Croatia has in recent years received more money from its large diaspora around the world than from foreign investors. The result reflects a drastic drop in foreign direct investment, but also the growing number of Croatian citizens emigrating abroad.
According to preliminary data from the World Bank, Croats living abroad sent home around 1.4 billion USD last year, which is around two percent of the nations GDP. These figures put Croatia among the countries which in the last few years has seen increasing steady growth in transfers from its own citizens abroad.
More than 1.4 billion USD of official money transfers from the diaspora puts it on top of the list of foreign investors. According to data from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the Croatian National Bank, a little more than 1.25 billion euro worth of foreign investment, including retained earnings, arrived in Croatia in 2012. Most of the foreign investment which came into Croatia in 2012, according to the Croatian National Bank, was from companies in Austria, Luxembourg and Turkey. But, when that amount was compared with cash transfers from the diaspora, at least those via official channels, the total was twice that from Austrian investors, who are generally the most significant investors in Croatia, writes daily Jutarnji list.
Austrians in the period from 1993 to 2013 invested more than 7.1 billion euros in Croatia, but the diaspora sent a lot more money than that back home. On a global scale, the most money sent back ‘home’ from emigrants was from India (70 billion dollars), followed by China (60 billion), the Philippines (26 billion), Mexico (22 billion), Nigeria (21 billion) and Egypt (20 billion). Out of Europe, Ukrainians, Tazakhstans, Romanians and Serbs, including Albanians and Kosovars, sent the most money home.