Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Croatian Exports to Canada Doubled in First Nine Months of 2018

As Lucija Spiljak/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 16th of January, 2019, the Republic of Croatia was the third EU member country to ratify the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the European Union in 2017, opening up new opportunities for both Canadian and Croatian entrepreneurs and innovators, as well as promoting and increasing trade and economic development. Owing to that, Croatian exports to Canada doubled in 2018.

In addition to the abolition of customs duties for more than 98 percent of goods, according to data from the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK) and state statistics, in the first nine months of last year, Croatian exports to Canada doubled to almost 80 million dollars.

This encouraging information was stated at Zagreb's Sheraton Hotel when marking the first anniversary of the implementation of the CETA agreement, in which Canada's Geoff Regan participated. The gathering at the Sheraton was organised by the Canadian Embassy and the Canadian-Croatian Business Network (CCBN).

As the President of the Croatian Chamber of Economy Luka Burilović pointed out, tariffs were abolished on some of the most important Croatian exports - food and pharmaceuticals.

"The possibilities are numerous and Croatian companies need to be proactive in taking advantage of all the advantages now offered by the Canadian market," Burilović stated.

The CETA agreement brings some enormous savings to entrepreneurs, and they are estimated at about 600 million euro. In addition to the abolition of tariff items, this agreement is an instrument for growth and a tool to promote European values, thus contributing to the betterment of everyone.

In addition to the Canadians wanting to invest in Croatia, an increase of over 25 percent of visits made by Canadians to the Republic of Croatia was recorded last year.

On the occasion of the gathering and the welcome news about Croatian exports to Canada, Croatian Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković also mentioned NATO, whose role was significant in the development of Croatian-Canadian relations because that way, as he stated, Croatia and Canada recognised and respected each other.

"The CETA agreement shows how states can help each other and contribute to their economies," Jandroković pointed out.

Geoff Regan of Canada's House of Representatives, said that Canada wants to increase its trade and investment with EU countries, including Croatia, which, he said, is an important trading and investment partner. He also mentioned that according to unofficial estimates in Canada there are 300,000 people there with Croatian roots, so the Croatian diaspora contributes to the strengthening of economic relations between Canada and Croatia.

"The comprehensive economic and trade agreement between Canada and the European Union is an important tool to help increase trade and investment with EU countries. By ensuring that businesses and people can maximally use the opportunities for increased trade that CETA will help to achieve, Canada and EU countries will establish lasting foundations based on a growing relationship which will contribute to our common progress,'' Regan concluded.

The 27th anniversary of Croatia's international recognition and Croatia's diplomatic recognition from Canada were also marked at the gathering in Zagreb.

Make sure to follow out dedicated business and politics pages for more information on Croatian exports, and much more.


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

Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Zagreb Exports Twice as Much as Coastal Croatia Annually

As Ana Blaskovic/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 8th of January, 2019, the Croatian capital city of Zagreb exports 33.2 billion kuna of goods annually, whereas all of the counties of coastal Croatia together export only 15.9 billion kuna annually as a whole.

Despite ever louder warnings that the Croatian domestic economic model is growing weaker because of excessive reliance on tourism, it's likely that not only will that trend change soon, but that the changes will continue to strengthen in the future.

When analysing the figures on commodity exports, the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK) points out that Zagreb exports 33.2 billion kuna of goods annually, twice more than the total exports of all of the counties of coastal Croatia put together - just 15.9 billion kuna. While the commodity export of Zagreb stands for one third of Croatia's total exports, these startling regional differences are so high that, for example, Croatia's southernmost county of Dubrovnik-Neretva, fails to even produce 157 million kuna's worth of goods, let alone export it.

If exports are looked at per capita, then the largest regional exporter is Varaždin County, followed by Zagreb and then Međimurje County. With 172.5 euro per head, Dubrovnik-Neretva County is far, far below the national export duty, of 3,360 euro per capita. The Croatian Chamber of Commerce says that Zagreb is far ahead of all of the others for the simple reason that data on foreign trade is recorded at the headquarters of companies, which logically gravitate to the capital.

Zagreb has the largest foreign trade surplus among Croatia's counties, standing at 46.8 billion kuna. Following are Sisak-Moslavina with 1.2 billion kuna, Brod-Posavina with 868 million kuna and Međimurska with 766 million kuna.

"Despite the shortcomings of the statistics, including the temporary relocation of large companies, it can be concluded that Croatia's accession to the EU and the period of recovery of EU-level demand were the most profitable for Lika-Senj, Zagreb County, and Brod-Posavina, which have achieved the largest export growth rates,'' stated Zvonimir Savić.

Make sure to stay up to date with our dedicated business page for more. If it's just Zagreb you're interested in, give Total Zagreb a follow.


Click here for the original article by Ana Blaskovic for Poslovni Dnevnik

Monday, 10 December 2018

Croatian Dome Producers Export to Finland, Czech Republic, Japan

As Trstenjak writes on the 9th of December, 2018, two Croatian dome producers have managed to conquer the often overlooked world of domes. Yes, domes. From very humble beginnings, they now export their products to countries including Finland, the Czech Republic, and even Japan.

ever noticed that most large events nowadays use some type of dome shaped structures, and not tents? If you've not paid attention to that, you're probably wondering what domes we're talking about. You know those structures that look a bit like oddly shaped balloons? You may have noticed them at Advent in Zagreb or at some concert. Well, they're the domes in question.

Specifically, those currently being used at Advent in Zagreb, eight of them to be more precise, are original domestic products, made by Croatian dome producers. It may come as a surprise, but Croatia boasts one of a dozen serious dome producers in the whole of Europe, and this type of typically entirely overlooked genius exists in a form which allows for easy adaptation to all roles and different event-like circumstances. These domes, as adaptable as they are, can play the role of a concert roof, a bar, an advent stand, and they can also be used for exhibitions at fairs or for glamping among other similar things.

Behind the innovative and interesting product stands the Croatian dome producers, more specifically their company - Domes (Kupole) better than a tent, and the story of the company's name is a short and rather charming one. Marko Matošić and Jakša Borić, the two Croatian dome producers, say that the company should have just been called Domes (Kupole), but they received a rejection to that name, a rather common occurrence on the long and ridiculous road of opening any type of company in Croatia. As they told, they sat across the street from the Commercial Court itself upon rejection and had to quickly think of a new name.

"We wondered what we were, actually, and we concluded that we were better than the tent, and so, that's the name. We figured it sounded a bit stupid and ungainly, but I'm convinced that out of the ten people who noticed it, at least four of them went on Google to search for what it is,'' joked Borić, who ended up as one of two Croatian dome producers from the advertising industry, while Matošić came from the club scene.

That's probably not too far from the truth because being unusual and unique isn't a bad tactic, and both of those words could easily be used to describe their domes. As they describe themselves on their web site, "the geodesic dome is the most stable structure ever imagined, at the same time, the most moderate and the strongest." And definitely better than a tent!

Domes like these are a luxury niche on an otherwise big marketplace, and it isn't that much of a cheap business. There is definitely a future for it despite any obstacles, however, as over the last couple of years, these domes have managed to become the "industry standard".

It's interesting to know just how the two succeeded in recognising the value of that niche at the right time, how they entered into it, how much capital they needed, and are they able to make a real living from it all.

"We worked on a festival at Bundek (popular park in Zagreb), where a dance group from Israel had a gig, they used a similar construction as part of the scenography, but it was made from wood. That's when we saw it for the first time.

The gig they had before coming to Zagreb was somewhere far away and they needed to bring that construction to Croatia, which cost a lot. Their technical director then suggested that he would give us a draft for us to make it [a dome] for them in Zagreb because it would be cheaper than to obtain one from far away. We did this and agreed to it. It was a construction made of wooden sticks that had to be cut and then tied together. But on the day of the show, it started to rain, so we had to cover it up and wrap that structure with the foil. It looked awful, but it worked. They danced and didn't get soaked by the rain, we stood at the side, watched them dancing and that structure, and concluded that it would be nice when done as a type of a tent,'' Borić recounts.

They began to explore and discover that some people are already engaged such business in a pretty serious manner. Then the game started, Matošić added, in which he was initially helped by the knowledge of a now retired professor from the Zagreb Faculty of Civil Engineering, Zvonimir Žagar, who is a great fan of geodesic domes. He helped them with advice on the first dome, as well as the first prototype. At that time, they did not have nine employees or their own designer like they have today, and they were helped by the professor, and the first dome, named 3v14, left the confines of ideas on paper and became a reality back in 2008.

"The initial investment was about 40,000 kuna, that was all we had and spent it all on the prototype, but that's completely irrelevant in this type of business. That was money we literally took and then threw out of the window. We used it all up on making mistakes, to figure out how it all works. We didn't get any loans, but we made the first dome, we rented out it for a while, and we did it all with great abdication. We didn't pay out any wages, we just always invested in new products. The more there were, the more we made, and then we started to hire the first people. We've grown organically, bit by bit,'' explains Borić.

Matošić added that all of that work was put to good use at the Gričevanje festival during the advent period back in 2011, when Advent in Zagreb was far from developed, which was organised in Zagreb's Upper Town (Gornji Grad) to promote their product. They wanted the main star to be the dome, of course.

"We invested a huge amount, set three domes up, got exhausted and frozen, but people saw the domes. They'd heard of them. Then we got our first clients,'' says Matošić.

"In fact, every gig in which our products appear is worth more than 100 ads, because our customers don't bother with it unless they've seen and felt what it's all about. Nobody is going to spend one hundred thousand kuna because they've seen a picture of a dome,'' adds Borić.

Up until this very day, these two Croatian dome producers have continued to develop new domes of varying dimensions which can be used for a variety of purposes.

One of them on offer is the 2v5 bar, a semi-open dome of 18 square metres with a bar, total length of 17.5 metres, and a dome that can easily be turned into a stage, a bar, a store... The Croatian company have specific domes on offer for various festivals, both the corporate and promotional type, and in its portfolio today, there are more than 20 in different sizes of five, seven, nine, twelve and fourteen metres.

Their selling prices vary depending on the model: some are 50,000 kuna, some 60,000, some are 250,000, some are 280,000. Rent, however, is invoiced per term, and one term consists of four days: from five thousand to thirty thousand kuna, depending also on the dome model in question.

The monthly costs for the Croatian dome producers are extremely high, usually above 100,000 kuna, but they are okay, although sometimes they themselves admit things can be a bit tight. They live well, and their top priority is to reinvest everything they make back into the company to continue on its already very successful path.

Make sure to follow our dedicated Made in Croatia and business pages for more on Croatian companies, products and services, as well as info on the business and investment climate in Croatia.


Click here for the original article by Jasmina Trstenjak for

Thursday, 29 November 2018

Good Croatian Tourist Season Sees Domestic Economy Grow

Government spending has risen since 2009, citizen spending has slowed down, and employers continue to express their heightened anxiety about the emigration of Croatia's domestic labour force. Despite issues, a good Croatian tourist season has seen the economy boosted in the third quarter.

As Ljubica Gataric/VL/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 28th of November, 2018, the Croatian economy grew by 2.8 percent in the third quarter of this year, which is better than the previous expectations of domestic economists, but slower than the economy grew during the same period over last three years. A good Croatian tourist season has of course done its job well, and along with tourism, this positive contribution to economic growth has also been boosted by the further export of goods.

While a good Croatian tourist season is the main thing ''holding up'' these positive results, data following the first GDP estimate reveals that the domestic construction sector recovered more (by about seven percent in surplus), while the manufacturing industry's impact on GDP was negative (minus two percent) since industrial production collapsed that bit more this year.

"Taking into account the possibilities and the framework we're currently facing, particularly the labour market situation and the challenges we have in industrial production, GDP growth of 2.8 percent is a relatively good result, almost at the maximum limit," commented employers around Croatian Employers' Association (HUP), which claims that regardless of the good results in the third quarter, they feel a slight slowdown in growth and a general sense of anxiety and nervousness among employers owing to problems with finding staff and the continuous fall in overall production.

HUP has also used this opportunity to become louder and louder still in its call on the Croatian Government to further ease the economy so that companies can raise employee salaries and thus prevent further migration of the country's young and highly educated people in an ongoing and extremely concerning demographic crisis. Croatia entered winter with 147,000 unemployed people registered on the labour market, as well as 15,000 job vacancies.

In addition to the fact that movements being made in the Croatian economy aren't in support of the current global trends, especially in terms of the dynamics of growth in the European Union, analysts from the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK) have noted that relative to the first half of this year, slight changes in growth trends have indeed occurred in some categories of particular demand.

Personal consumption growth has slowed down as the category which has the highest share in the structure of total demand, while when it comes to government spending, investment in fixed capital and especially the export of goods and services, growth has been accelerating.

Looking at the figures, domestic demand during the first six months of 2018 had three and a half times greater impact on the growth of gross domestic product than in foreign countries. RBA analysts note that government consumption at a 3.9 percent rate rose more this year than in the first quarter of 2009, and growth in gross fixed capital investment continued to grow quarterly, an increase of 3.7 percent in the third quarter, which may indicate the increased utilisation of funds from the European Union.

Make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle and business pages for much more.


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

Sunday, 28 October 2018

Croatian Products: Leading Candle Producer Exports to European Market

Croatian products are known for their high quality, and the jump from market stand to the leaders of the market is a praiseworthy one.

As Vedran Balen/VL/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 28th of October, 2018, as many as seven thousand pallets with more than six million lamps and candles are produced each year by this Croatian company. 

The products find themselves on both the domestic and foreign markets and originate from from the small settlement of Zadubravlje near Slavonski Brod, and the company in question, Primax, has been the leading manufacturer of these products in Croatia for a great many years.

On the eve of the All Saints' Day, the company has their hands very much full, as one can easily imagine. The company's co-owner and director Robert Pandža stated that although he doesn't know for sure whether or not his company is the first in Croatia, he knows it works extremely hard. He added that every European region has its own idea of ​​how such candles and lamps should look, and they therefore try to satisfy and adapt to the often varying needs of a large market.

The Slavonski Brod native started work in this field way back in 1994, when just he and his wife ran the business. They started out with very humble beginnings, more specifically with a small stall on the market, eventually establishing a different development phase and managing to successfully adapt these Croatian products to the often ever-changing and demanding market conditions.

They started to import cosmetics and supply perfumeries and similar types of stores, of which there were a great many in Croatia at that time. They started to work on plastic sheeting, and then continued to expand yet further upon seeing that such a move had been very well received and was doing well. After numerous business ventures, they eventually decided to focus exclusively on production.

Today, Primax does exceptionally well and has some fifty employees who work in three shifts, their own production and storage area covers a handsome ​​2,000 square metres. During the course of a quarter of a century of their existence, the company has even changed its location on seven different occasions, mainly when they were more engaged in commercial activities as opposed to production. Years of work and valuable experience made them realise that they needed some serious production capacity, and a very serious approach to such a business. Thus, five years ago, they invested 14 million kuna of their own funds in the construction and the proper equipping of a new production hall in the village of Zadubravlje. After that, the production was all set up and ready for business, quite literally.

"It's not easy to produce six million pieces. To increase production again, we'll need to invest a lot again because candles require a large storage space. In this business, the biggest percentage of sales takes place within a month or two before All Saints Day, but production is already going on in February. The rotation cycle is similar to that of agriculture,'' explained Pandža.

As they purchased land one year earlier, their application for a subsidy was denied on the grounds that they had already started investing. Namely, only those who hadn't actually invested at the time could be nominated for the tender, so they remained without support. The only incentives they received were 300,000 kuna from European funds for the introduction of new software, 250,000 kuna from the Ministry of Entrepreneurship and Crafts for the improvement of production, and 100,000 kuna from Brod-Poavina County for the purchase of new machines.

"In Croatia, the main problem is the relationship with entrepreneurship. If we managed to get forty percent of that multi-million investment, we'd have yet another new line and a better position on the market today, and the workers would be more satisfied and they'd also be better paid. Otherwise, the general trend is a positive one and the situation is much better today than it was a few years ago.We're just not satisfied with the outcome,'' Pandža stated.

In addition to candles and lamps, they also produce PE foil from recycled or original material and packaging, and their annual turnover stands at around thirty million kuna. Their EBITDA ranges from 1.3 to 1.5 million kuna, while pure profit is about 300,000 kuna. About 35 percent of the company's production is exported to the European market, including France, Ireland, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, and Finland, with a tendency for further growth.

Ultimately, exports should grow to more than fifty percent.

Want to keep up with what's going on in the world of business in Croatia? Follow our business page and our Made in Croatia page for news on Croatia's many successful companies, products, and entrepreneurs.


Click here for the original article by Vedran Balen/VL on Poslovni Dnevnik

Thursday, 11 October 2018

With 14.9% Sales Growth, IKEA Croatia is Third Best in Europe

The wildly popular IKEA Croatia continues to operate well.

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

Components for Almost Every Household Appliance Produced in Zagreb

EGO became the majority owner of the Elektro-kontakt company back in 1992, and today the Zagreb-based company has 830 employees and boasts an impressive 390 million kuna income.

Friday, 14 September 2018

Company from Slavonski Brod Goes from No Orders to Huge Profits

One Croatian company goes from strength to strength.

Sunday, 9 September 2018

Carlsberg Plans to Release New Packaging, Date for Croatian Market Unknown

More stringent rules across the European Union's single market have given rise to new things.

Thursday, 6 September 2018

Germans Purchase Zagreb Company

The company has more than 800 employees and has now undergone a name change.

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