Thursday, 28 October 2021

Four Croatian Ministries and Employers Popularising 5G Network Development

October the 28th, 2021 - Four Croatian ministries, as well as several employers, are working to popularise the continued development of the 5G network.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Brnic writes, in order to encourage public debate on the activities of development of electronic communication networks and the introduction of fifth generation (5G) networks, the Croatian Employers' Association (HUP) and four Croatian ministries, more precisely the Ministry of Economy, Health, Transport and Infrastructure, and Spatial Planning, Construction and State Property, as well as HAKOM, all signed a Cooperation Agreement on the progress and economic competitiveness of the Republic of Croatia.

The aforementioned cooperation will include informing the public about the impact of digital infrastructure on education, health, industry, research and development, agriculture, transport and energy, and educating people on measures to protect against non-ionising radiation and the impact of modern technology on human health.

We're witnessing the benefits of digitalisation on a daily basis, the signatories agreed, and they came to the fore especially in the conditions of the coronavirus pandemic and the earthquakes of 2020, during which a big step forward was made, from enabling work and studying from home to the trade sector.

The blossoming Croatian ICT sector is continually recording double-digit growth, and as the vice president of HUP ICT Association, Tomislav Makar, pointed out, without the development of the 5G network there can be no accelerated transformation of the private and public sector, connecting rural and island areas with urban ones.

For the Minister of Construction, Darko Horvat, broadband networks are a precondition for attracting greenfield investments, and in his department the adjustment follows through amendments to the laws on physical planning and construction.

In addition to green policy, digitalisation is a key component of the new financial perspectives of the EU as a bloc, for whose incentives projects must meet the criterion of contribution to digitalisation of 20 percent, as was explained by State Secretary at the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development, Mario Siljeg.

The development of 5G infrastructure at the EU level is also being defined by a special action plan, which aims to achieve its wide implementation in cities and traffic routes in all member states by the year 2025.

The Slavonian city of Osijek is the first 5G city in all of Croatia, and this initiative will contribute to the expansion to other areas, Minister of Transport Oleg Butkovic is convinced.

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

Wednesday, 27 October 2021

MPs to Debate 2021 Budget Revision Next Week, Says Finance Minister

ZAGREB, 27 Oct 2021 - Parliament is expected to debate the draft 2021 budget revision next Wednesday and the draft 2022 budget early in December, Finance Minister Zdravko Marić said on Wednesday.

The idea is to debate and vote on the revised budget as soon as possible so that all reallocations and payments can be made by the end of the year, he told reporters.

Asked to comment on the fact that the health sector's debt to drug wholesalers was growing again, Marić said it was growing even though HRK 9 billion was set aside for it in the budget and that one should add to that the HRK 23 billion budget of the Croatian Health Insurance Fund.

That, he said, points to the need to reform health expenditures by spending taxpayers' money better and more effectively, while keeping the quality of healthcare.

Asked if there was money for a new round of payments to businesses affected by the pandemic, Marić said the draft 2022 budget did not envisage this year's level of job-keeping measures. He added, however, that the draft 2020 budget did not envisage them either, yet they were adopted to protect people's health and keep jobs.

For more, check out our politics section.