ZAGREB, May 16, 2018 – Attracting foreign direct investment requires a strategic approach because it is very important to decide in which industries investment should be encouraged and where investment should come from, a business lunch organised by the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) in Croatia was told in Zagreb on Tuesday.
A survey on the business environment in Croatia, carried out among the members of the AmCham, has shown that 79 percent of the companies intend to expand in the next three years, while at the same time emphasising the need to implement structural reforms, the President of the AmCham Board of Governors Berislav Horvat said.
For that reason the AmCham has made recommendations for improving the business environment and investment growth in Croatia, highlighting a strategic approach to attracting foreign direct investment.
Horvat said that this means the preparation and implementation of a long-term investment strategy that will survive beyond a government’s term in office. He also stressed the importance of promoting advantages of foreign direct investment, given that in his opinion, the public is still uncertain whether foreign direct investment is good or not.
The recommendations also refer to digitisation and optimisation of the public services, increasing the efficiency of the legislative and judicial systems, promoting an energy efficient and green economy, strategic management of human resources, and modernisation of the labour market. Horvat particularly emphasised the need to develop a stimulating tax system that would be characterised by certainty, transparency and predictability.
The AmCham also recommends further tax cuts on labour and improving cooperation between the Tax Administration and the business community.
The Director of the Investment and Competitiveness Agency (AIK) Zdenko Lucić told Hina that a week since the entry into force of the new law on strategic investment projects, two new project applications had been submitted for the acquisition of strategic investment status, their total value amounting to some 300 million euros. He said that one project is in the tourism sector and the other in the information and communications technology sector. He added that nine more applications were expected, each worth more than 100 million euros.
In 2017, compared with 2016, foreign direct investment in Croatia increased by about seven percent. AIK’s project portfolio increased by 28 percent, with 40 percent of the projects in production and processing activities, 38 percent in tourism and about 15 percent in IT and business services, Lucić said.