranking female official to have served within NATO's governing structure).

Prior to visiting Norval, Kitchener, Toronto, and Burlington, the President is attending the Halifax International Security Forum on November 19-20, 2016.

About the Chamber

Founded in 1995, the Canadian-Croatian Chamber of Commerce is a not-for-profit network of Croatian-Canadian businesses, professionals and organizations that has emerged as the voice of Croatian-Canadian business in Canada. Canada has one of the largest and most successful Croatian communities outside of Croatia and the Chamber brings together businesses, professionals and organizations with strategic relationships (economic, commercial, political, and cultural) in both Canada and Croatia.

Contact Information

  • Ivan Grbesic
    Canadian Croatian Chamber of Commerce
    (416) 846-1220

    Wanita Kelava
    Canadian Croatian Chamber of Commerce
    (416) 641-2829