According to the Chamber’s 2023 Economic survey, Croatia has been recognized as one of the top five most attractive investment location among 16 countries in Central and Eastern Europe , for Diplomacy&Commerce says Stefanie Ziska, Managing director AHK. In our talks with the public sector it is crucial to emphasize Government’s commitment to reforms that benefit businesses and importance of taking concrete steps to ensure their effectiveness.
- According to the comments of Chamber members, how do you evaluate the current business situation, where do you see the biggest challenges and how to overcome them?
Impressively, over 80% of companies are keen to reinvest in Croatia, indicating a continued commitment to the country’s economic landscape. Potential for German investors lies in the sectors of metal processing and mechanical engineering, electronics/electrical engineering, wood and furniture industry, food and beverage industry, chemicals and pharmaceuticals. Nevertheless, companies are grappling with significant challenges. The lack of a professional workforce in almost all sectors, high-energy prices (primarily attributed to the negative repercussions of the Russian aggression against Ukraine), continued inflation and disruption in supply chains and high labor costs are identified as the primary challenges for our members. The slowdown of the construction sector in Germany is even more pronounced, which also affects the decline in demand for Croatian manufacturers. Other challenges that have remained largely consistent include excessive tax burdens, inefficient public administration, and fight against corruption.
- What is AHK undertaking to improve the business climate in Croatia and to make economic relations between the two countries even better?
Germany is Croatia’s most important trade partner. For 20 years, the German-Croatian Chamber represents the economic interests of German companies in the country and acts as a “bridge” for Croatian companies that want to do business in Germany. In Croatia operate roughly 400 German companies that have invested around EUR3.9 billion in Croatia and have created 80.000 jobs. Numerous German companies have recognized the advantages of this country as a production location. Croatia is recognized as growing innovation center in Europe – IT & start-ups (e-mobility) are booming. In the field of green and digital transformation, there is potential and room for further development. AHK has been committed to sustainability, increasing energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy, as well as climate protection. Digitization is also an extremely important topic – whether in the public sector, at the level of municipalities or in the private sector. Extensive EU financial support is also available for both private and public sector, which can promote cooperation and the transfer of knowledge and technology.