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Croatia
 

Country
GDP per Capita: $3,815 GDP (USD Billions): 17.5 Inflation (CPI): 5.4% Currency: 1 Croatian kuna (HRK) = 100 lipas USD Conversion Rate: 1 USD = 8.1500 HRK Population (Millions): 4.6 Population Growth Rate: -0.7 Labor Force (Millions): 1.63 Unemployment: 18.6% Language: Serbo-Croatian, Italian, Hungarian, Czech, Slovak, German Major Industries: chemicals and plastics, machine tools, fabricated metal, electronics, pig iron and rolled steel products Political System: Presidential/ parliamentary Democracy Economic System: Free Market Literacy Rate: 98% Prime Minister Zlatko Matesa

Croatia

Before the dissolution of Yugoslavia, the Republic of Croatia, after Slovenia, was the most prosperous and industrialized area, with a per capita output perhaps one-third above the Yugoslav average. Croatia faces considerable economic problems stemming from: the legacy of longtime communist mismanagement of the economy; damage during the internecine fighting to bridges, factories, power lines, buildings, and houses; the large refugee and displaced population, both Croatian and Bosnian; and the disruption of economic ties. Western aid and investment, especially in the tourist and oil industries, would help restore the economy. The government has been successful in some reform efforts, partially macroeconomic stabilization policies. and it has normalized relations with its creditors. Yet it still is struggling with privatization of large state enterprises and with bank reform. In 1998, Croatia made progress in reducing its current account deficit to about 8% of GDP from 12% the previous year. Economic growth continues to lag, however, and growing levels of inter-enterprise debt plague the domestic economy. Four commercial banks were put under government control and a major conglomerate is teetering on collapse. SOURCE: CIA FACTBOOK

Comment:

Torn and impoverished by politics and war - Croatia finds itself in the midst of a recession. Economic restoration begins with Tourism, traditionally the countries primary source of foreign exchange. Structural reforms in opening up privatisation and increasing foreign direct investment will put Croatia on a path towards recovery. With its geographic position, fertile land, petroleum resources and large-scale transition towards inclusion in the Western European economic trends - the country is maturing for potential investment. Principle economic sectors include agriculture, food, chemical and petroleum, textile, shipbuilding and the shipping industry.