Thursday, 22 November 2018

Croatian Employers' Association Claims Croatia Learned Nothing from Crisis

The Croatian Employers' Association score which measures the implementation of reforms in twelve key areas puts the Republic of Croatia at the very bottom of the European Union.

As Darko Bicak/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 22nd of November, 2018, after the World Bank and the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK) showed data this past month that proved the country is lagging behind in terms of business and investment climate, the Croatian Employers' Association (HUP) has confirmed this unfavourable position once again with its HUP score. Moreover, according to HUP, which, as stated, measures the implementation of reforms across twelve key areas, it appears that Croatia has the worst score in the EU, even worse than countries such as Bulgaria and Romania, which are still considered weaker and less developed than Croatia.

"The first significant shift from the beginning of the measure of the HUP score (op.a. 2013) has been confirmed, but Croatia is still at the back end of the ''New Europe''. It's obvious that the country doesn't possess the capacity for quick economic growth and convergence. The problems with the entrepreneurial climate aren't caused by culture and mentality, but primarily by weak institutions,'' they state from HUP, adding that, first and foremost, the system of public and state enterprises needs to be reduced, restructured, professionalised, depoliticised, and then privatised, and that's how more investments will occur.

These preliminary results indicate that the HUP score for 2018 stands at 37, which is one point less than it was last year.

"This result shows that Croatia also lags considerably in regard to EU member states from Central and Eastern Europe (EU10) this year. Economic growth, which was re-established in 2015 after a long six-year crisis, was an indicator of economic strength and good looks. The lessening of that score for this year should be interpreted as an indication that the current growth impulse has a cyclical or rather passing character. Deep economic and institutional structures remain weak due to the lack of reforms,'' they note from HUP.

Not one figure in the aforementioned twelve areas exceeds 2/3 of the maximum value, which means that Croatia doesn't have a strong competitive edge in some areas. The biggest visible improvement can be seen in regard to fiscal consolidation (from 54 in 2017 to 56 in 2018), productivity and competitiveness (from 34 to 45), and capital supply (from 36 to 42). The HUP score of the education and pension system is still "in the red ", but was held at 26, while the justice system stands at at 33.

The biggest negative change can be seen in terms of the fall of the investment score and needless limitations and business barriers (from 35 in 2017 to 23 in 2018), following the rise in the cost of establishing a company and increasing the number of procedures for obtaining building permits and dealing with public administration due to the rapid growth in the number of days needed to launch a business. The areas of economic burden (19) and the labour market (22) continue to be critical, year on year. Gordana Deranja, the president of HUP, believes that Croatia is experiencing weak progress and is stagnating because other countries are more successful and faster when it comes to adapting properly to new circumstances and conditions.

"The burden on the economy is still high, which is why we can't be completely satisfied with the last wave of tax changes. Although we do consider them to be a step in the right direction, they're insufficient to give the economy a more serious positive incentive, and it's necessary to maintain the current growth rates, this relates particular to the burden on [taxes on] salaries.

The [situation with the] labour market situation is really difficult. There is not enough of a qualified workforce, and the pressure on wage growth is high. The problem is that with the current burdens, tax and everything else, employers have no room for further and more substantial salary increases without jeopardising the viability of their business. Instead of looking for room for greater decompression on companies and people, our budget continues to grow. Obviously, we haven't learned anything from the crisis. As a country, we continue to spend more than we make. We're just part of the expensive credits, which have now been replaced by funds from European Union funds, and these funds are the only development moment for the budget for 2019. There's no indication of any serious reforms in it [the budget], and that's what we all need to worry about,'' stated Deranja.

Davor Majetić, the Croatian Employers' Association's chief executive, pointed out that without stronger economic growth, nothing will stop more people from leaving the country, especially young people and those who make up Croatia's labour force.

"A serious labour shortage can endanger this kind of growth we now have, which is not the only problem for employers, it's a problem that needs to be solved systematically and comprehensively, the question of whether or not there will be enough maids, waiters, traders, etc depends on the salaries of doctors, teachers, policemen and soldiers,'' said Majetić, adding that everything that the Croatian Employers' Association points to as neuralgic points continue on being repeated from year to year - the burden on the economy, the labour market, the health system, the education and pension system, and the judiciary.

"The government is taking steps, but they're not enough because the huge problems we've inherited are enormous, and the changes we're making aren't going deep enough, nor are they big enough to be called reforms, which is why their reach is so limited, and when compared to other countries, we continue to remain behind them, trapped at the bottom of the European Union,'' concluded Majetić.

Make sure to follow our dedicated business and politics pages for more information on the Croatian Employers' Association, the domestic economic situation, and potential reforms.


Click here for the original article by Darko Bicak for Poslovni Dnevnik

Thursday, 22 November 2018

Croatia Falls Short as EU Demands More Women in Management Positions

The EU wants to see around 40 percent of women making up positions on company management and supervisory boards by the year 2020, and Croatia falls short. According to various results, gender-balanced business has increased revenues and directly affects GDP growth, and unemployment level is also reduced in general.

As Lucija Spiljak/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 21st of November, 2018, if women are successful, their countries are also successful - this was the conclusion of the conference on rights and business: The Positive Effects of Adopting a New European Regulatory That Strengthens Business and Women. The conference brought together women in managerial positions and was focused mainly on the overall importance of improving gender balance in managerial positions, how to properly lobby for this directive in state bodies and in private sectors, and the practice of good gender politics and examples of good practice throughout the territory of the EU.

Back in 2015, lawyer Tarja Krehić, along with fifty colleagues, founded the Croatian Association of Women in the Legal Profession, of which Krehić is president. She explained in detail the goals and the legal aspects of improving gender equality in management boards, backed by the statistics of the Republic of Croatia.

What motivated you to found the Croatian women's association in the legal profession? What does that deal with?

Law associations exist in the United States, in all European Union countries, they also act as umbrella organisations which bring together lawyers, and they observe women's empowerment trends and regulations. Since I graduated in law in the United States, I got acquainted with women's associations in the legal professions and realised how important it is for women, for business, and for justice.

In Zagreb, I gathered together colleagues, prominent judges, attorneys, and lawyers in economics. We founded the association and today we've gathered together more than 400 lawyers from all sorts of legal branches, from judges and state attorneys, to corporate lawyers and lawyers in economy. We're working on some interesting projects, and we'll begin with an academy that will be attended by students of the Faculty of Law, in order to improve their knowledge, and also for the profession to get what it needs from young lawyers.

I believe that the quality of knowledge at law faculties and at the Faculty of Law in Zagreb could be better. Practitioners who don't understand the practice and these new trends are on their way out. We're also organising a professional lecture where we bring experts and lawyers who talk more in detail about all the problems of the system with which society is not very well informed.

We deal with the legal profession, in a quality, professional, modern way, and not the conservative and traditional way in which it's being perceiving today. We also open up issues related to the EU and the effects of adopting the European regulation which empowers women in business and law.

What about the statistics on the representation of women in managerial positions in Croatia?

There's a so-called ''glass ceiling'' in the whole society and so to some extent in the legal profession. When we focus on the legal profession, more than 70 percent of lawyers are female and in the judiciary, yet we've never had a female president of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Croatia, and we've never had a female state attorney.

The Faculty of Law in Zagreb has existed for more than 240 years, and we've only had two female deans. Obviously, the status of women in our profession, as well as in general business, could be improved. There are many women in business and law who want to get into leadership positions and be leaders, but have a problem with that due to fear and a lack of ambition.

Given the rather defeating results, how do we improve the status of women in business, and thus stimulate the economy, too?

At the EU level, it was determined that women are highly qualified and skilled but not sufficiently utilised in their own professions. To improve the economy and to deal with international trends on a global level, society as a whole needs to be engaged. Having a large group of highly skilled personnel that is not adequately used presents with a problem that needs to be solved.

It places this issue as the number one issue and deals with the implementation of the [EU] directive for laying down a fixed female quota for the management boards of companies, which has already been implemented by a large number of European Union countries.

There's a law in Germany, France, Belgium, Italy, Portugal and Austria which states that the management boards of the largest companies listed on the stock exchange must have 30-40 percent women working in them, and if they don't, then they don't even have an adequately functioning company. There is another set of EU countries that don't use a quota regulation but use self-regulating measures.

Their goal is the same, and that is to have 30 or 40 percent of women on supervisory boards and within company management, not by statutory obligation, but by self-regulating measures, meaning that the business has sat down at the table and said we obviously have unbalanced management functions in terms of gender. We'll impose those rules on ourselves. For example, the United Kingdom managed to reach up to 27 to 28 percent of women in the supervisory boards of some of the largest companies in ten years by using self-regulatory measures, and they started out with just ten percent.

What should we be focusing on, and what is the level of importance of this directive, and ultimately, what are the benefits for the country?

We need to work, act, and introduce concrete measures, which unfortunately doesn't work in our country, neither by passing laws nor by self-regulatory measures. The statistics don't support us. In Croatia, 21-22 percent of women work in administrations, 19 percent work on the supervisory boards of stock exchange companies, and Europe have said that by 2020, we must have between 30 and 40 percent women in such positions.

So, we don't stand well at all and the problem is that nobody is actually dealing with this issue. We don't advocate the application of any of these methods, but we're insisting on the fact that it's necessary to act on them. It's up to the state, state bodies and the profession to decide upon the direction by which this imbalance should be resolved.

The gender-balanced business management structure has increased revenues and directly influences GDP growth, it reduces unemployment of women and unemployment in general, it improves natality and addresses pension issues as women contribute to the pension system.

Through projects like the debate on the directive, we're doing only good for our society, the EU recognises that and we want to put Croatia on the map of those countries which are dealing with the gender-balanced business issue. We want to live in a country that is advanced financially, economically, socially, and in every other aspect, and through expert engagement on these topics, we'll manage to arrive to this.

Although Croatia falls short in this respect at the moment, the situation appears likely to improve, likely at a far slower pace than most would want. Want to keep up with more information like this? Make sure to follow our dedicated politics page for much more.


Click here for the original article/interview by Lucija Spiljak for Poslovni Dnevnik

Friday, 9 November 2018

Zagreb Bypasses Competition, Chosen as New Centre for Swiss Company

As Sergej Novosel Vuckovic/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 8th of November, 2018, Zagreb has been chosen in a group of 40 cities across Europe as the seat of the new centre for software in 40 cities of Europe, and has also entered the final six along with Sofia, Bucharest, Belgrade, Madrid, and Lisbon.

Croatian IT experts have thus had a brand new and welcome opportunity to stay in their home country created for them.

The Adcubum company from Switzerland came to Zagreb where it has just opened its Software Solutions Development Centre. The investment is worth 12 million euro over a three year period, as was explained by the director of the Croatian branch of the company, Bojan Poljičak.

"This is a Swiss greenfield investment, related to the development of a service centre for software development. These are high value added services, focused on development and exports,'' stated Poljičak, who was also once the director of Adecco Croatia. Adcubum has otherwise been in existence for twenty years, and has been active in Austria and Germany as well as at home in its parent country of Switzerland, specialising in business information technology solutions for insurance companies. There are 350 employees in total, and in Zagreb there are now seven more.

By the end of this year, there will be ten workers, and what is particularly stimulating for domestic experts is the announcement that they plan to employ 40 people each year over the next five years in order to reach a total of 200 employees in Croatia by the end of 2023.

"Profiles that are of interest to us are engineers for software development. We're very satisfied with the level of knowledge and skills of the existing candidates and at the beginning, we encountered a good level of interest. Just like it is in other countries, the main challenge will be to find, attract, and retain a sufficient number of suitable candidates, but we're positive about it and we expect that we'll be able to bring our plans to fruition,'' explained Poljičak. The main product of Adcubum, which will be done in Zagreb, is SYRIUS, a comprehensive software solution developed specifically for the business of an insurer.

"It allows them to deal with almost all of their processes within that solution and to adapt it, on the other hand, to their business specificities through the parametrisation and flexibility of the software solution," said Adcubum's Croatian affiliate director, noting that their goal in the Croatian capital is to increase additional human resources for further SYRIUS development.

"We're planning to form teams that will work on new software products in the application area called ''front end'', but also processing and analytics in the field of big data,'' Poljičak pointed out.

Just how did the Croatian capital manage to bypass the competition and be of such attraction to the Swiss company?

"They considered the prospects for the availability of IT professionals of high professionalism, foreign language knowledge, cultural similarities, and support from state institutions such as the Investment and Competitiveness Agency," Poljičak revealed.

"We want to use a very good ratio of expertise, professionalism, flexibility, and teamwork that candidates and potential employees have here in Croatia. We also want to provide our employees with work experience with colleagues and clients in Switzerland and Germany - as well as transfer part of our knowledge and our ways of working with colleagues in these countries,'' Bojan Poljičak concluded.

Adcubum's Chief Technology Officer Walter Meister and Swiss Ambassador to Croatia Emilia Georgieva were also at the opening of the Zagreb centre, pointing out that the Croatian branch was a result of the company's accelerated development due to an increased demand for services, expressing hope that this investment would strengthen Switzerland's status in the top ten foreign investors in the Republic of Croatia.

According to CNB/HNB (Croatian National Bank) data, direct Swiss investments in Croatia in 2016 amounted to a huge 6.2 million euro. In the first two quarters of this year, about 5.6 million of Swiss capital entered Croatia, and a total of about 42.4 million euro has been invested in the country since as far back as 1993.

Want to keep up with more news on business, investments and economy? Make sure to stay up to date with our business page.


Click here for the original article by Sergej Novosel Vuckovic for Poslovni Dnevnik

Thursday, 8 November 2018

Wages in Velika Gorica Exceed Average Zagreb Wage

Velika Gorica lies just outside of the Croatian capital of Zagreb, and while you might think very little of this town when passing through, which is the only thing most people actually do, things aren't always as they seem, economically speaking, anyway.

While it's true that most people from Velika Gorica earning their money in nearby Zagreb, it would appears that net salaries are, on average, higher than they are in the heart of the capital city.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 8th of November, 2018, over recent months, Velika Gorica has been mentioned in the media mostly because of the brilliant results of their football team, but after some likely surprising data published by the Financial Agency (FINA) there are more reasons for satisfaction in that otherwise all but entirely overlooked town.

Namely, Velika Gorica comes first in the whole of the Republic of Croatia when it comes to the average salaries of workers and their respective productivity. Net salaries are on average higher than the average salaries in both Zagreb and Rijeka, two large cities, reports RTL.

As previously stated, most people living in Velika Gorica earn their wages in Zagreb, but the close proximity of the country's capital city, the close proximity of Zagreb's Franjo Tudjman International Airport, and the apparently quick administration are some huge advantages for this town, which boasts more than sixty thousand permanent inhabitants. The Lidl chain, which is recording enviable traffic in billions of kuna, also has its headquarters here, and the arrival of the well-respected and very powerful Atlantic Group has also been recently announced.

In addition, as RTL reports, Croatian Post (Hrvatska Pošta) will also have its headquarters and logistics center in Velika Gorica. Croatian Post justified this move with the fact that this location is a strategically important place for the continued development and the improving of shipment processes, as Velika Gorica is very close to the Franjo Tudjman Airport, not far from the Zagreb - Sisak motorway, and the Zagreb - Velika Gorica fast road.

Make sure to keep up to date with our business page for more information like this.

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Economic Boost: Successful Tourism Company Seeks Expansion, Raises Wages

An economic boost could well be on the cards for Croatian tourism as one of the country's most successful companies within that sector raises employee wages and aims for further expansion for 2019's tourist season.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 5th of November, 2018, after a successful seaso, one of the most successful tourist companies in Croatia, the Jadranka Group from Lošinj, is investing in the salaries of its employees and is looking for reinforcements for next season.

Jadranka Group's education program includes in-house workshops, theoretical lectures and practical training. Among them, the Gastro Academy stands out, and employees are encouraged to focus on improving the skills needed for high-level service at a five-star level.

With internal education, employees have the opportunity to expand their knowledge and skills and thus attend specialised programs held in external institutions for highly specialised professions such as those in concierge and bartending, to name a couple. Therefore, it comes as no real surprise that in Jadranka hotels, the daughter company of the Jadranka Group, the number of employees has doubled since 2009.

"We believe that salary increases are a logical step in developing the group's business and employee relationships, which are key factors for successful business operations. In the hotel and camping industry, we're constantly increasing from year to year so that along with the improvement of living and working conditions, we give a kind of acknowledgment and gratitude to our employees for our collective success. In addition, this year, we've increased the basic salaries in our commercial sector, for retail, wholesale and food production,'' said Sanjin Šolić, the CEO of the Jadranka Group, who celebrated 30 years of work in Jadranka last year.

When speaking about an economic boost, raising salaries and improving employee conditions come above all else.

Mr. Solić emphasised that one of the group's priorities is to ensure the proper conditions for seasonal employees as soon as possible. With this aim, the raising of the level of the tourist facilities to a four-star level began, in a move which will provide the employees with adequate accommodation and ensure much more enjoyable living conditions during their stay and time spent working there in Lošinj.

Jadranka Group's good attitude towards their seasonal workers speaks volumes in support of the fact that the group is by far one of the most desirable employers on the Croatian coast and islands.

In a further economic boost for the workers and the company, at the end of the season, they offer those workers a type of permanent status, which is a guaranteed job for the next year, as well as all of the rights enjoyed by permanent employees. Jadranka Group employs some 700 permanent employees, while during the tourist season the total number of employees stands at about 1,600, a large number of those employees are deployed in the group's daughters-businesses.

Want to keep up with more info like this? Make sure to give our business page a follow.

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Hendal Survey: 56.8% of 25 Year Olds Work, Most Want to Stay in Croatia?

Does the Zagreb-based Hendal agency's survey reveal anything new?

A lot can be said of the Croatian domestic economic situation, and even more can be said about the level of young people leaving the country in their droves in search of higher standards, more job security and a better wage in other European countries, with those further west like Germany, Ireland and the United Kingdom among the most attractive of all.

Potential staff can't find employers, and potential employers can't find staff. It's a bit like Where's Waldo but with serious consequences. As the buses and planes continue to leave and the situation gets more and more pressing, it's difficult to know just how one can manage to get to the raw truth lying behind the sensational journalism, the shocking headlines and the apparently welcome trends of negativity.

The situation is a dire one, and it shows no immediate signs of recovery, or does it?

As Lucija Spiljak/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 7th of November, 2018, the Hendal market research agency, based in the Croatian capital of Zagreb, explored the habits of young people for the very first time in the Republic of Croatia.

The Zagreb-based Hendal agency has been investigating the habits and attitudes of the country's 25-year-olds. The first such survey conducted by the research agency here in Croatia shows that as many as 56.8 percent of the respondents do work, 25.9 percent are in some sort of education, and just 16 percent of those contacted are unemployed or seeking a job.

58.7 percent of young people are currently working in some sort of profession, and 21.7 percent claim that they aren't working in what would be termed as a profession by their own choice. Those people are budding entrepreneurs, and explain that they're taking that route in particular because as many as 50 percent of them are seriously considering starting their own business, while only 16 percent of them say they're definitely going to leave Croatia.

Croatia's young people, according to Hendal's research, aren't interested in politics, although 48.8 percent of them confirm that they do always go to the polls to vote.

Hendal's research reveals that most of them spend their free time cooking more than going out, encouragingly, most do not smoke, and in a somewhat lighter survey, 47.5 percent of them would choose to take their phones with them should they end up on a desert island, with more than six hours a day spent using a phone spent by 42.6 percent of the respondents.

Today, young people up to 25 years of age, of which there are about 49,000, don't see property and real estate as a priority.

Only 28.4 percent of them are sure they'll marry, and children are eventually planned by 69.8 percent of young people in Croatia.

Interested in keeping up with more news like this? Make sure to follow our lifestyle page to stay up to date.


Click here for the original article by Lucija Spiljak for Poslovni Dnevnik

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Eighth Fastest Growing Swedish Company Boasts Croatian Employees

As Bernard Ivezic/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 7th of November, 2018, Visage Technologies is the eighth fastest growing high-tech company in Sweden, but it boasts many Croatian employees, in fact 60 of its 70 workers are based here in Croatia.

According to the co-founder of the aforementioned company and professor Igor S. Pandžić from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing (FER), in practice, this is how digital transformation really looks. At the Digital Transformation (DTC 2018) conference, which began in Zagreb on Tuesday, Pandžić said he had founded the company in Sweden 16 years ago, because he could not do anything here in Croatia.

While being able to get the project off the ground in Croatia proved difficult, having Croatian employees seems to have aided the company in its success.

"An employee at a public university in Sweden owns the results of his own research, he can publish it and use it. Furthermore, with one document, he can get his research valorised and use that document to immediately set up a company,'' Pandžić stated.

It was easier to set up a company in 2002 and become a shareholder in Linköping, a city 200 kilometres from Stockholm, than it is to do on this very day in Zagreb. Pandžić pointed out that Croatia shouldn't be remotely surprised by the negative place it holds on the various competitiveness charts, the DESI index, the World Economic Forum reports, and other international indicators.

Visage Technologies, a company that continuously searches for developers in Croatia, and boasts a very large number of Croatian employees, otherwise deals with industry-specific computer identification technologies.

As far as global success is concerned, it may be best to point out that when Wired wanted to explain how something worked on the then brand new IPhone X, the first company they got in touch with was Visage Technologies.

The products of the Swedish-Croatian company are used by Fujitsu, Coca-Cola, Canon, BMW, McDonald's, Deutsche Telekom, Philips, Sony PlayStation, Škoda, L'Oreal, Novartis and Ogilvy, as well as famous faculties such as Princeton, University of Tokyo and Fraunhofer, just to name a few. Pandžić emphasised that they only started to grow significantly when Autolivov Veoneer became a client.

"Two years ago, they asked us if we could make up a team of 15 to 20 people who would work just for them, which was a great step forward for us as there were so many of us at that time. But for us, it was a step further in our own transformation, and today it's a part of our business,'' Pandžić added.

Pandžić also stated that the company produces 50 percent of the seatbelt buckles for cars all over the world.

The company is now developing a system where the car recognises the driver, as well as others in the vehicle. In Zagreb, in cooperation with teams from Sweden, the company is developing intelligent vehicle systems that will stop the car should it come into close contact with a human or another vehicle, explained Pandžić.

"It wasn't easy to arrive to this position, where today we've got clients who use our systems with robots, because if you've lived all your life at the academy like us, then you first have to reconcile with having no idea what the market actually looks like, who those customers really are, and which business models really work,'' added Pandžić.

Visage Technologies ''wandered around'' for the first six to seven years until it found a proper product-market fit. The same happened when in 2016 they expanded their business into the car industry. Deloitte announced last year that they grew by a massive 1600 percent to 8.5 million Swedish krona. According to Business Croatia's data, Visage recently increased its revenue from 2.9 million kuna to 9.9 million kuna last year, and enjoyed a net profit of 546.500 kuna.

"We're cooperating with the academy all the time, because this is important for digital transformation. From the very beginning, Visage has been in cooperation with FER through a scientific-research project,'' concluded Igor Pandžić.

Want to keep up to date with more news like this? Make sure to follow our business page.


Click here for the original article by Bernard Ivezic for Poslovni Dnevnik

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Croatian Company Avoids Staff Shortage, Raises Wages

One Croatian company is putting its money where its mouth is and making sure the current staff shortage issue facing many employers across the countery doesn't affect them. The company in question has been offering employees the deeply desired security of a permanent contract, and raising their base wages by as much as 20 percent.

The economic situation in Croatia is an unusual one. On the one hand, it's difficult to find a job, on the other hand, it's difficult for employers to find staff. While in theory the solution is simple, actually combatting and trying to find an effective remedy to such a bizarre situation can be difficult for some, but one Croatian company has quickly realised what needs to be done, and that is to offer the European standard to Croatian workers. They're even planning on expanding their business and recruiting more staff in the future.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 6th of November, 2018, Croatia's leading combine harvester production plant located in Županja, Slavonia, has managed to successfully tackle and avoid the now all too common problem of finding properly skilled workers and losing existing workers, according to a report from HRT.

The company owners gave their seasonal workers permanent jobs and increased their salaries by as much as 20 percent to make sure they're satisfied with their positions. Almost all of their production is exported, and their combine harvesters are searched for across Europe.

The production of a modern combine harvester takes 1,000 hours of work, and at the Same Deutz-Fahr Žetelice factory, they make up to three per day, as Josip Lenić, the head of manufacturing engineering at the factory, explained to HRT.

While many employers up and down Croatia are becoming increasingly burdened by their workers leaving to find positions elsewhere and abroad, this Slavonian company has avoided this issue. This year, they employed 54 workers permanently, and then raised their salaries.

The Županja-based combine harvester production plant exports its goods to almost all European countries, and, as stated, in the future they're planning on expanding the business and recruiting yet more staff.

If you want to keep up with the news and views on Croatia's economic and employment situation, make sure to follow our business page.

Monday, 5 November 2018

Croatian Economy: Alarming Employment Problems Continue

Croatia is a paradoxical country in many senses, and that is a sentence that has been written many times over the years. Paradoxes can be seen across all spectrums of society, and when it comes to the Croatian economy, the paradoxes are enough to make one scratch ones head. 

You'll hear one (or more) of any of these things in relation to the Croatian economy: There are no jobs. There are jobs but the pay isn't enough. We can't find the staff. We're willing to give the staff good wages, food, accommodation and a decent amount of time off. We've got many jobs available but nobody wants to work. I can't find a job and I'll do anything... but not that (as Meatloaf might have said had he been searching for work in Croatia).

You get the point. Sadly it appears that this situation isn't one that is about to remedy itself anytime soon.

As Ljubica Gataric/VL/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 5th of November, 2018, migration can indeed go in both directions, but at the minute, Croatia's labour force is taking advantage of the EU's freedom of movement policy and heading abroad in search of better lives, better wages, more security and more opportunities, and only recently has the the import of workers from elsewhere to Croatia been discussed. But why would they come?

With the absence of young workers becoming an ever-increasing problem, domestic and foreign companies and institutions operating in the country are turning to the older population more and more to try to keep the Croatian economy afloat. The numbers are intractable and show that over the past ten years, Croatia has lost about 127,000 young people aged up to 29, corresponding to the population of an entire city, such as Rijeka.

Such a reduction in the number of young people has naturally seen the domestic labour market suffer, causing a dramatic shift in the age structure of employed workers. In ten years, which means long before Croatia joined the European Union, the number of employed persons in Croatia decreased by 122,419, measured by the number of insured persons registered in pension insurance, according to Vecernji list.

Most of this loss relates to the group of young workers aged up to 29 years, of whom there were 104,000 less employed at the end of 2017 than when compared to a decade ago, in 2007.

The remaining deficiency for the Croatian economy is in the next age group of workers aged between 30 and 34 years.

After the Croatian economy emerged from the recession, four years ago, the total number of insured persons increased by 95,000 to approximately 1.45 million. But, as Darko Orčić, an analyst at the Employment Service, recalls, the number of employees in the age group of 25 to 34 is still very much declining.

Want to keep up with more news on Croatia's economic and employment scene? Make sure to follow our business page.


Click here for the original article by Ljubica Gataric/VL on Poslovni Dnevnik

Friday, 2 November 2018

Tax Administration Reveals Uncomfortable Truth About "Average Wage" in Croatia

Money isn't something most people are usually that willing to openly discuss, but there are times when one needs to look at the situation and see what can be improved. Who better to do that than the tax administration?

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 1st of November, 2018, while these figures don't reveal the amount of people in Croatia working ''on the black'', according to the tax administration's data reveal, more than half of the country's registered employees, all 847,750 of them, are grouped into categories with monthly net wages of 2,500 to 5,500 kuna.

According to the information provided, the average monthly net wage per person in employment in legal entities in the Republic of Croatia for August 2018 was 6,264 kuna, which is nominally 0.9 percent more than it was in comparison with just one month previously, in July 2018, the Central Bureau of Statistics reported.

The question of just how many people actually do receive this so-called average salary is a pressing one, and the data from the country's tax administration for the past year has now revealed the answer. They published a table of employee structures in 32 categories of net income for the year 2017.

A net salary of between 6,001 to 6,500 kuna seems to be being received by a total of 86,985 people in Croatia, out of a total of 1,592,215 registered employees across the country, according to a report from Novi list.

The tax administration reports that as many as 1,166,731 employees are receiving a salary lower than the average, and as a result of that, more than half of the country's employees, 847,750 of them, are grouped into categories with monthly net wages of 2,500 to 5,500 kuna.

It appears from the provided data that less than 300,000 employees in the entire country have ''take home'' net salaries in the amount of 9,001 to 14,000 kuna per month.

As far as very high salaries are concerned, 269 employees take home more than 100,000 kuna per month, 921 salaries are between 50,001 to 100,000 kuna, and just 789 are from 40,001 to 50,000 kuna per month.

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