Category: Business

Direct Foreign Investment Down Nearly 60%

eurosDirect foreign investment in Croatia last year totalled 436.9 million euros, a drop of almost 60% from the year previous, according to preliminary data released today by the Croatian National Bank (HNB)…

Croatia continues to struggle to attract any serious overseas investment, with Direct foreign investment in 2013 618.1 million euros less than in it was 2012, or a decline of a massive 58.58%, when direct foreign investment totalled 1.05 billion euros.

“New investments were generally in the areas of financial intermediation (leasing), real estate and telecommunications. Besides that, in the last quarter of 2013 negative retained earnings were recorded, primarily in financial intermediation and production of petroleum products, as a result of the negative results of local enterprises owned by non-residents,” said HNB analysts.

In the last 21 years, from 1993 to 2013, foreigners had invested a total of 26.8 billion euros, with the peak being 2008 when over 4 billion euros were invested. Austrians, followed by the Dutch, Germans and Hungarians, were the biggest foreign investors, the data released today revealed.

Turkey’s Richest Man to Invest €400 Million in Croatia

CroatiaTurkish billionaire Ferit Faik Sahenk, who is in Croatia this week to negotiate the purchase of a luxury hotel and apartment complex in Dubrovnik, says that his company will invest 400 Million EUR in various tourism projects…

Sahenk is the Chairman of Turkey’s Doğuş Holding conglomerate and richest person in Turkey, with a personal fortune estimated at 3,4 billion USD. Doğuş have already invested around 200 million EUR in Dalmatia, and the Turkish company plans to be one of the largest investors in Croatia.

Doğuş Holding is one of the top three largest private-sector conglomerates in Turkey, with a portfolio of 25 companies that cross industry verticals, including one of Turkey’s largest banks, Garanti Bank, as well as high-end Porsche, Audi, and Volkswagen dealerships, retail and food stores, construction companies, media and tourism businesses.

“You have fantastic nature, a fantastic geographical position, you are blessed and lucky that your country so far is on a good path in tourism, and has the opportunity to become one of the most attractive spots for tourism, especially nautical and coastal tourism, so the eastern coast of the Adriatic and Aegean part of Greece and Turkey could become the next destination,” Sahenk told daily Jutarnji list, adding that he hopes to employ around 600 Croatians via his company’s investment projects which include hotels, apartments and marinas.

German Retail Giants Müller to Expand to Istria

Mueller-Drogerie-German retail chain Müller are to expand their Croatia operations by opening stores in the northern Adriatic towns of Pula and Poreč…

Müller, who were ranked among the top three employers in Croatia this year, will expand into Istria and open up around 60 new jobs in the area. Currently Müller employ 800 people in Croatia, with stores all in Zagreb, Varaždin, Osijek, Zadar, Šibenik, Split, Slavonski Brod, Koprivnica, Karlovac and Rijeka.

Croatian Consulate Opens in Estonia

CroatiaDeputy Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Joško Klisović 8 April in Tallinn ceremoniously opened the Consulate of the Republic of Croatia headed by honorary consul. A presentation of the tourist potential of the Split-Dalmatia County was also held on that occasion. The honorary consul is James Oates, an Estonian entrepreneur whose business experience and contacts will be of great use to Croatian companies…

During his stay in Tallinn, Klisović held political consultations with Secretary General of the Estonian Foreign Ministry Alar Streimann. The two officials discussed Croatia-Estonia cooperation in using EU funds as well as the crisis in Ukraine. Klisović also met with Director of Extrenal Economic and Development Cooperation Andre Pung, with whom he talked about the various European models of economic diplomacy.

On Monday, 7 April, Klisović was on a visit to Finland. With State Secretary of the Finnish Foreign Ministry Peter Stenlund Klisović discussed the situation in Ukraine and Bosnia and Herzegovina, while with Head of the External Economic Relations Department of the Prime Minister’s Office Tuomas Tapio he discussed Croatia’s economic diplomacy and the Team Finland project.  (MVEP)

Zagreb the Shining Light as Tourist Arrivals Drop in March

Cvjetni233,600 tourists visited Croatia’s shores in March, a drop of 7.5% from the same period last year, reports the Croatian Tourist Board (HTZ)…

March’s drop comes on the back of two strong months, and means that after the first three months of 2014, 485,000 tourists have arrived, 0.7% more than the first three months of 2013. There were some positive trends in March however, with the number of local tourists on the rise, up 0.3% from last March. When it came to how individual regions around the country had performed, only the Lika-Senj County on the coast saw more tourists arrive this March compared to 2013. The real winner in March was the capital Zagreb, which according to HTZ statistics, saw the biggest gain in the number of tourists – 3.7% more arrivals and 3.4% more overnight stays than the same month last year.

Zagrebačka Banka First in Country to Introduce Video Chat with Bankers

ZABAThis week Zagrebačka banka will become the first bank in the country to offer its clients personal online video chats with bankers…

Zagrebačka banka’s e-zaba service will allow clients to get individual advice and information from wherever they might be – at home, in a hotel, or at an airport. Clients no longer have to physically go into the bank to chat ‘face-to-face’ with their personal banker thanks to their new technical initiative to be introduced this week.

“Considering that internet banking and internet usage is growing in Croatia, and Zagrebačka banka has 440,000 clients, the changes in communication habits and sought after  services, development of new technologies, and the arrival of new generations, e-businesses is the beginning of a new era of banking,” said Zagrebačka banka’s Daniela Roguljić Novak.

New Airline Dalmatian Air Set to Fly this Summer

DalmatianAnother airline is set to enter what is becoming a busy Croatian market. Dalmatian, a project which has been in the pipeline for a number of years, is set to launch flights to the Croatian capital from Germany this summer…

The new Croatian-owned airline, which joins Air Croatia as a new player on the market this summer, has been granted all the neccessary permits and will operate four weekly flights between Zagreb and Hamburg from 2 June. Tickets will go on sale later this month.

“Dalmatian is a new breed of hybrid low cost/low fare airline concept founded to pursue the growth opportunities in emerging markets of short and long distance air travel. As the low cost/low fare model continues to grow around the world with leisure and business travellers recognising the value of the low cost airline business model, Dalmatian intends to become an industry leader of the mega-trend of the future model of air transportation, a trend that was first born in the competitive landscape of the Australian air transport industry,” says the company’s website. (pic: Nacional)

Exports Up a Massive 21.9%

exportsExports totalling 733 million EUR left Croatia’s shores in January, up  21.9% year on year, according data released by the Central Bureau of Statistics today…

Whilst exports were up a massive 21.9%, imports grew by 8.8%, with Croatia importing 1.2 billion EUR worth of commodities in January. Croatia’s trade deficit in January was 485 million EUR, or 6.5% less than the prior January in 2013. The largest rise in exports came in the manufacturing sector, with 17% growth. European Union member states were the most popular trading partners, with 64% of exports and 69% of imports.

12 Croatian Innovators Awarded at 42nd Geneva Invention Exhibition

All twelve Croatian innovators and innovative companies who presented at this weekend’s  42nd International Motor Show in Geneva, have won awards…

16-year-old Silver Award winner Ivan Kožar

16-year-old Silver Award winner Ivan Kožar

Innovation company Tehnix – a bioreactor plant for municipal wastewater treatment plants – has been awarded the gold medal at the Geneva Salon and the Saudi King Abdullah gold medal. Silver Medal awards went to Bernard for their innovative mattress THERMOCAR, PIP for their propocian capsules, Altpro for their railway wheel sensor for pneumatic subways, and Marinko Spudić for his generator for producing gas from water innovation.

Silver medals were also awarded to Matija Volner for his stall floor covering production and composting proces, Svijet biljaka for their new natural fresheners, vertical eolian power plant innovator Franc Žirovnik, beachbox company Mas-plastics and Dok-ing for their electromagnetic drill. Silver medal also went to the fair’s youngest innovator, 16-year-old Ivan Kožar for his wirless mobile phone charger.

The Geneva Motor show is the largest international show in Europe and its International Exhibition of Inventions is arguably the most prestigious in the world with more than 790 innovators from 45 countries taking part. More than 60,000 visitors attended the exhibition.

Betting at Record Levels

CroatiaWith the economic situation as it, not many businesses in Croatia last year were fortunate enough to record positive growth, but there were some smiling – the nations bookies…

In 2013 Croats spent a record 5.62 billion kuna (over 700 million EUR) at the bookies, 3% more than they spent the previous year. Although the bookies experienced growth, the rate of growth has slowed down. In 2012 Croats spent what was then a record 5.45 billion kuna (700 million euros) at the bookies, up 16% from the previous year. Tax on winnings last year boosted the state coffers by 4 million kuna (52 million EUR).

Along with the state-owned Hrvatska Lutrija, there are 7 private-owned players in the market with Super Sport the nation’s leading bookmaker.