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Croatian FM: Steady Growth in 2014


slavko_linicSpeaking from America, where he is currently on the hunt for much-needed foreign investment, Croatia’s Minister of Finance Slavko Linic says that he expects 2014 to be a year of steady growth.

Linic, who is leading a Croatian delegation in the US, met with representatives from financial institutes in Washington on Friday and Saturday.

“The focus of government activities is on strengthening capital in the private sector and speeding up privatisation to spur production and investment. This is the basic point of our work programme now. We have used our meetings with the World Bank and international bankers to try to secure funding for investment in the capital of domestic privately-owned companies,” Linic said to Hina from Washington on Saturday.

The Minister, who also held talks with the European Investment Bank (EIB), believes help is on the way for Croatia’s private sector.

“The EIB is ready to embark on financing equity in cooperation with the HBOR sooner, so I believe that we will manage to complete that part of the job by the end of the year and thus help the private sector,” said Linic, adding that he expects the third quarter this year to be positive for Croatia, and the start of a period of growth.

“This year is as it is and it is less important whether the projections of the HNB, the IMF or of the government will come true. However, positive trends in the second half of the year give reason for optimistic projections for the next year. The government has made a very cautious estimate of growth next year of 1.3% of GDP, while the IMF put it at 1.5%. The beginnings of the recovery are visible in the second half, so the next year could finally be a year of constant growth,” Linic said, who admitted Croatia still have some problems in the private sector and that the government needs to continue to reduce taxes and ensure liquidity.

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