Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Women as Entrepreneurs Important for Economic Growth

ZAGREB, November 6, 2018 - The state is not aware of the potential of female entrepreneurship, and it is business women who are affected the most by anti-entrepreneurial climate and social barriers, it was said at a ceremony organised in Zagreb on Tuesday by the Women in Adria network for recipients of this year's awards for the best female entrepreneurs.

The founder of the network, Ivana Matić, said that she believed in the development of business on the Croatian market and exports and that she expected state authorities to help in efforts aimed at job creation.

She also said that most businesses led by females are micro businesses, which means that women in those businesses are both the director and the main worker.

Croatian Association of Employers president Gordana Deranja called on local communities to be more engaged in the development of female entrepreneurship. In that context, she warned that every fourth local community does not have institutions catering for preschool children or the elderly who need round-the-clock care, which is why women lack employment opportunities as in most cases it is women who care for children and the elderly.

In order to enable women to be employed or self-employed, it is essential to open kindergartens and day-care centres for the elderly. That requires changes in the society, Deranja said. She added that "females should be encouraged to start up their own businesses and take over responsible positions in companies in which they are employed."

Canada's Deputy Ambassador Emily Nicholson said that the Canadian government promoted diversity and inclusion as an integral part of the creation of an economy suiting everybody. The companies that promote gender diversity in their executive positions achieve better financial results and promote innovativeness, thus contributing to economic growth, the diplomat said.

To read more about the position of women in Croatia, click here.

Thursday, 1 November 2018

557 Million Euro for Croatia Small Business Sector

ZAGREB, November 1, 2018 - The Croatian agency for small entrepreneurship, innovation and investment – HAMAG-BICRO – and seven financial institutions on Wednesday signed an agreement on cooperation in the implementation of the ESIF Capped Portfolio Guarantee financial instrument, intended for small business companies. The total amount of potential loans is 557 million euro.

By signing the agreement, the financial institutions have undertaken to create with their own funds a loan and leasing portfolio worth 557 million euro for small businesses, while HAMAG-BICRO will provide coverage for the institutions' losses of up to 25% of the loan portfolio, for which there is an allocation worth 58 million euro.

The European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) Capped Portfolio Guarantee is a financial instrument that is being introduced on the Croatian financial market for the first time and it is intended for micro, small and medium businesses which can seek investment and working capital loans from the financial institutions which are signatories to the agreement with HAMAG-BICRO.

The ESIF Capped Portfolio Guarantee can amount to 150,000 euro with a maximum guarantee rate of 80%. It is granted for a period of one to ten years per individual loan or leasing from the portfolio. The financial instrument is intended to make loans and other credit forms more available to small businesses, to lower interest rates and the insurance instruments sought, increase employment and increase private investments.

Economy Minister Darko Horvat said that a project similar to the one introduced today had been introduced at the Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development (HBOR). "The ministry will ensure EU funds and give HBOR the opportunity to create a credit line for micro, small and medium businesses with an additional 414 million kuna," Horvat said.

Regional Development and EU Funds Minister Gabrijela Žalac told representatives of the banking industry that everyone had to work faster on absorbing EU funds for the business sector. The five financial instruments made available so far have secured 180 million euro for financial support to small and medium businesses, Žalac said.

Speaking of the instrument introduced yesterday, she said that 28 million euro was a contribution from ESIF while the national contribution amounted to 30 million euro.

Want to read more about Croatia’s economy? Click here.

Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Croatia Slides to 58th Place in Doing Business Rankings

ZAGREB, October 31, 2018 - Croatia slid 7 places to 58th place in the World Bank's latest Doing Business report covering 190 countries, and while last year it ranked 51st with a score of 77.70 points out of 100, this year it earned 71.40 points.

According to the report entitled "Doing Business 2019: Training for Reform", which was published on Wednesday, Croatia has the poorest performance in "Dealing with Construction Permits", plunging from 126th place to 159th place. It also slid in the "Starting a Business" segment, from 87th place last year to 123rd this year.

Croatia has improved performance in "Registering Property", moving up eight places to rank 51st. It also moved up in the "Getting Electricity" segment, from last year's 75th place to 61st place this year. Croatia also made progress in "Paying Taxes", going up from 95th to 89th place.

Measured by the "Getting Credit" criterion, Croatia fell from 77th to 85th place. It also regressed in "Protecting Minority Investors", from 29th to 38th place and in "Enforcing Contracts", slipping two places down to rank 25th.

Croatia ranked best in "Trading Across the Borders", scoring the maximum 100 points and top position, just as it did last year.

The overall ranking was topped by New Zealand, Singapore and Denmark. Hong Kong moved upward by one notch to fourth place, and South Korea fell from fourth to fifth place. Macedonia returned to the top 10 this year, inching up one spot to 10th place and displacing Sweden to 12th position.

Economy Minister Darko Horvat said on Wednesday that the latest World Bank Doing Business report clearly showed what Croatia was bad at and what should be changed, adding that by introducing the possibility of starting a business electronically, on which his ministry was working, Croatia would go up 10 places in the World Bank ranking.

"We are aware of the sore spots of the national economy and of the fact that some countries, notably those in our neighbourhood, make more radical and faster changes. The Doing Business report also gives us a clear signal in terms of what we are bad at and what we need to change," Horvat told reporters.

Horvat said that for the past two months he had been working with the ministers of public administration and justice on a specific, radical measure to remove all administrative barriers when starting a business in Croatia electronically, which is the segment where Croatia dropped the most in the Doing Business ranking. "Starting a business electronically will include the opening of a bank account, electronic payment of the necessary taxes without any physical signature. Once this is introduced, I am confident that it will help Croatia go up 10 places in the ranking."

In a message to investors, Horvat said that at the moment his ministry, the Croatian Employers Association and all interested business entities were working on two action plans that should be implemented in 2019 and result in the removal of many administrative barriers and alleviating the tax burden on businesses by removing non-tax levies in the amount of around one billion kuna.

The Croatian Employers' Association (HUP) director-general Davor Majetić, commenting on Wednesday on the latest World Bank's Doing Business Report, said that changes are happening in the country but they were too slow and insufficient to trigger significant headway required to make the national economy more competitive.

It is evident that the countries in the neighbourhood are undergoing changes much faster than we are and it is more and more difficult for our companies to compete with peers from those countries, he said. "We expect the government to keep implementing the reforms it has launched and to intensify efforts in conducting all other reforms needed to enhance the country's business climate."

To read more about Croatian economy, click here.

Friday, 26 October 2018

Croatian Businesswoman to Head Coca-Cola in Central and Eastern Europe

Croatian businesswoman Lana Popović is the new head of Coca-Cola’s Group for Central and Eastern Europe.

Tuesday, 23 October 2018

Why Is Croatia Lagging Behind?

ZAGREB, October 23, 2018 - Conducting an economic policy dictated by the European Commission without taking account of the country's specific features, the absence of reforms, a low employment rate and a weak manufacturing sector are just some of the reasons why Croatia is lagging behind other post-transition countries of the European Union, a conference was told in Zagreb on Tuesday.

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Croatia Stagnates in Global Competitiveness Rankings

ZAGREB, October 17, 2018 - Croatia ranks 68th in the 2018 Global Competitiveness Index among 140 economies, with a score of 60.1, the World Economic Forum (WEF) said in its Global Competitiveness Report 2018 released on Wednesday.

Saturday, 13 October 2018

Lessons from Slovenia: Are Croatian Officials Serious About Foreign Investment?

The 2nd Adriatic Health Tourism Investment Forum concluded in Zagreb on October 12, 2018 - a thought-provoking event on many levels for this long-term resident of Croatia.

Monday, 1 October 2018

Croatian Company Introduces Four-Day Workweek

The move is expected to bring about greater employee satisfaction.

Monday, 1 October 2018

Retailers Revenues Keep Growing

ZAGREB, October 1, 2018 - Croatia's retail companies earned 35 billion kuna in revenues in 2017, which was 3.2% more than in 2016, and Konzum remains at the top of the ranking in the retail sector, the Croatian Competition Agency (CCA) says.

Saturday, 29 September 2018

Veuve Clicquot Business Woman Award Presented

Four successful businesswomen were nominated for the award.

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