Friday, 30 September 2022

African Love Story as Croatia and China Mark 30 Years

 September 30, 2022 - An African love story in Croatia, made in China, as The Chinese Embassy marks 30 years of diplomatic relations between China and Croatia, as well as 73 since the founding of the People's Republic of China. 

A very stimulating evening of Chinese culture to celebrate 30 years of diplomatic relations between China and Croatia last night, as well as 73 years since the founding of the People's Republic of China. There is the full press release below, but there were also many details in the evening to reflect on. 

The Peljesac Bridge of course loomed large in proceedings, including one lesser known story, of a love found, initially in China where both the Croatian lady and husband from Togo, were studying, before moving to Croatia to work on the constuction of the bridge. 

A wonderful - and very diverse - show of Chinese music and culture. 

 Including traditional dance with the fan.

An inspiring peformance of the violin with dance. 

And if you have never heard the Dalmatian classic, Ti Si Moj San (You are My Dream) sung in Croatian, now is you chance.  

The official pess release about the event is below and in full. 

A reception was held on the occasion of the 73rd anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China and the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Croatia.

Zagreb, September 30, 2022. - On September 29, the Embassy of the People's Republic of China in Croatia held a reception on the occasion of the 73rd anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China and the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Croatia. Present were the Vice-President of the Croatian Parliament Željko Reiner, former President Ivo Josipović, as well as representatives of the diplomatic corps, people from various circles, representatives of Chinese companies and representatives of the Chinese in Croatia.


Ambassador Qi said: "This year marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Croatia. In the past 30 years, relations between the two countries have always maintained comprehensive development at a high level, and political mutual trust is continuously strengthened. The leaders of the two countries held close exchanges and led the development of Chinese-Croatian relations. The two sides understand and support each other on matters of vital interest and great concern. In the past 30 years, economic and trade cooperation between the two countries has been continuously expanding. Recently, a solemn ceremony was held to put the Pelješki bridge into traffic. This bridge is not only a flagship project of trilateral cooperation between China, Croatia and the EU, but also a model of cooperation between China and Croatia and a symbol of friendship between the two nations. Chinese companies are deeply involved in the Croatian market, committed to promoting the economic development of Croatia, providing better quality products and services, creating a large number of employment opportunities for Croatia, and they are really for the benefit of the citizens of Croatia."


Ambassador Qi said, “Currently, unprecedented major world changes in a century are accelerating, and the world has entered a new period of turbulent change. In order to respond to global challenges, Chinese President Xi Jinping recently explained the concepts and attitude of Chinese diplomacy on various occasions, outlined the global security initiative and the global development initiative, advocated supporting the concept of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, promoted the construction of a balanced, effective and sustainable security structures, stressed that China is willing to cooperate with all parties to protect the international system with the United Nations at its core, maintain peace, stability and international fairness and justice. He called for building a stronger, greener and healthier global development, adhering to free trade and fair trade, strengthening the coordination of macro policies of different countries, ensuring energy security and food security, maintaining the safety and smoothness of the industrial and supply chain, maintaining and promoting economic globalization and deepening multilateral and bilateral international economic cooperation."

Ambassador Qi said: "In the emerging situation, China and the EU should, as important political forces and major economies on the world stage, strengthen communication and coordination on China-EU relations and major issues related to global peace and development, and play a constructive and stable role . In a speech at the opening ceremony of the Pelješac Bridge, Premier Li Keqiang said that China and the EU are comprehensive strategic partners and cooperate and learn from each other on the basis of mutual respect and equality in accordance with the fundamental and long-term interests of China and the EU.


Vice-President of the Croatian Parliament Željko Reiner gave a speech at the reception, expressed warm congratulations on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Croatia and the 73rd anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, praised China's achievements in economic and social development and the results of mutually beneficial cooperation on various areas between China and Croatia and expressed the belief that the two sides will continue to cooperate on deepening the partnership, expanding the area of ​​cooperation and promoting the continuous achievement of new achievements in bilateral relations.

At the reception, a photo exhibition about the 30th anniversary of the establishment of Chinese-Croatian diplomatic relations and the important cooperation between the two countries was set up, which vividly presented the results of cooperation over the past 30 years, told touching stories about the friendly exchange between the Chinese and Croatian people, and presented the contributions Chinese investment cooperation to the development of the Croatian economy and people's livelihood. In addition, at the reception, the teachers and students of the Confucius Institute, as well as the Chinese music band, performed a series of great points such as martial arts, the presentation of Chinese traditional Han clothing and the performance of famous Chinese songs, and a calligraphy booth was set up that allowed guests to experience the depth Chinese culture.



Friday, 30 September 2022

ERBD's Prognosis for Croatian GDP Growth Considerably Improved

September the 30th, 2022 - The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has given its improved prognosis for Croatian GDP growth.

The global coronavirus pandemic which halted tourism and created unprecedented circumstances across the board had tremendously negative effects on the domestic economy. Tourism, being the strongest economic branch this country has, making up 20 percent of Croatian GDP, took a hit like no other as planes stopped arriving. Things, however, seem to be on the up despite ongoing spiralling inflation and the horrific situation still unfolding in Ukraine following Russian invasion earlier this year.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) announced in its September 2022 report on regional economic forecasts that Croatian GDP growth this year will amount to 6.5 percent, while next year it will slow down to 2 percent.

Compared to the report which was issued back in May this year, this is a doubling of Croatian GDP growth for this year, while the forecast for 2023 has worsened, given that the EBRD expected an increase of 3.5 percent.

In the 38 countries in which the EBRD operates, economic growth will amount to 3 percent next year. This is a significant reduction when it comes to initial expectations, considering the fact that back in the May report, economic growth of 4.7 percent was expected.

As for this year, the bank expects Croatia's immediate region to grow economically by 2.3 percent, which is a significant improvement. Back in May, the EBRD expected a growth of a mere 1.2 percent.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated politics section.

Friday, 30 September 2022

Istrian Kabola Winery Receives Two More International Awards

September the 30th, 2022 - The well known Istrian Kabola winery is no stranger to international recognition and awards, and two more prestigious international awards will only push this Istrian winery even further into the limelight.

As Morski writes, two international awards - Luxury Awards in the category of Best Organic Wine Production Company 2022 and Prestige Awards in the category of Vineyard of the Year - have arrived at the doors of the Istrian Kabola winery. According to many people, this is by far the most beautiful Istrian estate of all.

Both awards come from the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and are annual awards given by respected British publications. The best ones are decided by readers online, as well as by an expert jury.

Connoisseurs of the wine scene know that both of these awards have definitely ended up in the right hands, because the Istrian Kabola winery was the first of all on the Istrian peninsula to venture into organic production, which is why all its labels have had the BIO certificate since back in 2009, and it is also the first winery in all of the Republic of Croatia to have started with the production of wine aged in amphorae.

The awards given to the owners of the winery, the Markezic family, who are still very busy working in the vineyards because this year's harvest is still in progress.

"We started harvesting around August the 25th this year, two or three weeks earlier than in previous years due to the extremely hot and sunny summer. Early Chardonnay and Pinot Gris varieties were harvested, and we're using them to produce our RE Kabola sparkling wine. We've just finished harvesting the Malvasia, which accounts for 70 percent of the total production of our grapes and wine,'' explained famous Istrian winemaker Marino Markezic, announcing yet another excellent wine year.

The vineyards on the estate of the Istrian Kabola winery withstood this year's horrendous drought very well thanks to the soil in the microlocation of Momjanstina, which is rich in marl that retains moisture more easily.

It's worth noting that wine and the production of it has been present within this family and has been a tradition for more than 130 years now, and the Markezic family live in harmony with nature. Their cellars have always been the Istrian avant-garde, their wines are widely appreciated, recommended by the most famous sommeliers and offered by prestigious restaurants in many locations. Their winery in Kanedol is a must-see destination for tourists from all over the world, and the film industry also loves it, given the fact that just a few years ago, scenes for a Hollywood blockbuster were filmed on the property.

"Awards always make us happy, but the best reward is the recommendation of our clients and guests who return to us year after year and truly enjoy our wines," concluded Markezic.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated Made in Croatia section.

Friday, 30 September 2022

Pula Tourism is Booming, But Decent Public Toilets are Lacking...

September the 30th, 2022 - Pula tourism has come on leaps and bounds over more recent years, with this year having been excellent for this beautiful Istrian city. Despite the increasing crowds of visitors from all over the world, there are no decent public toilets to speak of.

As Morski writes, the City of Pula is reputed to be one of the ''most touristic'' and most visited cities in all of Istria, however, it still doesn't have a decent, properly run public toilet. Recently, the project of renovating the toilets on the city's main promenade was supposed to start, but a storm arose over the cost of the renovation - Pula allocated around 1 million kuna for the works and the renovation. However, given the fact that the decision on public procurement hasn't yet been made, it seems that the entire project has been abandoned for now.

Almost a hundred years ago, Pula definitely didn't have thousands of tourists to carer to, but it still did have several public toilets which had been built by the Italians. It isn't exactly practical for Pula or for Pula tourism to not have a proper, decent and well-functioning public toilet. It would be a bare faced lie to claim there aren't any at all, as there is one inside the market, but it isn't very easy to find, which kind of defeats the object.

''Tourists can hardly find this place. That's why the city administration intended to restore the toilet on the main city promenade. That toilet has been closed for more than a year, it was supposed to be renovated for a value of around 1 million kuna, but as we've unofficially found out, that idea was abandoned,'' said Damir Prhat of the the city administration.

Although many are already calling it the "million kuna toilet", archaeologists note that it is a cultural asset located in the complex of the city walls, which could pose issues and delays.

''When you take into account the fact that the restoration of the staircase and the renovation of the tower are also being done, I assume that the price is skyrocketing because all work on the cultural property is performed by companies that specialise in work solely on such buildings,'' said Darko Komso, the director of the Archaeological Museum of Istria.

Whether or not Pula will finally get its own public toilet by the next tourist season remains to be seen, but with Pula tourism on an upward trajectory, it will be a little more than embarrassing if this situation is still as it is this time next year.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Friday, 30 September 2022

Dubrovnik Winter Charter Flights Begin With Arrivals from Across Europe

September the 30th, 2022 - Dubrovnik winter charter flights have begun with guests arriving in the Pearl of the Adriatic from across the rest of Europe.

As Morski writes, Dubrovnik's tourism is still to a large extent reliant on air traffic arrivals despite the finalisation of the Peljesac bridge which scraps the need to cross in and back out of Neum in Bosnia and Herzegovina. As such, Croatia's southernmost city still heavily depends mostly on air connections, that is, on the summer flight schedule.

When the height of the main summer tourist season ends, and particularly by the end of October, traffic to Dubrovnik is 90 percent lower than it is during the summer. However, this year, Dubrovnik Airport will also have work to do in the winter with Dubrovnik winter charter flights. The programme of Dubrovnik winter charter flights has begun, which will bring retirees from all over the rest of Europe.

The first plane of the new Dubrovnik winter charter flights programme landed at the airport in Cilipi recently and the guests, mostly German nationals, couldn't wait to explore the city outside of the often insufferable crowds and scorching heat.

''We wanted to get better acquainted with Croatia, we are staying for two weeks,'' said Anya from Germany.

''It was very good, very pleasant, the flight got here really quickly from Hamburg,'' added Asthrid.

''This is my first time coming here, and I hope I will like it a lot,'' Brighitte noted.

Half of all travellers arriving come from Germany, and they are retirees: guests who spend quite a lot and are usually more than happy to travel outside of the main tourist season.

''The other 50 percent of them come from all European cities. We have people from Great Britain, Norway, Sweden, Denmark... 95 percent of the Dubrovnik winter charter flights are sold out, for the first period of 12 months, about 99 percent are sold out. We even have a couple of dates that exceeded the number of seats,'' points out the director of the travel agency, Akkan Mahmut, for Regionalni Dnevnik.

In addition to charter flights, Dubrovnik will be directly connected to Barcelona, ​​London and Istanbul during the winter, in addition to Zagreb.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

Thursday, 29 September 2022

Cro Traditions: Crkveni God, aka Kirbaj, Kirvaj - Patron Saint Celebration

September 29, 2022 - The majority of Croatian people are Catholics. Naturally, their daily lives are influenced by their religion, and so are their traditions. Even though the numbers are changing, as well as the way religion is practiced, some traditions remain and are rarely ever questioned. In Slavonija, one of them is kirbaj, or kirvaj, officially known as Crkveni God. The colloquial expressions came from German "Kirchweih," the dedication of a church from 19th-century German tradition; the day is a celebration of the patron saint of the local church. Villages usually only have one church, but there could be multiple kirbajs throughout the year in cities. It is in the smaller communities, though, where it all shines and where it makes the list of the top 5 days of the year.


Emica Elvedji / PIXSELL

September 29 is the day of St Michael, the patron saint of grocers, paramedics, mariners, paratroopers, police officers, and military personnel. He is celebrated in many places in eastern Croatia. We went to Donji Miholjac, where even rain did not ruin the festive atmosphere. For the religious part of the holiday, everyone goes to church and expresses gratitude to their patron saint, and there is usually a procession through the village. This is an opportunity to spruce up the place and make it look presentable, pretty, and inviting to all visitors. This is especially amusing to children because the streets are never as shiny, colourful, and fun like on kirbaj. The little ones will save money to buy toys, candy, balloons, rides, or even pets at one of the little stalls covering the whole stretch of the main streets.


At home, the preparations for the big day sometimes begin months in advance. Just like the village shows off for the procession and the visitors, the hosts want to do the same. Socially, kirbaj is an excellent opportunity to bring your family and friends together. Houses need to be clean and tidy, and the atmosphere warm and welcoming. Traditionally, alongside making the house spotless, even the walls would be freshly painted for the day. After all that is done, the hosts will spend days preparing the food. Chicken broth is usually served first, followed by sarma or stuffed peppers (depending on the season), before the chicken mentioned above with cooked vegetables and tomato sauce. Then it’s time for the mains. Roasted pig or lamb is usually the star of the table, accompanied by homemade mlinci (a type of pasta that is cooked and flavoured with some of that delicious fat from the roast) and a variety of salads that are really other side dishes. Usually, that is the French (aka Russian) salad, potato salad, and coleslaw.


Of course, there is always dessert, a tray full of cakes and biscuits of all kinds. And the last course is coffee. Jokingly known as “potjeruša” – Croatian for “please go home now,” coffee is actually served as the much-needed help for your digestion. Whether you want to go home depends on the age and responsibility group you belong to.

If you stay long enough, you will probably have some more food and slowly transition onto a liquid diet. A little bit buzzed, you might find yourself on your way to the village pub or a venue expressly set up for the kirbaj after-party. What happens there needs to be enough for the village to have something to talk about until next year’s kirbaj.


Very important to note: you might not receive any invitations for kirbaj. Traditionally, you are expected to know when it is and simply show up. In turn, family and friends will also show up at your door on the day of your local kirbaj.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated Lifestyle section.

Thursday, 29 September 2022

HEP Investing in Supply of Electricity and Thermal Energy to Zagreb

September the 29th, 2022 - HEP is set to pour a massive 1.7 billion kuna into the production and supply of electricity and thermal energy for the City of Zagreb.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/PD VL native tim writes, despite the fact that it bears a significant burden on the implementation of Croatian Government measures to limit the growth of energy and energy prices, HEP is continuing to develop its production portfolio in the current difficult energy situation with the aim of increasing the degree of energy self-sufficiency across the Republic of Croatia. One such investment is currently being implemented in the heart of the City of Zagreb.

With the completion of the construction of the new combi-cogeneration block worth a massive 900 million kuna at Elektrana-toplana Zagreb (KKE EL-TO Zagreb), almost 200,000 residents of the western part of the capital will have a long-term supply of thermal energy, and commercial consumers will have a supply of industrial steam.

The reduction of all pollution

The plan is to put KKE EL-TO Zagreb, with an electric power of 150 MWe and a thermal power of 114 MWt, into trial operation in the first half of next year. The construction of the block is already at an advanced stage and 85 percent of the planned works have been completed so far. Complete production equipment has been installed, and the block is already connected to the 110 kilovolt network, the high-pressure gas pipeline, as well as to most connection points with the EL-TO Zagreb plant.

The expected average annual production of KKE EL-TO Zagreb is 675 GWh of electricity, 450 GWh of thermal energy for the central heating system of the City of Zagreb, and 160 GWh of industrial steam.

The new KKE EL-TO block will, thanks to Siemens' state-of-the-art combi-cogeneration technology, allow for the simultaneous production of electricity and thermal energy in the connection process, with a high degree of efficiency of 90 percent. It will achieve more than 25 percent of the primary energy savings of natural gas, which is extremely important as part of the European Union's overall efforts to reduce the bloc's dependence on manual gas as much and as quickly as possible.

In addition to all of the above, by replacing worn-out inefficient units at the location, the specific emissions of CO2 and pollutants in flue gases will also be significantly reduced. The turbines of the new block are designed for the possibility of subsequent use of alternative gas fuels, including hydrogen.

The new cogeneration block is being built by the Italian company FATA S.p.A., a member of the Danielli Group, with which the Agreement for the design, construction, procurement and installation of equipment and the Agreement on long-term maintenance of the power plant was signed. Croatian companies - Elektroprojekt, Inzenjering za naftu i gas and others - were all also hired to be engaged in various types of work.

A heat accumulator worth 100 million kuna was also constructed at the very same location, which will optimise the production of heat and electricity and help compensate for the increased consumption of heat energy. The heat accumulator will be put into operation during the upcoming heating season this year. The final works of the second season of the realisation of the revitalisation and modernisation project of one third, or 68.5 kilometers, of the hot water network of the City of Zagreb are also now firmly underway. The project is worth 700 million kuna in total was co-financed using EU funds.

The total value of the mentioned three projects with which HEP is working to increase the long-term security of the production and supply of electricity and thermal energy in the City of Zagreb amounts to approximately 1.7 billion kuna.

The construction of KKE EL-TO Zagreb is part of HEP's wider Renewable Scenario, which will increase production capacity by an additional 1,500 MW from 2018 to 2030, of which 700 MW will come from solar power plants and wind power plants, 570 MW will come from hydropower plants, and 230 MW will come in the form of high-efficiency cogenerations.

The long-term orientation towards renewable energy sources is illustrated by the fact that HEP is currently developing about 60 RES projects with a total power of about 1,400 MW and a value of around 11 billion kuna in total.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated business section.

Thursday, 29 September 2022

Is Croatian Luxury Nautical Tourism a Good Recipe for the Future?

September the 29th, 2022 - Is Croatian luxury nautical tourism the way forward and the key to the future for Croatian tourism? A conference held in Zadar recently discussed the matter further.

As Morski writes, a conference was held recently in the Dalmatian city of Zadar under the auspices of the Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure, where the leaders of Croatian tourism and the nautical and maritime sector spoke about the development of Croatian luxury nautical tourism, more specifically within Zadar County.

Nautical tourism is one of the backbones of tourism in the Croatian Adriatic, we saw all its advantages during the global coronavirus pandemic when it led the entire tourism sector towards much needed recovery. From its very beginnings until this very day, it has been continuously developing and growing, and one of the fastest growing and most powerful segments is certainly Croatian luxury nautical tourism. This type of tourism implies significant investments, an extremely high level of offer and service, and it also brings guests with higher paying power, and these were the topics of the aforementiond Zadar-based conference.

''Ports are the gateway to the world, the driver of economic development and an important pillar of transport connectivity, their contribution to nautical industry, which continuously records better results, is unmissable. Our national chain of marinas - ACI, which manages 22 marinas from Umag all the way down to Dubrovnik, knows this better than anyone, and the construction of the 23rd marina in Porto Baros in the City of Rijeka is also currently being prepared.

ACI manages the Simuni marina on the island of Pag in Zadar County. The amount that ACI invested in its marinas, just last year alone, stands at almost 44 million kuna. It is precisely these continuous investments in infrastructure, but also in the entire offer, along with the coastline that Croatia has, that give these excellent results and place nautical tourism in the position of one of the leading sectors in the country's overall tourism results,'' said Minister of Maritime Affaits, Transport and Infrastructure, Oleg Butkovic.

County Prefect Bozidar Longin rated the Zadar coastline as one of the most important and valuable resources available to the county. However, he also drew attention to sustainability, namely that the coast is a sensitive ecosystem that we must protect and preserve, while Mayor Branko Dukic pointed out that the proper preconditions should be created and the local population should be considered more than ever, given the large number of guests and crowds during the height of the summer tourist season.

Zadar County is an ideal destination for the development of Croatian luxury nautical tourism. Moreover, the president of the ACI Management Board, Kristijan Pavic, said that behind every luxury marina there must also lie a destination that is attractive to a clientele with higher paying power and greater demands, and Zadar is certainly one of those destinations. There can and should be a luxury marina located in Zadar, because the offer in the city and its surroundings is complementary to this type of marina, and vice versa.

The development of nautical tourism in Croatia over more recent years has defined a new direction in which we can head, and all those present agreed to continue to direct their proverbial sails in that direction, towards nautical tourism at an even higher level, remaining in synergy with the other facilities, content and tourist offer that the city already has.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

Thursday, 29 September 2022

Brijuni Islands Still Busy - Excursions Booked Throughout October

September the 29th, 2022 - The gorgeous Brijuni islands which are also one of Croatia's several stunning national parks have had an excellent season, with excursions still being very well booked throughout the month of October.

As Morski writes, the beautiful Brijuni islands have never had a better main summer season and post-season. All excursions for this particular national park are sold out, and the boats heading there from the mainland are all full. Special events are being prepared for the month of October, which will further attract visitors to the Brijuni islands and promote their astonishing beauty.

The location in Fazana on the Istrian mainland from which you can hop aboard a vessel to the Brijuni islands is always crowded, and people are having to wait in lines. Every day, up to a thousand excursionists come by boat. During the four-hour guided tour, visitors get better acquainted with history of these unusual islands, see their cultural monuments, and get to spend time in their natural beauty.

Organised groups of visitors are making frequent returns to the Brijuni islands, and every single day there are many people who want to visit the National Park even as the season winds down.

''It would be good to make a reservation a few days earlier, especially for weekends when we have a larger number of visitors,'' pointed out Marija Stokovic, head of the Department for Visiting, Sport and Recreation of the Brijuni National Park.

''This year, we managed to reach a 40 to 45 percent increase in the number of visitors, which essentially means that we managed to reach 240 visitors from 180,000 visitors, which is the park's maximum record,'' said Marno Milotic, the director of NP Brijuni. In order to extend the season, NP Brijuni is preparing numerous recreational and sporting events, such as open days and a family golf weekend.

''Throughout the year, we hold various events through which we try to educate our visitors, work on the sustainability of tourism and promote the interesting parts of this national park,'' pointed out Reanna Bajkovic Relic, a spokeswoman for NP Brijuni. Autumn will therefore be a very active one on the Brijuni islands, and many events and excursions will be available at affordable prices, reports HRT.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

Thursday, 29 September 2022

Croatian Position on 2022 Digital Competitiveness Ranking Improved

September the 29th, 2022 - The Croatian position on this year's digital competitiveness ranking has improved somewhat, but it is still lagging quite significantly behind many countries.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the main finding of the IMD World Digital Competitiveness Ranking 2022 published by the World Competitiveness Centre (WCC) places Denmark in first place, the USA in second place, and the Republic o Croatia in 43rd place out of 63 observed countries.

"Governments and the private sector must invest in all areas – in talent, training and education, scientific concentration and research and development – ​​to protect their digital infrastructure from cyber-attacks and provide competitive e-government services. These are key steps towards the digital creation of a competitive economy," is the conclusion of this report.

"We're pleased with this result, which shows an increase of twelve places on the World Ranking of Digital Competitiveness, the highest that the Croatian position has ever been in. Growth was achieved across all three areas: knowledge, technology and readiness for the future. The ranking itself points to areas where we still need to work, such as knowledge transfer (59th) or the ability to attract foreign experts (59th), but also those where we show excellent results, such as the ratio of the number of students to professors (7th) or investments in telecommunications (5.) This is a recognition of the work we've engaged in so far, but also an obligation to continue with efforts that will lead us to an even higher place on this ranking, in order to ensure a competitive advantage for the Croatian economy and the improvement of society as a whole," pointed out Acting President of the National Competitiveness Council, Ph.D. Ivan Misetic.

The annual ranking quantified the capacity of 63 global economies to adopt and explore new digital technologies and use them to transform government practices, business models and society. It does this by categorising 54 different criteria – a mix of external hard data (two-thirds of the total) and IMD's Executive Opinion Survey (one-third) – into three broad groups: a) future readiness, b) knowledge and c) and technology.

"This ranking of digital competitiveness describes the importance of national factors in explaining the digital transformation of companies and the adoption of digital practices by the general public. Digitally successful countries emerge from a combination of digital talent, digital regulation, data governance, digitalisation attitudes and capital availability,” said Arturo Bris, Director of the WCC.

This year's results shed new light on those factors that make it possible to strengthen the capacity of both governments and the private sector to protect digital infrastructure from cyberattacks, according to experts. This kind of action is of key importance for the adoption and spread of digital technology, and the hope is that the Croatian position on this list will only continue to get higher and higher.

The full report is available here.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated politics section.