Getting Started in Croatia

Croatia 2016 Country Commercial Guide – Market Overview

Croatia is a small and complex market, but plays an important role in the economic and political stability of Southeast Europe.  This region, the size of Texas in area, represents a market of roughly 60 million people and over $600 billion in GDP.  It has significant growth potential, as its integration process into the European Union continues and as local populations strive to achieve the lifestyle of the more developed Western European countries that have three-four times higher GDP per capita.

Croatia is in an excellent geographic position to serve as a regional hub for U.S. companies.  Zagreb, its capital, is only about a four-hour drive away to Vienna, Venice, Budapest, or Belgrade, and only a two-hour drive from the beautiful Adriatic coast.  Croatia has excellent roads, sound ICT infrastructure, and a competitive white-collar workforce.  The quality of life in Croatia is very high: it is a safe country, with tasty food, well-preserved nature, a mild climate, and abundant historical sites and other tourist attractions.

Unfortunately, Croatia has not fully completed the transition to a market economy.  A socialist mindset still prevails in parts of Croatian society.  The income of the majority of Croatians still comes from the government budget, social insurance, or public monopolies, not from revenues of truly competitive companies that operate strictly on market-based principles.  So, any reforms that address public overspending, corruption, or bureaucratic and judicial inefficiency usually face strong resistance from the privileged majority, and can take a long time to implement.

Fortunately, there is also a growing number of vibrant, innovative entrepreneurs leading small-and-medium-sized, sophisticated, and internationally-competitive companies across many industry sectors in Croatia.  These companies have strong potential to grow, and could become the locomotive of the Croatian economy and the catalyst in the transformation of Croatian society.  As they tend to buy state-of-the-art, cost-effective equipment and technology, they also represent excellent potential partners for U.S. suppliers already present in the European market, adjusted to the EU technical and safety standards and providing after-sales services from locations in or near Croatia.

For more information, please download the entire Croatia 2016 Country Commercial Guide (on-line).  Should you have any further questions, please contact our Commercial Section Chief.

FAQs

Yes, for the target industry sectors, we maintain a database of key Croatian companies that are potential distributors or buyers of U.S. goods and services.  We will be happy to compile for you a list of key contacts that could be interested in your company’s products.  The cost-recovery fee for this service is $250.  The fee is payable via an on-line Participation Agreement, by credit card.We could also contact the companies from the list on your behalf and report back to you on those that have expressed interest in doing business with you.  The standard, world-wide cost-recovery fee for this International Partner Search service is $550 for an SME company and $1,400 for a large company.We could also arrange appointments for you with the selected Croatian companies.  The fee for this Gold Key Service is $700 for the first day of appointments and $300 for every additional day of appointments for an SME company.  For a large company, the fee is $2,300 for the first day of appointments and $1,000 for every additional day (up to six appointments per day).  Besides counseling you and arranging your schedule, the fee also includes assistance with hotel reservations at the Embassy rate, transportation to the appointments in an Embassy car with driver and an Embassy commercial specialist accompanying you to the appointments and assisting with translation when necessary.  For more details or to order a service, please contact our Commercial Section Chief.

Yes, the Embassy building includes an easily-accessible multi-purpose room with state-of-the-art technical infrastructure for presentations, including video-conferencing.  The capacity of the room is about 50 guests, and we would be happy to organize a presentation for your company and the related project, product or service.  The standard cost-recovery fee for this Single Company Promotion service is $2,450 and includes the room and equipment rental, preparing invitation list, mailing invitations, event organization and follow up.  We could also arrange for simultaneous interpretation and catering, from outsourced providers and at additional cost, or organize the event at some other venue of your choice.  The fee is payable via an on-line Participation Agreement, by credit card.  For more details or to order a service, please contact our Commercial Section Chief.

Yes, we could check for you the basic information on the company in our business databases at no charge.  We could also visit your potential partner, verify his business background, contact his suppliers and clients, check his financial standing and reputation, and provide you with a detailed report on our findings.  The standard, world-wide cost-recovery fee for this International Company Profile service is $600 for an SME company and $900 for a large company.  The fee is payable via an on-line Participation Agreement, by credit card.  For more details or to order a service, please contact our Commercial Section Chief.

Yes, we do help ensure a level-playing field for U.S. companies in Croatia, but strictly within the Croatian legislative framework.  The scope of our assistance would depend on a case-by-case basis.  If you are participating in a major government procurement tender, we could help you by trade advocacy.  If you believe your company has been treated unfairly by a Croatian government institution or you are facing administrative obstacles, we could help you raise your case at the appropriate level.   We cannot provide you with legal advice or otherwise act as your lawyer, but we would be happy to provide you with a list of local lawyers if needed.

We could also facilitate setting up appointments with Croatian government institutions, if appropriate.  The standard, world-wide cost recovery fee for this Gold Key Service is $700 for the first day of appointments and $300 for every additional day of appointments for an SME company.  For a large company, the fee is $2,300 for the first day of appointments and $1,000 for every additional day (up to six appointments per day).  Besides counseling you and arranging your schedule, the fee also includes assistance with hotel reservations at the Embassy rate, transportation to the appointments in an Embassy car with driver and an Embassy commercial specialist accompanying you to the appointments and assisting with translation when necessary.  For more details or to order a service, please contact our Commercial Section Chief.

Yes, by counseling and referrals.  Besides reviewing the general information from our Croatia 2016 Country Commercial Guide, please contact our Economic Officer to set up a more focused briefing on the political, economic and business environment in Croatia.  We would also refer you to the relevant Croatian authorities and to local business consultants and law offices that assist foreign investors.