ZAGREB, Sept 8 (Hina) – Plastic car parts manufacturer AD Plastik has won the Golden Key Award as the best large exporter in 2019, IT firm Infobip is the best medium-sized exporter and Jadran-una has been honoured 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 reindustrialisation 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 localisation and regionalisation.