We wrote a few times about Meeting G2 Conference, and while waiting for the fifth one in The Congress Center Forum Zagreb from 4th till 6th November, we decided to have a coffee break with Josip Hrgetić to find all about the upcoming Conference.
croatia2go: Who are the most interesting panelists so far according to you?
Josip Hrgetić: Up to now, four Conference G2 conferences have been organized with 31 panels with almost 180 panelists. We covered various topics that focused on the interests of business people; we had the opportunity to host numerous businesspeople and entrepreneurs from multiple branches from Croatia and the world. We often spoke about the image of Croatia, as we had a chance to host athletes, marketing experts, and analysts. It would be unfair to list some of the names in front of others; it was a majority of well-known entrepreneurs and economic experts, as well as famous individuals from some of the areas we have been covering.
croatia2go: How and why was Meeting G2 founded?
Josip Hrgetić: “Homeland and Emigration Association of Croatia – MEETING G2”, is a multidisciplinary group of Croatians from the Diaspora and the Homeland. In 2015, when it began it all started, it was spotted many possibilities for improving the links between Croatians in the homeland and elsewhere. Nearly 4 million Croatians live abroad, roughly the same number as in Croatia, and their investment potentials are enormous, with Croatia using only a small part. On the other hand, our companies want to export to other countries of the world where our emigrants could be of high-quality support with the local market. Meeting G2, therefore, has set itself as a primary goal the networking of Croatia’s homeland and emigration business. The Association annually organizes the Meeting G2 Conference, where many business people from Croatia and more than 25 countries gather.
croatia2go: What are its main goals?
Josip Hrgetić: The main goal of the Association, as well as the Conference goal, is to network business people of Croatian origin from all parts of the world, to increase Diaspora’s investment to the homeland and to support companies from Croatia that are export-oriented through association with Croatian chambers and Croatian business people around the world.
croatia2go: Who got the idea and just start to create today’s Conference?
Josip Hrgetić: Founder of the Asociation is a multidisciplinary team of Croats from Homeland and Diaspora. From the very beginning, it was I and my wife, Mara Vitols Hrgetić. We are returnees from Venezuela. As we started Kongress Center Forum here, it became the ‘spot’ for every year Conference Meeting G2. Antun Tonči Buterin, regional manager in company Hikvision and Aco Momčilović, president of the MBA Croatia liked the idea from the very beginning, and they joined. Sanja Mikulić, in charge of the organization, Eugene Brčić Jones, a small and medium-sized business consultant, and Goran Pivarski, a communications expert, joined the team in the meantime.
croatia2go: What are the benefits of the conference participants?
Josip Hrgetić: The main benefits of the conference are networking, new business opportunities, exchange of knowledge and experience, and connecting with Croatian chambers all over the world. The meeting is regularly attended by foreign businessmen and entrepreneurs of Croatian origin, representatives of Croatian Chambers around the world, representatives of domestic companies interested in exports as well as for developing projects in Croatia through cooperation with Croatians from abroad. The conference is regularly supported by the most essential institutions in Croatia, along with the President of the Republic of Croatia, who will be the Sponsor and participant of the Conference in November like all the previous conferences. Here are also the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Affairs, the Central Office for Croats outside the Republic of Croatia, the City of Zagreb, the Ministry of Entrepreneurship and Crafts, Investment and Competitiveness Agency, HAMAG-BICRO, Croatian Chamber of Economy and Zagreb Tourist Board.
This year, at the Meeting G2.5 Conference – We are building business bridges, the first-day session “Who is Who in G2” will be the opportunity for everyone to present and to create the basis for further conversations. Also, we expect a new “Pitch Session” on which Croatian start-ups will present the aim of obtaining financial support from business people around the world. On the second day, we’ll have the opportunity to hear some interesting speakers and more panel discussions. Last year we presented the Australian-Croatian Chamber. This year it will be the Austrian Chamber of Commerce and Entrepreneurs. One of the panels will be about the Croatian exporters and how to create new export opportunities; then successful Croatian IT companies and their experiences in Croatia and worldwide etc. Particularly interesting is the third day of the Conference when a trip to one of the Croatian region is planned, when we organize visits to some companies, cultural monuments, with lunch, and socializing. This excursion is primarily for business people from abroad to get to know more about our home country and business opportunities.