The Geoeconomic Forum remembers and misses its founder and President, his legacy, his brilliant mind, and his supportiveness to his colleagues and students


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The Geoeconomic Forum remembers and misses its one of founders and President, his legacy, his brilliant mind, and his supportiveness to his colleagues and students.

Croatia's renowned  Academician  Zvonimir Baletić died on October 3, 2022. 

Baletić was well known for his devotion to political economy a branch of social science, and contributed to its understanding and its importance in society, with a special emphasis on the field of economics.

Baletić was famous for his debate style consistently direct, fair, and diligent.

He loved to debate with academicians, policymakers, and students. And did it in an elegant, and stereotype-breaking style. 

He translated several important theoretical works in economics from English and French into Croatian.

He was one of the founders of the Geoeconomic Forum and its President from 2004 to 2019 and until his death Vice-president of the think tank. 

Thank you dear President very much that you had never lost decency and kept the faith that Croatia’s development should be stronger. In 1982, he was appointed a member of the Commission for Regional Development within the Long-Term Stabilization Program of the Federal Executive Council of Yugoslavia. 

His influence,  we could call it "Zvonko’s analyses",  in which he analyzed how to solve Croatia’s economic situation from inflation to debt, is precious when we want to understand the country's macroeconomic policy in 1999's and 2000s.  

Over a distinguished career that spans three decades, he worked at different levels of our economic system.


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Baletić served in high-ranking posts in Croatia’s government.   In August 1991, he became a member of the government of democratic unity as a minister without portfolio in charge of certain missions and relations with UNPROFOR. He remained in the government until February 1993, Later, he was offered the position of ambassador of Croatia in France, which he refused because it seemed to him that it would take him away from his scientific work. And for that he was unique. He didn't care for the pomp. That year he was elected to the position of director of the Economic Institute in Zagreb. He left the post of director of the Economic Institute in 1999. 


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He influenced many of former and today's leading international economic scholars and practitioners by his opinions in op-ed pieces in leading Croatia and European media outlets.  Baletić was a member of the editorial board of several scientific magazines. He was editor of Ekonomski pregled one of the oldest journals in this part of Europe.

He was a member of the Scientific Section of the Union of Economists of Yugoslavia, the European Economic Association, the Croatian Society of Economists, the Scientific Society of Economists, and the Croatian Political Science Society, and was also an associate of the International Center for Economic Development in San Francisco and the European Association for Small Business in St. Gallen. He was awarded with the Order of the Croatian Danica.

He believed in the strength of education that made him who he was. He prepared his doctoral dissertation at the London School of Economics and Political Science. In 1964, he was elected as a part-time assistant professor at the Faculty of Economics in Zagreb, and as the director of the Agrarian Institute. Baletić completed his postdoctoral studies at the University of Chicago, USA. In 1965, he received a scholarship from the Ford Foundation for postdoctoral studies at the University of Chicago, where Baletic's mentor was Theodore William "Ted" Schultz an American economist, and Nobel Laureate with whom he worked on Agriculture in Economic Development 

He is an author: Marxian Theory of Economic Crises (1965), Economic Process and Economic Theory (1972), Structural Characteristics, Growth Dynamics and Capital Formation in Croatian Economy (1977), Development of Underdeveloped Regions of Croatia (1985), Conception and Mechanisms of the Structural Adjustment Policy (1988), Croatian Economy in Transition (1999).

I think it’s important that all of us who admired and  loved him remember that Zvonimir  Baletić was many things, and had many significant duties but first and foremost he was a man of strong personality, who believed none of Croatia’s citizens would be free if they are not economically equal.

And I’m so grateful that he named, and  led the Geoeconomic Forum so many years. He’s gone and we salute him.


Jasna PLevnik





Zvonimir Baletić, F.C.A., was born on January 26, 1936 in Kljenak (Vrgorac municipality).  Elementary education started at the refugee camp in El-Shatt, Egypt; and ended in Dubrovnik. Concluded secondary education in Split. Enrolled the Faculty of Law, University of Zagreb, in 1954. Graduated in January 1959. In the meantime, received a scholarship from the French Government, which enabled him to spend one year of study at the Université de Strasbourg, during which time he passed the exam in the French language and civilization.

In May 2004, Z. Baletić was elected Fellow of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts (full member at the Department of Social Sciences), whilst, in May 2005, he was elected a full member of the Parisian Académie Européene des Sciences, des Arts et des Lettres. Between December 2005 and February 2007, he was a member of the National Council for Science of the Republic of Croatia. In June 2008, he became Chairman of the Scientific Council for Economic Research and the Croatian Economy of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts.


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