Stefanie Ziska, New Managing Director German-Croatian Chamber of Commerce: Private businesses to stay afloat

We have interviewed selected persons from the economic and diplomatic community, as well as public life, and found out how embassies, institutions, companies and public figures have organized diplomatic and business activities and themselves during the state of emergency, how they contribute to the fight against the COVID-19 virus, as well as, how they spend their free time and what they will do first when the state of emergency is abolished. Today, we are talking to Stefanie Ziska, New Managing Director German-Croatian Chamber of Commerce

How did you organize your business activities?

The situation we all find ourselves in, has led us to organize our business completely remotely. Our office has switched to home office and I have to say it works very smoothly. We have daily video calls, team meetings or webinars. We are also in daily contact with our member companies, which are increasingly burdened by the current circumstances. We aim to support our network with the latest information and webinars about COVID-19.

How do you comment on the Government’s measures to help and save the economy?

We welcome all efforts and measures that the Croatian government, the Ministry of Economy and further ministries have taken to date. We are very pleased that the decision-making processes have been accelerated as much as possible in the last few days. We also welcome the initiative of Prime Minister Plenković to set up a “crisis team” to help the current situation. However, we are also aware that all of the measures introduced so far are not enough for private industry. The most crucial point for private industry at the moment is to secure their liquidity. They are dealing with declining sales, while fixed costs remain the same. So therefore it is most pertinent on how the government can support these businesses to stay afloat during the next couple of weeks or months.

How are you spending your private time during the pandemic?

Personally, I was in 14 day home quarantine entering Croatia from Germany, so quite a rocky start to my position and the earthquake two days after arriving in the country. From day one,  I’ve started working with my team and securing the Chamber. I have connected with local and state officials of both governments to evaluate how the German-Croatian Chamber can be of assistance.

What will you do first after the current condition is cancelled?

I wish we had a plan for the time after COVID-19. Right now it’s day by day effort to keep myself, my staff and my businesses healthy. I would love to travel to the coast or to the Plitvice Lakes with my husband. I’m really looking forward to exploring this beautiful country.