Tourism is strategically one of the most important industries of the Croatian economy. The tourist potential is based primarily on the indented Adriatic coast which offers opportunities for all types of tourism – nautical, family, high-end, gourmet, health. Great natural wealth together with centuries-old cultural heritage are features of the tourist potential in the Adriatic region as well as in the interior of the country. Highly-developed and modern infrastructure of road and air transport positions Croatia as an ideal geostrategic location, easily accessible from European markets. The main source markets are Central and Western Europe with an increasing number of tourists coming from Russia and the Far East.
Given the fact that tourism is one of the sectors that is on the forefront of launching the investment cycle in Croatia, the Croatian government has in accordance with the plan of economic development worked out different models of re-activating a large number of unused government facilities to be put in use for tourist purposes.
Direct incentives and the overall support of the Croatian government for investments in the tourism sector and the fact that Croatia is one of the few countries in Europe which in 2012 has reported an increase in the number of tourist arrivals and overnight stays are an excellent framework for further investments and putting Croatia on the top of the list as an attractive and competitive investment destination on the Mediterranean.
- 14.4% of GDP
- 12,209 registered companies
- Number of employees in tourism is 83,488
- Average gross salary is € 863 (2011)
- Tourism revenues in 2011 amounted to € 6.6 billion
Croatia is an excellent location for investors who want to expand their business in Central, Eastern and Southeast Europe. The Croatian market potential with a population of only 4.4 million is relatively small in global terms, but Croatian consumers and companies have already proven that they have the ability to absorb new technologies very rapidly. In this respect, Croatia can serve as an ideal test-market for the development and application of new technologies in the field of software development.
Apart from having the highest rate of productivity in the region which is also above the average rate of productivity of the EU27 (Eurostat), Croatia offers investors an innovative, creative, knowledgeable, flexible and highly motivated workforce. Croatian membership in the European Union by July 1,2013 will provide investors access to a market of almost 500 million people.
Among the companies that have recognized the qualitative advantages of Croatia are Siemens, Ericsson, IBM, SAP, Microsoft, ENVOX.
- Number of employees in the ICT sector is 29,648
- Average gross salary is € 1,425 (2011)
- Share of ICT in GDP is 4.2%
- Ranking 45 out of 142 countries on the ICT competitiveness ranking list according to the Networked Readiness Index 2012 by the World Economic Forum (WEF)
- Operating gross profit rate is 24.6% while the average for the EU27 is 20.9%
The development of the Croatian automotive industry is based on a long tradition in related sectors such as metal production, welding, plastics manufacturing and engineering. Croatian companies dealing with the production of automotive parts have a tradition in high-precision manufacturing with zero tolerance for breakdowns and the main competitive advantage is the excellent quality of their products. Over three quarters of the added value in the automotive industry is realized in the production of components for installation and activities related to the development of vehicles and related processes. On the Croatian market are companies that have successfully integrated into the system of supplying spare parts for the world’s top automobile manufacturers (PSA, GM, Fiat, BMW, Audi, Ford, Renault, Toyota, Volvo, etc).
Croatia also boasts the production of electric cars XD (DOK-ING and Concept One – Rimac Automobili). The benefits of joining the automotive industry in Croatia is a well-educated workforce, excellent infrastructure and proximity to the markets and automotive production facilities in the countries of Western and Central Europe.
- Croatian automotive industry employs 2,103 people
- It is estimated that an additional 7,000 people are employed in related industries
- Average gross salary paid in the automotive industry is € 1,011 (2012)
- Share of the automotive industry in total exports is 1.8%
- About 90% of the revenue in the automotive industry is generated through export
Compared to the other branches of the manufacturing industry in Croatia, the food industry (food and beverage) achieves the highest total revenue and employs the most people. This sector is the most developed in the City of Zagreb and Zagreb County, in Northwest Croatia and Osijek-Baranja county.
The food industry has attracted considerable foreign investment and many international companies are successfully operating in Croatia like Meggle, Axereal, Coca-Cola, Lactalis and others.
The most profitable businesses in this sector are the production and processing of milk and cheese, beer production, processing of tea and coffee and the production of soft drinks. One of the most important branches of the Croatian food industry is the confectionery industry. The most important export products of the food industry are food additives, biscuits and wafers, stuffed chocolate, canned fish, instant soups, olive oil, beer and other alcoholic beverages.
- More than 3,000 registered companies
- More than 65,000 people are employed in the production of food and drinks
- The sector achieves 30% of total manufacturing revenue
- Average gross salary in the food sector is € 874 (2011)
- Operating gross profit rate is above the EU27 average (8.9% compared to 7.9%, Eurostat)
The pharmaceutical industry in Croatia has a long tradition. Because of its know-how and an experienced workforce a successful development of the industry and related sectors in the future is assured. Furthermore, the pharmaceutical industry is one of the sectors of the Croatian economy where investing in research and development is extensive.
The discovery of the innovative antibiotic azithromycin puts Croatia on the map as one of only ten countries in the world that can boast the development of a completely new drug. In Croatia, apart from Pliva, the largest drug manufacturer in the region, there are very successful companies such as Belupo and Jadran Galenski Laboratorij which have an excellent cooperation on the European and U.S. markets. Another key player is the newly-opened factory PharmaS, whose core business is the production and sale of generic drugs.
The manufacturing of pharmaceuticals in Croatia continues its strong growth and has significant impact on the production volume of the whole industry. Important foreign companies which operate in Croatia in the pharmaceutical industry are GlaxoSmithKline, Hospira, Galapagos Research Center, Teva, ACG Lukaps, Farmal.
- There are 37 pharmaceutical companies present in Croatia
- Number of employees in the pharmaceutical industry is 4,421
- Average gross salary is € 1,800 (2011)
- Compared to its neighboring countries Croatia is cost-competitive with an average labor cost per hour of 9.2 €
- Share of the pharmaceutical industry in total exports is 4%
Croatia is by its roads, air, rail and sea routes perfectly connected with Eastern and Central Europeas well as with the the rest of Europe and represents a bridge by connecting Western and Central Europe with the Black Sea and Eastern Europe and the Baltic Sea with the Mediterranean. Given the excellent geostrategic position the sector of transportation and storage is one of the key factors for the development of the Croatian economy.
The network of modern and newly-constructed highways stretches more than 1,000 km and provides excellent transport communications in all parts of the country. Croatia is connected to other European countries by river transport routes, particularly via the river port of Vukovar, which is part of the Pan-European Corridor VII. The Sea port of Rijeka is the largest port facility in Croatia which accounts for more than 50% of total turnover of all Croatian ports. The port of Rijeka is also one of the most important ports for connecting the Far East and Central Europe with the shortest transit time of transport.
The geostrategically excellent location, modern infrastructure and good connections with European countries opens up numerous opportunities for the development and implementation of investment projects in the sector of logistics, especially in the field of constructing logistics and distribution centers.
- 3 Pan-European corridors pass through Croatia (V / b, V/ c, X / a, VII)
- 6 international airports and 3 airports
- Croatia ranks 42 out of 155 countries according to the index of Logistics Performance of the World Bank in 2012
- 9,815 companies operate in the transport and storage sector
- The transport and storage sector employs over 77, 000 people
The metal industry is one of the most important industries in Croatia. Businesses dealing in the metal industry are focused on exports, introduction of new technologies, training professional personnel, quality system certification, environmentally friendly production and connecting domestic and foreign producers. The production program of the metal industry in Croatia is very diverse and can meet the needs of potential customers and partners. Some of the major companies operating in Croatia are Alstom Hrvatska, Starco Beli Manastir, Metalind, Omial New and companies from the Končar Group and Đuro Đaković Holding.
In Croatia the metal industry is mostly developed in the counties of Medjimurje, Bjelovar-Bilogora, Brod Posavina and Krapina-Zagorje. The businesses in the sector enjoy a continuous growth which is clearly shown by the increase of their production capacity, new products and increased exports.
- Number of employees in the metal industry is 27,586
- In Croatia more than 3,000 companies operate in the metal industry
- Average gross salary is € 816 (2011)
- Share of metal industry in total exports is 3.5%
- Approximately 10% of the total added value and sales of the manufacturing industry is realized in the metal industry
The textile and clothing industry holds an important place in the Croatian economy due to its long-standing tradition, a significant number of employees and partnerships with European and global companies.
Despite the challenges of the dynamic global market, the textile industry still holds the top position in a large number of counties. This industry has a particularly significant impact in the northwestern part of Croatian where 70% of textile production capacity in Croatia is located.
Many international companies have recognized the potential of the Croatian market and successfully operate here such as Benetton and Calzedonia.
- More than 20,000 people are employed in the production of textiles and clothing
- There are over 1,500 companies in the textile and clothing industry
- Average gross salary in the textile sector is € 586 (2011)