Vice President Jasna Plevnik for China Daily: The '16+1' and BRI will an opportunity for Croatia.
In June, China and Hungary inked a memorandum of understanding on promoting the initiative, the first such document China has signed with a European country.
Poland, the first to establish a strategic partnership with China among new members of the European Union (EU), also understands the potential of the initiative.
Poland could become a logistics center for the Belt and Road initiative and act as an ambassador in relations among China, CEE and the EU, Polish President Andrzej Duda said.
He called the proposed economic link between Asia and Europe an ingenious idea connecting two parts of the world, saying Poland was situated in "a very strategic place" for the initiative.
The Road and Belt Initiative could contribute to intensifying economic cooperation, commerce, and the flow of goods and services, Duda said.
Analysts also said CEE nations will be essential links in the Belt and Road Initiative, noting that connectivity will help improve infrastructure and economic growth in the region.
Jasna Plevnik, vice president of the Croatian think tank Geoeconomic Forum (GEOFO), called the 16+1 framework a new model for cooperation between China and CEE countries.
Under this new model, she said, Croatia can use its geographical advantages to cooperate with not only China, but also other countries in Central and Eastern Europe.
"As great changes have taken place in the world, with Asia and China becoming a focus for development, both the '16+1' framework and Belt and Road Initiative will provide an opportunity for Croatia," she said.