Friday, 11 March 2022

Croatia's January Exports Up by 43.7%, Imports by 43.9%

ZAGREB, 11 March (2022) - Croatia exported HRK 12.3 billion worth of commodities in January 2022, which is an increase of 43.7% over the same period in 2021, while imports rose by 43.9% to HRK 18.8 billion, according to initial data released by the National Bureau of Statistics on Friday.

The foreign trade deficit was HRK 6.6 billion, increasing by 2 billion from January 2021. Coverage of imports by exports was 65.1%.

Exports to EU member states rose by 50.4% from January 2021 to HRK 8.97 billion, while imports increased by 27.4% to HRK 13.6 billion.

Exports to non-EU countries grew by 28.3% to HRK 3.3 billion, and imports from those countries rose by 117.1% to HRK 5.2 billion.

Expressed in euro, exports totalled €1.6 billion, up 44.1% year on year, while imports grew by 44.4% to €2.5 billion. The trade deficit was €874.6 million.

The value of EU exports was €1.2 billion, which is an increase of 50.8% compared with January 2021, while imports rose by 27.8% to €1.8 billion.

Exports to non-EU countries went up by 28.6% to €439.7 million, and imports increased by 117.6% to €697.9 million.

Data for the whole of 2021 shows that exports increased by 28.2% to HRK 143.7 billion and imports by 23.5% to HRK 213 billion compared with 2020.

The trade deficit was HRK 69.3 billion, and coverage of imports by exports was 67.5%.

Expressed in euro, last year exports totalled €19.1 billion, increasing by 28.2% year on year, while imports grew by 23.5% to €28.3 billion. The trade deficit was €9.2 billion.

(€1 = HRK 7.560109

For more, check out our business section.

Monday, 24 January 2022

Croatian Baby Beef Exporters Given Access to Japanese Market

ZAGREB, 24 Jan 2022 - Croatia's ministry of agriculture, in cooperation with Croatian producers, has ensured the access of Croatian-produced baby beef to the Japanese market, the ministry stated on Monday.

The access has been gained because of efforts and programmes for the eradication and control of major infectious diseases in animals. These efforts enable Croatia to get recognition from the World Organisation for Animal Health (formerly the Office International des Epizooties, OIE) and to prove the equivalency of the system of control of animal health and products of animal origin to the relevant authorities in Japan.

Having access to the demanding Japanese market is also a great reference for Croatian products on other foreign markets, the ministry stated.

The Croatian ministry continues to make efforts, either on its own or in cooperation with the European Commission, to get other markets open to Croatian products.

Thus, in 2021, Croatian fishery products, mixed products and raw and salted skin got access to Israel. Also, Croatia got the green light for exporting milk and dairy products to Libya, sheep and goats to Iran, pet food to Albania, ice cream to Costa Rica and gelatin capsules to Egypt.

Wednesday, 6 May 2020

HGK: Five Years for Trade Sector to Recover

ZAGREB, May 6, 2020 - It will take five years for the Croatian trade sector to recover from the impact of the crisis caused by the coronavirus epidemic, the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK) said on Wednesday.

"The public must be aware that the trade sector has borne a heavy burden on its shoulders, without increasing margins or prices, which helped all the citizens in this crisis," the HGK vice-president for trade, Josip Zaher, said at a meeting of the HGK's trade association.

Zaher said that retail trade had dropped by 25% in April.

The association's president Ivica Katavić said: "We've been through two difficult months. There have been problems in business, including inspections, shorter business hours and limited entry into the shops. But we managed to keep our heads above water."

Katavić said that the restrictions that had done the greatest damage were shortened shop opening hours and e-passes allowing travel. "With the lifting of these restrictions, the situation has improved considerably. The situation was most difficult at the start of April, but considering the circumstances we must be satisfied. We are also satisfied with our communication with the HGK, who were at our service," he added.

The CEO of the Konzum retail chain, Slavko Ledić, said that the sharpest declines had been recorded in large stores. "The key move was to extend opening hours, it was even more important than Sunday trading. The most important thing for us was to have opening hours extended and that we could pay wages," Ledić said.

The CEO of textile distributor Tekstilpromet, Hrvoje Šimić, drew attention to problems faced by the non-food trade sector, which has 90,000 employees.

"Over a period of 50 days our turnover was zero, while at the same time banks showed no sympathy. Some of the shopping centres also did not prove to be good business partners to Croatian traders because, for example, they sent their invoices for May already in mid-April," Šimić said.

More economic news can be found in the Business section.

Monday, 25 November 2019

President Supports Initiative for Work-Free Sunday

ZAGREB, November 25, 2019 - President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović said on Monday that she supported an initiative to for non-working Sunday, announcing that she would ask the relevant ministry to consider the proposal to adopt legislation that would protect workers and assist families.

After the president receives representatives of the Croatian Sunday Alliance in her office, one of the representatives for the alliance and former MEP, Marijana Petir underscored that Sunday was family time.

She presented findings of a survey showing citizens see Sunday as family time which is why they ask for non-working Sundays. The survey conducted earlier this year show that 82 percent of Croatians support the introduction of a work-free Sunday in all stores in Croatia. The survey covered 1,000 respondents.

The biggest problem, she added, was seen in the retail sector where the majority of workers are women who work non-stop and sometimes for several weeks without one day of rest and earn a minimum wage even though most retail chains owned by foreigners are closed on Sundays in their countries of origin.

The alliance president, Friar Božo Vuleta, says that not only do stores that are open on Sundays fail to contribute to the economy, employers themselves have realised that due to the drain of the labour force, staying open on Sundays is not worth it and many of them are hopeful that legislation will be adopted banning work in the retail sector on Sunday. Some have even decided of their own accord not to work on Sundays.

"A new law would just reflect real needs and the will of almost two-thirds of Croatian citizens, Vuleta said.

The leader of the retail segment in the SSSH trade union federation, Zlatica Štulić, confirmed that there was no need for stores to remain open 0 to 24 hours, 365 days of the year because the social damage of that work were far greater than economic benefit with regard to deterioration of workers' health.

More Politics news can be found in the dedicated section.

Wednesday, 2 October 2019

Government Prepared for Further Talks with Teachers’ Unions

ZAGREB, October 2, 2019 - Finance Minister Zdravko Marić said on Wednesday that the government is always prepared for talks with teachers' unions, which have announced strike action in elementary and secondary schools for October 10.

The unions have said that the strike will last until their demand is met for a 6% increase of the job complexity index in the education sector. They called out the government because even two weeks after talks were held the government has still not presented its stance.

Speaking to reporters ahead of an inner cabinet meeting, Marić said that the government is always prepared for talks. "My message to the unions is: I will say what I have to say at a meeting," he said.

Marić said that the unions could count on a frank and transparent discussion with him, adding that he will first tell the unions what he has to say to them and then inform the public.

Marić announced that in the coming days a meeting would be held with government employees' unions as well as talks with public sector unions. "There will be meetings not just with teachers and health workers, but also with others who wish to hear what we have to say," Marić said.

Asked whether his job was being made difficult by ministers who defend unions in the media, he said that he doesn't meddle in the work of his colleagues. "Each one of them and each one of us are working the way we think we should be," he said.

He commented on an announcement by Health Minister Milan Kujundžić that funds to settle debts to drug wholesalers would be secured through a budget review, saying that the budget review is generally made at the end of the year.

"Until now most of the funds in budget reviews went to the health sector. There will be a review at some point but I would not connect it to liabilities and debts of the health sector," said Marić.

He said that budget funds were allocated to the health sector over the past few years, recalling a financial injection of 1.5 billion kuna in 2017 and an additional 500 million kuna last year and the 1 percentage point of health contributions this year. "We provided funds from the revenue side. I am not the one that needs to answer for what happened on the expenditure side," Marić concluded.

More public finance news can be found in the Politics section.

Sunday, 18 February 2018

Nama, Legendary Department Store Chain, Celebrates Birthday

Long before modern shopping centres, everybody shopped at Nama.

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Croatia's Exports Rise by More Than 14%, Imports by 11%

Croatia's most important trading partners are still members of the European Union.

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

“Zagreb Should Become CETA-Free Zone”

“Zagreb Is Ours” political platform rejects the free trade agreement between the European Union and Canada.

Friday, 16 December 2016

SPAR to Take Over Billa Stores in Croatia

SPAR will take over 62 locations.

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

NGOs Protest Against Government’s Decision to Support CETA

At its last meeting, the government adopted a decision to support the controversial trade agreement between the European Union and Canada.

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