Tuesday, 20 August 2019

Croatian Company from Koprivnica Launches ''Magic'' Gluten Free Dessert

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marta Duic writes on the 19th of August, 2019, the Croatian company Sana Delicatessen, based in the continental town of Koprivnica, has launched a brand new product this summer - Magic, which is presented as the only fresh gluten-free dairy dessert on the Croatian market. Although it is best known for hummus, the company also has other trump cards that are winning over buyers even outside of the Croatian market.

"Over the last five years of doing business, we've noticed that more and more parents are choosing desserts and sweets more carefully for their children. Gluten-free products are increasingly popular, which is often unfortunately a necessity (for those with celiac disease) and so we prepared Magic with this idea in mind. Sana Magic sticks come in several flavours, with raspberry pieces, apricot and cocoa and hazelnut, and the first reactions from the market are positive and above our expectations. We're always moving step by step, and so we started with the Croatian market first, and then we're planning to export,'' said Silvija Repić, the director of this Croatian company.

From the very first eight products in the range, they have reached almost 150 products today. According to Repić, Sana is still the most well known for its Sana Hummus spreads, and this subcategory is expanding and becoming interesting to other companies from Croatia and from abroad. She noted that other products, such as Sana's premium spices for HoReCa customers, apple chips with chocolate, tahini, ketchup are soon to be developed properly. Sana's team currently boasts eleven permanent employees.

"New products, a higher number of customers (especially in the HoReCa channel), more delivery points and exports are intensifying the business and requiring job creation. We're also planning to further increase our staff and the pace of that will be determined by our further business success. This year, we've hired one person and we plan another one by the end of the year,'' Repić explained, pointing out that they are intensively seeking new export opportunities to other markets in the region and beyond.

"Sana Hummus is a leader on the Croatian market, and with growth in Slovenia and new products, we have achieved business growth rates of around 30 percent.

Slovenia is still our largest export market with chocolate chips and Hummus spreads and new spreads like Guacamole, MelanSana and Thai Salsa. Since the beginning of the year, we started exporting to Switzerland with a new product under the Bonmahl brand - a mixture of cereals and spices which is a kind of 'superfood'. The sales volume of Bonmahl in Switzerland far exceeds that in Croatia, but when it comes to the development of the Croatian market, we're just getting started,'' Repić noted.

This Croatian company works with almost all major retail and hotel chains, and have found their way to specialised stores.

"Entering new products into the HoReCa sales channel is different, the chefs are usually curious and interested in new products, but HoReCa requires a lot of time, investment and personal access to every customer," Repić explained.

She also pointed out that a small business like Sana must take extreme care of its profitability.

"Continuous investment in new products, markets and employees has resulted in increased sales and increased brand awareness, and each investment has a positive impact on the business," Repić concluded proudly.

Make sure to follow our dedicated business and Made in Croatia pages for more information on Croatian companies, products and services.

Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Zagreb County Companies Enjoy 61 Percent Rise in Earnings

As many as 8,589 companies with 60,182 employees have their seats in Zagreb County. Last year, they enjoyed revenues of 54 billion kuna, and profits of 1.9 billion kuna.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Darko Bicak writes on the 13th of August, 2019, the Lidl retail chain, the PIK Vrbovec meat industry and the retailer of medical equipment, Medical Intertrade, were the largest revenue generating companies in Zagreb County last year.

Namely, according to the data taken from the Financial Agency (Fina) in 2018, according to the number of processed annual financial statements, 8,589 companies employing 60,182 workers had their seats in Zagreb County, which is a 6.3 percent increase when compared with the previous year.

Zagreb County's companies generated total revenues of 54 billion kuna last year, marking a 10.6 percent increase when compared to 2017, and net profits of slightly less than 1.9 billion kuna, marking an impressive 61.3 percent increase.

Gross investment in new fixed assets increased by 13.1 percent when compared to the previous year. Imports increased by 8.6 percent, and exports increased by 9.3 percent, with a trade deficit of 5.4 billion kuna. The average monthly net earning was 5,646 kuna, which marked a welcome increase of 4.2 percent.

In comparison with other counties across the country, Zagreb County ranks an impressive second in total ''entrepreneurial'' income and third in net income, according to the labour productivity indicator measured by the ratio of net income to the number of employees, and by the labour productivity indicator measured by the ratio of total income to the number of employees.

According to the number of employees it is in fourth place, and according to the number of companies, it takes fifth place. Velika Gorica, Samobor, Sveta Nedelja and Stupnik are among the top twenty Croatian cities and municipalities at the national level in terms of total income and net profit of companies.

Lidl Croatia (Lidl Hrvatska), with its headquarters in Velika Gorica close to the City of Zagreb, generated 5.2 billion kuna in the largest revenue, numbers which saw it take first place in terms of the generation of both profit and revenue among the companies with their headquarters in Zagreb County. Lidl is the leader in terms of profits, boasting 281 million kuna and 2,060 employees.

PIK Vrbovec, with 1,757 employees and a profit of 86 million kuna, came in second place by the number of employees and third place in terms of profit. Medical Intertrade enjoyed 1.7 billion kuna in revenue, while it remained outside of the top ten in terms of profits and number of employees.

Major players among the companies in Zagreb County include Fliba, Santa Domenica, Zubak Group, Ikea, DIV Group, Hospira, Fero-Term, HKZP, KMG, KIK, Production MK and Oso, MZLZ Land Services.

Make sure to follow our dedicated business page for much more. If it's just Zagreb and Zagreb County you're interested in, give Total Zagreb a follow or check out Zagreb in a Page for all you need to know about the capital and the surrounding areas.

Monday, 12 August 2019

Croatian Company 8Sigma Opens Doors in India, China, Australia

The Croatian company 8Sigma, which is based in Zagreb, has developed an IT solution that connects conveyor belts to ERP and thus monitors production in real time.

As Bernard Ivezic/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 11th of August, 2019, 8Sigma, a Croatian software company from Zagreb which employs only ten people, won against seven international corporations with 10 to 150,000 employees.

The Croatian company won in a tender/competition which involved one of the strongest aluminum factories in the world and represents a joint venture of America's Alcoa, one of the largest global aluminum manufacturers that currently exists, and the Saudi manufacturer Ma'aden, whose Saudi Arabian plant is worth a massive 10 billion US dollars. This win has thus opened up a whole world of new opportunities for this successful Croatian company to expand its business to India, China and even as far away as Australia.

Vladimir Lukić, the co-founder and CEO of 8Sigma revealed that this is their second major deal, which they have concluded directly with the customer. So far, they have mostly worked through partners such as ABB, Andritz and Montelektra, but this is their most important reference. "Three years ago, we contracted a good direct deal with Impol TLM, and now this one in Saudi Arabia. Now, this latest deal has opened up an opportunity for us to get new jobs in China, India, and hopefully for the first time in Australia,'' confirmed Lukić.

He added that the Saudi plant is one of the largest integrated aluminum complexes in the whole world, spanning production from the mine right up to the final product. There is no such large industrial facility in Croatia and the country's immediate region. The plant produces 1.8 million tonnes of aluminum annually, and by comparison, it has been announced in Croatia that aluminum production will increase to 200 thousand tonnes by 2025. 8Sigma has developed an IT solution called 8Sigma MES that connects machines to ERP software, which is the central business information system.

"In this way, factory management can improve operational management, monitor inputs, production flow, and ultimately have an insight into the quality of each individual product, as it has full traceability control, all in real time," explained Lukić. He stated that the founders of 8Sigma previously worked in ABB for similar jobs as a team. They have more than 80 major projects behind them, from Japan, South Korea and China all the way to Africa, the Americas, and have worked extensively closer to home in Europe lately.

"China is still the world's number one steel producer, but for the last five years we've worked mostly in Europe, perhaps because of the higher labour costs here, because it encourages companies to invest more in modernising production," said the director of this Croatian software company. He pointed out that they quit ABB four years ago and developed their own software. Initially, as he explained, the idea was to allow the metal industry to monitor the situation on the conveyor belt, but in real time.

For example, factories like the huge one in Saudi Arabia have a conveyor belt which is more than a kilometre in length, and the automotive industry, which is its main customer, is looking for the possibility to trace each product at a similar level to that required by the food industry today.

"We have expanded to other industries, such as the brewery industry, and the next thing we expect is that customers will start looking for MES in the cloud, which we've already developed," concluded Lukić.

Make sure to follow our dedicated business and Made in Croatia pages for much more on Croatian innovation, Croatian companies, Croatian software and doing business in Croatia.

Saturday, 10 August 2019

Croatian Company Contracts 3 Million Euro Deal with Slovenian MOD

As Novac writes on the 10th of August, 2019, one of the oldest Croatian companies, Čakovec's Čateks, has contracted a deal worth up to three million euros with the Slovenian Ministry of Defence. This is a Croatian textile company that produces specialised high quality fabrics for both the medical and military industries.

''What this is, is a special NYCO Cordura fabric (nylon/cotton), which is specific owing to its exceptional strength and wear resistance,'' Davor Sabolić, director of Čateks, explained to novo.hr. The material it is made from also reduces the damage incurred by flames.

This type of fabric, he said, is increasingly recognisable across Europe, with Croatian Čateks being its largest European manufacturer of all. This is mostly explained by the fact that in addition to equipping the Slovenian army, this Croatian company also equips the armies of Lithuania, Latvia, Hungary, Montenegro and Kuwait, and develops projects for the army, special units and the police in the Czech Republic, Poland, Austria, the Netherlands, Estonia, Italy and for the Nordic countries.

However, this company's longest-running and strongest business cooperation is with the Ministry of Defense, and it started way back in 1991.

''If there were no such cooperation and these jobs, as well as the jobs of equipping the Croatian police, we wouldn't be able to carry out any of these jobs for the international units, since for each international tender we had to have done at least one in the same sense as before,'' said Sabolić, adding that nobody can claim to be the best if they didn't "do the job" at home, too.

Considering that this Croatian company is doing such successful business, it is logical that it is also preparing for a big investment cycle. In the next five years, Čateks will invest between 30 million kuna and 50 million kuna in the modernisation of its textile plant, and their aim is, as they themselves say, to better position themselves in the ''Defend'' program.

''That is a program in which we can offer a complete solution, from the production of combat uniforms, ie, pants, shirts and jackets, to the production of waterproof and windproof jackets, overcoats, raincoats, to various accessories made from special materials,'' explained the director.

In addition to Defend, Čateks is still developing its medical program in the segment of mattress covers with special properties.

Make sure to follow our dedicated business and Made in Croatia pages for much more on Croatian companies, products and services.

Thursday, 8 August 2019

Bugatti Interested in Working with Croatia's Mate Rimac?

As SEEbiz.eu/autonet writes on the 7th of August, 2019, rumours that Bugatti has been interested in developing and launching a crossover have been roaming the auto industry for some time now, but the details have remained left to speculation. Could Croatia's Rimac Automobili play a part in that story?

With that being said, recent information indicates that the Moslheim team is very interested in an electrically powered crossover, and Mate Rimac's one and only Rimac Automobili could be the one to play a significant role in all of this, according to a report from autonet.

At first, it was rumoured that Bugatti would use the Lamborghini's Urus to develop its crossover, but Automobile Magazine reports that the 4.0 bi-turbo V8 is not really what the famed French brand wants. The source said that those responsible for this in Bugatti thought that their new model should have an electric powertrain and instead turned to another VW Group member instead of Lamborghini.

More specifically, Bugatti reportedly contacted Rimac Automobili through Porsche, as ten percent stake in that company is now held by Porsche. Talks have also been held about the possibility of using a 1914-horsepower electric powertrain that fits into Rimac's magnificent Concept_Two.

Still, this is all mere speculation at this point and there is currently no official confirmation from any of the involved parties about these allegations for the time being, but it seems a little unusual for Bugatti to opt for the development and launch of a nearly 2000hp crossover, at least while the Chiron is still very much in production. In addition, it is expected that Bugatti could sell over 600 copies of that model of car, and possibly at a price lower than Chiron's.

Make sure to follow our dedicated business page for much more on the business scene in Croatia. If you're interested in Croatia's entrepreneurs, Croatian products and Croatian companies, follow Made in Croatia.

Monday, 5 August 2019

Two Young Men Open 3D Printing Filament Drive, Unique in Croatia

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Sergej Novosel Vuckovic writes on the 5th of August, 2019, in the height of the tourist season, more specifically in mid-July, in the small Petrijanec municipality just north of Varaždin County and on the border with Medjimurje (Croatia) and neighbouring Slovenia, two young men decided to open a facility to produce filaments for 3D (three-dimensional) printers. They are the only ones to do so in all of Croatia.

Valentino Jovan and David Lukaček are both 28 years of age and are good friends, the first of the two is an expert in mechanical engineering, and the second graduated with a degree in electrical engineering, and has years of experience in manufacturing electrical companies and mechanical engineering companies under his belt.

Encouraged, as they stated, by the lack of certain products and services and the desire to develop their own original solutions here in Croatia, they founded the company last June, called DiV Plastic (the pair's initials) and set off down that proverbial road.

"The best feeling is when we create something new of value while trying to contribute to our community," Valentino Jovan, one of two CEOs and business partners, told Poslovni Dnevnik. David Lukaček even returned to Croatia from living over in Germany to start the project and took all of that responsibility and risk with him.

There are four employees in this company from Northern Croatia in total, and they make filaments, which is their main, however not their only activity.

"The filaments are actually ''ink'' for 3D printers. It's a plastic wire that is made from several types of material depending on the properties you want ,and in many different colours, they come in various variations, we initially turned to the production of filaments, which are technical materials, but we also have another nine materials available to us in cooperation with our partners from Slovenia. By the end of the year, we plan to expand the production of filaments to three more materials,'' explained Jovan.

DiV Plastic, therefore, is developing and applying new technologies in the growing 3D printing segment, with the goal of doing the same by recycling waste plastics.

''The filaments we manufacture are from original new plastics. In terms of recycling, we've reoriented our products mainly for agricultural applications, and we plan to convert a lot of recycled plastics that would end up in landfills into usable products. Our goals are to process a minimum of 5-7 tonnes of recycled plastic per year, hopefully by the end of 2020,'' Jovan points out.

An important question remains, given the fact that this company from the north of Croatia is the only one in the whole of Croatia to engage in this type of business - Just what is the market for that type of printing like in Croatia?

''At the very beginning, I started 3D printing three years ago when there were only a few dozen 3D printers. This has been changing rapidly over the last year, with printers becoming cheaper and more accessible to businesses, hobbyists, students, schools, and associations. We collaborate with schools, technical science associations, hobbyists... More and more companies are realising the benefits of 3D printing for prototyping, patterns, gadgets... and so our cooperation with them is increasing,'' explained the young director.

Their current portfolio contains 3D modelling, 3D printing, document production and designs specifically requested by their increasing number of customers.

They're also thinking of expanding, and they have pointed out the fact that they are preparing more interesting products and services. For now, their focus is primarily on Croatia's market, but as soon as they are ready to explore opportunities abroad, they will take that chance.

In spring, the young men underwent a mentoring program for beginner entrepreneurs, and the president of the Croatian Network of Business Angels, Davorin Štetner, praised them. As he told Poslovni Dnevnik back at the time, he was impressed by the quality and creativity of DiV Plastics, which he believes will soon be ready for business angel investment.

"I'd like to thank Mr. Davorin for his business-related advice. It has been enjoyable and he has been helpful on the mentoring program, and I hope we will continue our collaboration," said Jovan, also giving a snapshot of the state of the domestic startup scene.

"It's mostly IT companies. I think the Croatian startup scene is relatively good in terms of circumstances. We lack the skilled staff, from engineers to marketing experts, we lack the hardware factories so that newly developed products don't have to go and be made in China or somewhere else abroad,'' said Valentino Jovan. As new entrepreneurs, they have already encountered the neuralgic points of Croatia's draconian system.

"We were most troubled by the lack of information and a lot of half-true or totally wrong information. It is difficult for us to find out all of the conditions we need to satisfy, what documentation is required. Young entrepreneurs are left to study and read manuals and find out laws and to decide what applies to them or not.

When it comes to production, especially newer technologies, you're just left to do it yourself. The second biggest obstacle is finding proper business spaces, from the beginning, we were looking for one suitable for our type of production, and only recently we were able to move in, and it's been almost a year.

For young entrepreneurs, offices are generally available, which is great if you're an IT company, but as soon as you have machines you need to have in function, then there are problems. Most of these premises don't have adequate access, proper installations... " Jovan warned.

Fortunately, they managed to get a meeting with Željko Posavec from their municipality, who quickly recognised the needs of young ambitious entrepreneurs.

''We received 55,000 kuna in support from HZZ and this is really important for all young entrepreneurs to be able to really get started in the beginning. We are also entitled to certain benefits because we employ mostly young people under the age of 30,'' the founders of this company from Northern Croatia state.

Their results are, for the time being, better than expected, with total revenues of 121,791 kuna last year, a profit of several thousand kuna.

''We expect multiple revenue increases this year due to increased business volume. We're pleased with the situation and the development, and we hope to continue this steady growth in revenue as we have done so far,'' concluded DiV Plastic's CEO, Valentino Jovan.

Make sure to follow our dedicated business and Made in Croatia pages for much more.

Sunday, 21 July 2019

Croatian Government Reshuffle Brings No Changes to Economic Situation

As Marija Brnic/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 20th of July, 2019, after Croatian Parliament ratifies the Croatian Government's cabinet reshuffle, Andrej Plenković's "ship" will probably carry in sailing just as it has until now right up to the end of his mandate and an unfortunate situation such as the country assuming the EU presidency under political instability, will likely be avoided. That all looks great on paper, but it doesn't change anything at all as far as the state of the Croatian economy is concerned.

PM Plenkovićs ''new people" are Marija Vučković, Vesna Bedeković, Ivan Malenica, Gordan Grlić Radman, Josip Aladrović and Mario Banožić.

When it comes to what might be positive for Croatian business, judging by the first estimates, would be an attempt by this group of new Croatian ministers to distinguish Croatia's infamous negative business and investment climate and the absolutely tragic public perception of the state management system.

"Political stability is a prerequisite for economic growth, so it's most important that after the reconstruction of the government, that the continuity of the economic policy that goes in the direction of tax breaks for entrepreneurs remains as it is. If the staff changes in the government contribute to improving the business climate and making life easier for businessmen, then we'll support it,'' stated the Croatian Chamber of Economy's Luka Burilović.

Among the first comments on the changes in the government were made by Gordana Deranja, the president of the Croatian Employers' Association (HUP), she wants to sit tight and wait for another few days, when the first, concrete steps of Croatia's brand new ministers can be seen.

"It is the right of the prime minister to appoint their people, and I can only say that it's important for them to be aware of the situation and that there needs to be continuity in the implementation of reforms," ​​claimed Deranja.

Businessmen haven't had too much of an issue with the fact that most of Plenković's newcomers didn't leave much of an impression at all, and the public didn't hear their goals - yet. Partly because, according to all the information available, they had been selected at the last minute, and partly because the prime ministers' approval for all of the important decisions in the work of their respective ministries was an absolute must.

The ''new'' Tomislav Tolušić (former state secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture) Marija Vučković, has made it clear that no major changes have been made in her line of work, and that the continuity of the policy led by her boss will be a must. Eventually, as she herself says, it will likely be upgraded, and that is precisely what Mladen Jakopović, the president of the Croatian Chamber of Agriculture, expects of her.

"She is a very meticulous person, who counts all the decimals in their exact details and holds all of the rules and regulations close to her, we'll all be satisfied," stated Jakopović, adding that an important phase of negotiations is now underway. Since Vučković was Tolušić's most trusted person, no major personnel changes are expected within that ministry.

Although the former minister of labour, Marko Pavić, became somewhat unpopular because of his lobbying against the referendum initiative "67 is too much" (a retirement age issue) and Josip Aladrović is a supporter of pension reform, he has not yet wanted to be open about his position, but has asked to wait for the votes to be counted and verified in order to ''do what will be essential for pension reform in future''.

Petar Lovrić, president of the Association of Independent Businessmen and Employers, announced that he will immediately request a meeting with the new minister of labour to discuss not only the bad management of the pension system, but also the need for relief for employers when it comes to the burden of sickness, because it is absurd that employers need to pay for health insurance and sick pay.

The former minister had no desire whatsoever to listen to that issue. Lovrić believes that a short-term solution to the problem would be to put the current finance minister in the position of vice president for the economy because he highly values Zdravko Marić, but in the long run, he says this isn't the best solution, because the finance minister is primarily concerned with the budget and should therefore strive for the stronger authority of the economy minister.

Mario Banožić didn't really make how he intends the state property ministry clear in his recent statement. When he sees the analysis, he says, then he'll know more. Mladen Pejnović considers that the ministry's focus on property had been wrong up until now, and that the enterprises were unfairly neglected.

Follow our dedicated politics and business pages for much more.

Friday, 12 July 2019

Opatija Hotel Company Purchased by Top German Yacht Manufacturer

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes on the 11th of July, 2019, the buyer, which in this case a company with some very handsome capital behind it, acquired 53.94 percent of all shares of this Opatija-based company, resulting in the obligation of publishing the takeover bid for LRH's shares.

The largest package of shares of the aforementioned Opatija-based hotel company, Liburnia Riviera Hoteli, was purchased yesterday by the company Gitone Adriatic.

As has since come to light more to those who had never heard of this particular company before, this is a highly successful company behind which stands the handsome capital of one of the most influential German families, the Lürssen family from Bremen, who are known as being renowned Megayacht builders for famous multimillionaires such as Larry Ellison and Roman Abramovich.

As was announced on the Zagreb Stock Exchange, on the 11th of July, 2019, the share purchase agreement of Opatija's Liburnia Riviera Hoteli was concluded between Gitone Adriatic and SNH ALFA, SNH BETA, SNH GAMA and SN PECTINATUS.

As previously mentioned, with this move, the buyer has now acquired 53.94 percent of all of the shares of the company.

Make sure to follow our dedicated business page for much more.

Tuesday, 9 July 2019

Orbico's Branko Roglić: Our Aim is to Become Leading Distributor in Europe

Orbico's owner Branko Roglić has become the majority owner of Interbrands, Romania's largest consumer goods distributor.

As Novac/Adriano Milovan writes on the 8th of July, 2019, as they have explained from Orbico, after having agreed with Cyprus' Holson and taken over 25 percent of Interbrand back in January, at the end of last week, on July the 4th, the second phase of the takeover of this large Romanian distributor was completed, during which Croatia's Orbico purchased an additional 35 percent of the company, thus becoming the majority owner of Interbrands.

The takeover of an additional stake in Interbrands was preceded by the approval of the competent body and the fulfillment of other sales contract terms, which were signed back in January, according to this company from Croatia's statement. In the take over of sixty percent of Interbrands, we know that Orbico had to set aside about forty million euros.

''We will restructure the company and strengthen its position on the Romanian market, which is the second largest market among the new EU members,'' Branko Roglić, the owner and chairman of the Orbico Supervisory Board stated.

Roglić pointed out that he is satisfied with taking over Interbrands, as Orbico has now become the leading distributor of consumer goods in Romania. Interbrands is one of Orbica's leading distributors of numerous global brands in Romania, including Philip Morris International, British American Tobacco, Procter & Gamble, Coty, Danone, Duracell, Fater, Nestle and many others. The annual revenues of Interbrands amount to about 200 million euro, its EBITDA is around EUR 10 million, and according to Orbico's data, about 2,000 workers are employed there.

This company from Croatia would, in agreement with the former owner of Interbrands, take over the remaining forty percent of the company over the next three years, becoming the sole owner of the Romanian company. Until then, a minority partner will hold a minority stake of forty percent.

Orbico operates in twenty European countries, of which Poland and Romania now occupy an important place. According to the company's data, it employs some 8,000 people and earns about two billion euros in revenue. The goal of Croatia's Orbico is to become the leading distributor in Europe.

Make sure to follow our dedicated business page for much more.

Sunday, 7 July 2019

Croatian Government Offering Rimac Incentives, Perhaps Even Land

Mate Rimac, Croatia's golden entrepreneur gave an example to the Croatian Government when it comes to attracting investment and the automotive industry - that example was Slovakia.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 6th of July, 2019, over in Slovakia, which is hardly on the other side of the world geographically, however seems to be in every other term when compared to Croatia; Kia provided incentives of as much as a billion euros, with which they built a brand new factory.

Two years ago, the young innovative Croatian entrepreneur Mate Rimac invested in developing a strategy for attracting the automotive industry to Croatia, and the project he presented to the Croatian Government was designed to be the basis for new measures for this sector, Marina Šunjerga writes for Večernji list.

As stated, the apparently endlessly talented Rimac found inspiration in the most successful country in this sector - Slovakia. The timing is now excellent considering that at this point, consideration is being taken in how to boost the development of electric car technology for the new century.

Rimac Automobili is a Croatian company that has been recognised as a real generator of knowledge and experience in producing the best electric batteries in the automotive world, with the development of the fastest electric car in the world, and there lies an opportunity for Croatia to take advantage of what Rimac has achieved against the odds and properly position itself the ''car map'' of the world.

Prime Minister Andrej Plenković briefly commented on yesterday's session of the Government on Rimac's initiative, saying that he believed his suggestions and ideas would be of particular importance to the Ministry of Economy for the further improvement of Croatia's investment and business climate, as well as other institutions through the aspect of education and the labour market, to contribute to further attracting the automotive industry to Croatia.

We have not yet heard the new measures that could attract companies such as Hyundai or Volkswagen to Croatia, and from the Ministry of the Economy, which Plenković has been pushing to develop new measures, they stated that Rimac and other automotive investors can count on all the measures within the Investment Promotion Act, which includes a reduction of the profit tax base and incentives for every new employee.

They also added that consideration is being given to the possibility that the realisation of a Rimac Campus would be facilitated by the Croatian Government, by giving the company land owned by the state.

This is a project that comes with a hefty price tag of between 80 and 100 million euros, which would include a centre for development and innovation for as many as 2000 employees.

While it all sounds straightforward enough, this is still Croatia, and the idea of realisation through land-delivery is not as feasible as it might sound at first, because they would have to go through a local unit that could eventually provide the company with a free location. This doesn't happen overnight.

With that land, Rimac would be able to count on all the standard incentives like all the other investors in this field do. According to the investment calculator, the investor would receive about 12 million kuna of direct incentives and about six million kuna of tax incentives in support for employment, which is a substantial amount for an investor as it exceeds 15 percent of the investment value.

Croatia gets a lot of bashing for its poor investment climate, but there are actually measures in place which are quite favourable, and although incentives in Croatia aren't small, the automotive industry's attraction to the country is spoiled by the poor attitude and the slow, cumbersome approach that has become synonymous with Croatia, and are looking for a much more proactive approach from politicians.

Slovakia has attracted billions of euros in investments over the past twenty years, resulting in the realisation of 34 large projects, and it's now the country with the highest number of cars per capita in the world. The project started with a smaller VW investment in Bratislava way back in 1993.

Slovakia cut profit tax from 40 all the way down to just 19 percent, and the investors completely free from having to pay tax for five years. Like Croatia, it offered quite handsome incentives in terms of employment, and he Slovakian politicians were at the disposal of investors. VW has invested 302 million euros in Slovakia so far, and has received tens of millions of euros in incentives from the Slovaks. It's a relationship which works harmoniously, and is also something that is difficult to imagine for Croatia and its draconian laws and rates.

Could everything be about to change? Has spending time with the amazing Mate Rimac opened the Croatian Government's tightly closed eyes? Only time will tell.

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