Friday, 7 May 2021

Croatian Bureau of Statistics (DZS): Croatian export rises 9.5%, import 2.1% in 2021 Q1

ZAGREB, 7 May, 2021 - Croatia exported the commodities worth 30 billion kuna in the first three months of 2021, which was 9.5% more in comparison to the corresponding period in 2020, whereas the imports rose 2.1% to HRK 46.5 billion, the national statistical office (DZS) reported on Friday.

As a result, Croatia's foreign trade deficit in Q1 2021 narrowed by nine percent to HRK 16.45 billion compared to the 2020 Q1.

The coverage of the import by the export was 64.6%.

In the first three months of 2021, HRK 20.7 billion worth of goods was exported to the EU, 8.9% more on the year, and HRK 9.3 billion to non-EU countries (+10.9%).

The import of goods from the EU totalled HRK 36.7 billion, which was the same level as in the corresponding period of 2020, while import from other countries rose 11.4% to HRK 9.7 billion.

Expressed in euros, Croatia's goods export totalled €3.97 billion, up 7.9%, while import increased 0.6% to €6.1 billion.

The foreign trade deficit was €2,2 billion.

For more about business in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Saturday, 19 December 2020

Croatia Agriculture and Food Exports Jump in 2020, Imports Fall

December 19, 2020 – A surprising success story in a difficult year as Croatia agriculture and food exports jump in 2020, while imports of the same have fallen

Good news from any place is welcome in this most difficult of years. According to provisional data from the country's Central Bureau of Statistics, the total value of Croatia agriculture and food exports in the period from January to September 2020 amounted to 1.7 billion Euros, an increase of 5 percent from the same period in 2019. Within the same period, the value of agricultural and food imports into Croatia was 2.5 billion Euros, a decline of 7.3 percent from last year.

The success of Croatia agriculture and food exports in the period means that the country's trade deficit has decreased by huge 26.6 percent compared to the same period last year. With this year's findings taken into account, the trade deficit now stands at 758.8 million Euros.

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Croatia agriculture and food exports covered 69 percent of total imports this year, an increase of 8.11 percent. A total of 15.86 percent of all exports from the country come from the Croatia agriculture and food exports sector.

The most important item of production within the sector is corn, which accounts for 5.4 percent of all Croatia agriculture and food exports.

From January to September 2020, the most significant products in exports were: cereals (205.4 million Euros – a growth of a huge 62.6 million Euros); various food products (168.1 million Euros – including manufactured/processed foods like sauces, soups, ice cream, sugar products); fish and other seafood (a huge 147.4 million Euros – showing a growth of 14.5 million Euros); cereals, flour, starch or milk products; confectionery products, including chocolate (135.9 million Euros – a growth of 13.8 million Euros), and tobacco-related products (122.6 million Euros). TCN recently took a closer look at the successful and well-established Croatian chocolate industry

Other successes within 2020 Croatia agriculture and food exports were live animals, with an increase of 10.1 million Euros, and the residue and waste of the food industry, which is exported to go into prepared animal foods. The latter saw an increase of 8.6 million Euros.

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So far this year, Italy was one of the most important destinations for Croatia agriculture and food exports. Their total consumption of Croatia agriculture and food exports was 300.8 million Euros, which amounts to 17.76 percent of Croatia's exports in the sector. Croatia agriculture and food exports to Italy increased by 21.9 percent this year, while imports from Italy to Croatia in the same period was 263 million Euros, a decrease of 16.6 percent on 2019. This creates a surplus of 37.6 million Euros.

The most important Croatia agriculture and food exports to Italy are maize, wheat and soybeans, tobacco-related products, sea bass (brancin) and bream (orada).

For the last five years, Croatia agriculture and food exports top consumer has been Germany. For the past seven years, Germany has also been the country from which Croatia has imported the most.

Tuesday, 8 September 2020

AD Plastik Wins Golden Key Award As Best Large Exporter

ZAGREB, Sept 8, 2020 - Plastic car parts manufacturer AD Plastik wins Golden Key Award as the best large exporter in 2019, IT firm Infobip is the best medium-sized exporter and Jadran-una has been honored as the best small company, it was announced at the 15th Croatian Exporters Convention on Tuesday.

Addressing the convention, Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic congratulated the exporters, saying that commodity exports had been rising steadily for the past 10 years and their share in GDP had increased from 16.7% to 28.5%.

He said that only 15% of Croatian companies generated revenues on foreign markets, while they employed 51% of the active workforce. He added that these companies place over 60% of their investments in research and development, generating three-quarters of total profits and nearly four-fifths of total investment in research and development in Croatia.

Speaking of boosting the export-oriented industry, Plenkovic cited reindustrialization and strong support to enterprises in using smart and clean technologies, greater use of energy from renewable sources, and digital transformation.   

"That is the path to increasing competitiveness," the prime minister said, adding that the government's focus would be on developing sectors with great growth potential such as information and communication technologies, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, pure technologies, such as solar and hydrogen, and new technologies, including 3D printing, nanotechnology, and robotics.

He also pledged further investment in education, railways, and broadband internet infrastructure.

"Our ambition is to create 100,000 jobs over the next four years, that is before the end of our term," Plenkovic said.

He highlighted two objectives of importance for exporters - the adoption of the euro and entry into the Schengen area.

The backbone of the Croatian economy

The head of the Croatian Exporters Association, Darinko Bago, praised the government for how it was handling the crisis caused by the global coronavirus pandemic, citing the government's social sensitivity and efforts to preserve jobs and help the tourist industry.

"Exporters are the best that Croatia has, they are the backbone of the Croatian economy," Bago said, adding that exporters expected the government to continue to be socially sensitive, but also to intensify localization and regionalization.

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Tuesday, 21 July 2020

Exports Seen as Way Out of Crisis for Croatia - Conference

ZAGREB, July 21, 2020 - Croatia's economic recovery will depend on the moves by the new government, and the way out of the crisis should also be sought in increasing exports, participants in the Zagreb Invest&Export 2020 conference concluded on Tuesday. 

"A country's success does not depend on someone else's assistance but on the efficiency of its government," economist Ljubo Jurcic said at the conference.

He said that boosting exports should be "a lodestar" for every small country, adding that the share of exports in Croatia's GDP is lower than in the case of its peers, and in this context, he called for raising the portion of exports in GDP from the current under-30% level to above 60%.

Jurcic said that in the current globalisation, the focus should be placed on exporting specific products that are part of more complex products such as cars, machinery, and airplanes.

"We have the infrastructure, the know-how and human resources necessary for that," he said.

A former Croatian member of the European Parliament, Marijana Petir, said that the Croatian agricultural sector had a lot of things to offer on the local and European markets, however, agricultural production was still not competitive.

Therefore, we need the funds from the EU to invest in innovations and technology which will enable us to make more products with added value and everything else that consumers demand, and those are organic, fresh and high-quality products, she added.

In this context, she said that some of the €22 billion that will be made available to Croatia from the post-pandemic recovery fund would be disbursed for rural development and aid to farmers.

Mirko Habijanec of the Croatian Employers' Association spoke about the importance of the construction sector for job creation and investment cycles.

Saturday, 27 April 2019

Croatian Fruit Arriving in Slovenia and Austria Just 24 Hours After Harvest

The Croatian fruits and vegetables are being sold through the FinotekaDostava.com website, in order to successfully cut out the middleman.

As Miroslav Kuskunovic/Agrobiz/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 27th of April, 2019, Croatian fruit and vegetable producers, as well the producers of other Croatian value-added products, have begun to use the benefits of the common EU (single) market and the ability to place and sell products in Austria and Slovenia, for now. On the FinotekaDostava.com website, customers from Croatia, Slovenia and Austria are able to order products from Croatian OPGs from the comfort of their own homes. Once ordered, the produce is freshly and carefully packed and delivered to their addresses directly from Croatia.

"Finoteka's specificity is that we don't store our fruit and vegetables, but we function with the ''from the field to the table within 24 hours'' principle. This literally means that some fruit or vegetables that are growing right now in a garden in Croatia are going to be sent out in package delivered to someone's doorstep in Vienna, Ljubljana or Zagreb the next day,'' said Hrvoje Kolman, the owner of Finoteka Dostava.

Kolman has been placing and selling products from Croatian OPGs since back in 2008 in this manner. However, his website first became the most well known a few years ago when, through his search engine, a huge amount of fruit from the Neretva Valley ended up being sold and sent throughout Croatia when a ban on exports of agricultural products to Russia from the EU was first introduced.

"Our delivery is as good on the islands as it is on the mainland. The quality of the service and the delivery speed is the same regardless of whether you live in the city or in the most remote place. All our fruit and vegetable packages arrive within 24 hours of harvest, whether you're in Croatia, Slovenia, or anywhere in Austria,'' says Kolman. He explained that the Austrian market has been being tested over recent months, while they have been present on the Slovenian market for more than a year now.

"We deliver about 100 packages per month to Slovenia. Asparagus have been doing well these days, and strawberries, cherries and other fruits and vegetables will begin soon,'' says Kolman.

The prices of Croatian quality products are, however, slightly lower than those on sale in Slovenia and Austria, which is why it is expected that such sales from Croatia could become very attractive indeed. Croatian farmers deliver their products to Finoteka, the products are carefully reviewed, and depending on the order, they're packed on that same day and then sent out. Croatian farmers get to cut out the middleman, and consumers don't have the worry of eating food which is of unknown origin, it's also GMO free, it hasn't been stored, and it hasn't been sprayed.

"It's very important for us to know who we're cooperating with. We choose good producers above all, those to whom agriculture isn't just a business but also a pleasure. We choose those whose eyes shine when they talk about their products. Finding and selecting such people is are biggest challenge," says Kolman.

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

 

Click here for the original article by Miroslav Kuskunovic/Agrobiz on Poslovni Dnevnik

Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Croatia's Hangar18 Opens First Store in Dublin, Ireland

As Bernard Ivezic/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 16th of April, 2019, in the very first NOA store in Dublin, Ireland, this company from Koprivnica, Croatia, sells mobile phones, televisions and mobile phone accessories all under their own brand.

Croatia's successful Hangar18 company from Koprivnica, which has developed its very own brand of mobile phones, NOA, which has a market share in the domestic field immediately behind giants like Samsung and Apple, has opened its first own NOA store.

The first brand store the company has opened is in the Irish city of Dublin, and this Croatian technology company has stated that it plans a further fifteen such stores in Ireland alone. Additionally, over the next three years, Hangar18 plans to open a total of one hundred of its own NOA stores across Western Europe.

Mario Pintar, Marketing Manager at Hangar18, says this enviably successful Croatian company has changed their approach to developing its sales network. In Eastern markets, with the exception of Croatia, and where they have been operating so far, the company does business via distributors, while in the west, he wants to be in direct contact with the company's customers.

"Customers in Eastern Europe buy mobile phones of up to 150 euros, while in the west, due to the better purchasing power, they're buying more expensive devices, and we see a greater room for growth," explained Pintar. He added that the company's expansion initially started a year ago, and intensive work has been going on on for the past six months.

He didn't want to comment on just how much the company invested, nor did he want offer any comment on much they plan to invest in further expansion. According to data from Business Croatia, Hangar18 saw growth from 242 to 137 million kuna from 2013 to 2017, its exports jumped to an impressive 66.7 million kuna, and its net profit rose from 1.3 to 4.8 million kuna. Mario Pintar says that they already have a warehouse over in Ireland and that they're hiring the first workers for it. He says that on average, the company will require three to four employees per store, and potentially even more for sales and management.

"Our colleague Tihana Magdić has been living in Dublin for a long time, so that's why we started with Ireland. She was promoted to country manager, she's well acquainted with the market, and the shopping centre we first entered was a great partner and it was very easy to arrange everything with them,'' Pintar said.

Pintar explained that in the west, Croatia's Hangar18 will compete in the B category of brands, but as the first choice of those who instead of A brands want the Best Buy mobile.

"What sets us apart is the fact that we give customers the functionality of A brand at a fair price, and then the Noa Premium Care warranty covers the first twelve months for damages such as screen breakages and water damage, and our ''after sales support,'' and we open our authorised NOA service in every country we enter,'' explained Pintar.

He added that after Ireland, Croatia's Hangar18 plans to open stores in other European countries, including the United Kingdom, Germany, France and Spain. However, he noted the fact that they hadn't forgotten about the eastern markets. For example, in Croatia alone, there are fifteen retail outlets where they sell various brands of ICT equipment. "Recently, we've been able to directly export to Russia as a third company from Croatia, which opens opportunities for us in both Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan,'' concluded Hangar18's Pintar.

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

 

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

Thursday, 4 April 2019

Potential for Croatian Producers as Prosciutto Exports Continue to Grow

As Morski writes on the 3rd of April, 2019, what has been happening with prosciutto for the past three to four years is truly spectacular. Due to its superior properties and specific traditional production technology, Croatian prosciutto producers have stumbled upon some great export potential and even more potential for the product's better placement in Croatian tourism through the country's already rich gastronomic offer.

When compared to five years ago in 2014, exports have increased in quantity by fourteen times, and perhaps most importantly, in value eleven times. Approximately 88 percent of total exports go to the EU market, and just over eleven percent go to CEFTA countries.

''The latest 2018 statistics show an increase in exports of shank and aitchbone products by nearly sixty percent, but unfortunately, we still don't even cover a third of imports. We need new investments and we need to invest in new prosciutto production capacities to double our production, and 700,000 pieces annually to at least meet the needs of the domestic market,'' said Dragan Kovačević, vice president of the Croatian Chamber of Economy for Agriculture and Tourism, at a press conference announcing the event Days of Croatian Prosciutto.

Ante Madir, Executive Director of the "Hrvatsko pršuta" (Croatian prosciutto) cluster, which brings together producers responsible for 95 percent of the total prosciutto production in the Republic of Croatia, explained more precisely what awaits Croatia on the fifth Days of Croatian prosciutto, which is being held from the 26th to the 27th of April at the Zagreb International Hotel this year.

''On the first day, we'll have a manifestation with round tables and workshops, the expert part of the gathering, and the second day at Ban Jelačić Square, there'll be a show-selling part where people can taste our prosciutto,'' Madir said, adding that they decided on Zagreb because quite a large market and a high demand for the product can be found in the Croatian capital.

"What's been happening with prosciutto over the past three to four years is truly spectacular. The signs of protection (special labels) are our tickets to the wider European Union market, that's very important for being able to [have our products] arrive to shop shelves. In Croatia, we still need to work on presenting [our products] to consumers to have them pay more money for something which is domestic and specific,'' said Igor Miljak, chairman of the PPK Karlovac meat industry, stressing that Croatia still doesn't have key gastro brands that are recognised on the European or global market, but it definitely does have the quality to be able to cope well with the competition.

Ana Babić from Voštane pršut, a representative of the Association of Dalmatian Prosciutto, explained the difference between Dalmatian and Istrian, or more specifically Krk prosciutto.

''Dalmatian prosciutto is smoked, while Istrian and Krk prosciutto isn't. There are no additives or preservatives in its production, and the process itself lasts for at least a year,'' Babić explained, adding that the tradition of Dalmatian prosciutto production draws its roots from as far back as ancient Roman times.

Drago Pletikosa of Belcrotrade and the president of the Association of Drniš pršut stressed that Drniš prosciutto is a little and is therefore certified, although there is no difference between Drniš and Dalmatian prosciutto when it comes to the production process itself.

''Last year, we imported 3,848 tons of products worth more than 21.5 million euros and exported 1.113 tons (6.5 million euros). Compared to 2014, exports have increased in quantity fourteen times, and by value eleven times. Approximately 88 percent of our total exports go to the EU market, and just over eleven percent go to CEFTA countries. We export the most to Slovenia (35.5 percent of total exports) and to Italy (28.1 percent),'' stated Pletikosa.

''This event brings together and promotes prosciutto producers from all over the country, whose products are protected by a stamp of designation of origin, and labels of geographical origin (Krk, Dalmatian and Drniš prosciutto) at the EU level,'' stated the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK).

Quality labels for consumers guarantee the purchase of authentic and properly controlled products, with recognised quality and a local origin. Protecting products without educating consumers and business partners about its proper valuation has no great benefit. Therefore, this event contributes to the strengthening of the recognisability of these Croatian meat products with higher added value and a better market positioning, all with the aim of developing the wider Croatian economy.

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

Sunday, 31 March 2019

Croatia and China: New Agreements and Chances for Croatian Companies

Croatian companies have a chance for further growth and more exporting should Croatia decide to deepen its business ties and cooperation with China, the country which is currently undertaking the mammoth task of constructing Pelješac bridge.

As Suzana Varosanec/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 31st of March, 2019, at the 8th Summit of heads of government of central and eastern European countries and China, which will be held from the 9th to the 12th of April in Dubrovnik, the "Dubrovnik Guidelines" document is expected to be adopted, which will lay out the activities in this format in the forthcoming phase.

The summit on the EU and China set to take place in the Belgian capital of Brussels on the 9th of April is expected with interest, and Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang is coming to Croatia. There are bilateral talks between Keqiang and Prime Minister Andrej Plenković on the agenda, as well as the signing of several already concluded bilateral agreements in Zagreb. In line with the things that are set to be dealt with and concluded at the summit, Croatia and China could strengthen their blossoming cooperation with as many as ten brand new agreements. Other major Croatian expectations for the strengthening of overall relations with China are also awaited with gritted teeth, with the greatest interest being expressed in the areas of infrastructure, tourism and SMEs.

After the construction of Pelješac bridge, which is being built by China's CRBC, will yet more new infrastructural advances, such as the modernisation of Croatia's railway system, soon come to pass? The plans are also for the Chinese and Croatian prime ministers to visit this huge construction site down in southern Dalmatia. The Chinese delegation will consist of around 250 members, and that isn't including the 300 business community representatives coming to the 9th business forum ''16 plus 1''.

A total of more than 700 entrepreneurs have been registered, and many opportunities are on offer to Croatian companies when looking at entering the giant Chinese market, meaning that the initiative is on them. B2B meetings can be arranged with the help of an application created by the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK), and as Croatia's SME coordinator, it will officially launch the 16 + 1 coordination mechanism for small and medium-sized enterprises. The major promise for Croatian companies which operate within a multitude of different sectors lies in exports when it comes to deeper cooperation in doing business with China.

Croatia's visibility for the Chinese is continually growing, by about fifteen percent annually, while the number of tourists from China has increased by an enormous 120 percent over the past two years alone. In 2019, a record 300,000 Chinese tourists are expected to visit Croatia, which is the fastest growing market in the whole of the Republic of Croatia.

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

 

Click here for the original article by Suzana Varosanec for Poslovni Dnevnik

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