American Chamber of Commerce in Croatia: 5 Economic Recommendations

Lauren Simmonds

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 31st of March, 2020, with the aim of contributing to the economic stability of the Croatian economy, preserving jobs and ensuring the financial liquidity of businesses operating here, AmCham (the American Chamber of Commerce in Croatia) has announced a proposal for additional measures to assist the economy in the wake of the coronavirus epidemic.

“We believe that in this situation, it’s necessary to focus the measures on maintaining the liquidity of businesses, maintaining employment and jobs, securing supply chains for businesses, stimulating consumption after the crisis and on tax relief,” said Andrea Doko Jelusic, executive director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Croatia, adding that AmCham’s measures have been prepared in accordance with the adopted measures of the Government of the Republic of Croatia and in accordance with the good practices of other countries.

To ensure liquidity, the American Chamber of Commerce in Croatia proposes, among other things, the establishment of HBOR government loans and guarantees (worth ~ 10 percent of GDP in line with the experience of other countries); the setting up of funds for industrial sectors which are the most severely affected by the crisis (such as Croatian tourism); the securing of funds for SMEs with impaired liquidity through the approval of credit lines with a two-year repayment obligation and a 0 percent interest rate (modelled on what is being done over in the Czech Republic).

Regarding the proposal for job retention measures, they refer to the introduction of part-time work models; the mandatory use of holidays during the coronavirus crisis; subsidies to workers in the private sector (based on the Austrian and Slovenian models) and through the write-off of income taxes and contributions during the crisis period due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“It’s also extremely important to ensure the smooth flow of goods, raw materials and key raw materials needed for the production [capacities] of industries who are currently of strategic importance, as well as exporters, that is, we need to find a way to ensure that strategic enterprises don’t end up lacking raw materials, repro materials, etc,” Doko Jelusic stated, adding that the American Chamber of Commerce in Croatia is already working on an additional proposal for measures that could mitigate the negative effects of coronavirus on the economy and help businesses overcome hardships in the upcoming period.

“Given the current circumstances and the earthquakes that hit Zagreb, the American Chamber of Commerce in Croatia additionally proposes that a provision be made to make deliveries VAT free to hospitals and scientific/educational institutions, which would make it easier for businesses to donate to hospitals and scientific/educational institutions, and contribute to reconstruction and assistance during this crisis period,” concluded Andrea Doko Jelusic.

AmCham’s “Business Assistance Recommendations” are available in Croatian via this link.


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