Good investment news for north-western Croatia.
In recent years, Ludbreg has been experiencing a real economic boom, according to data from January 2016 which show that the unemployment in the town was 20 percent lower compared with the same month in 2015, and 30 percent lower than in January 2014. Translated in numbers, this involves about 3,400 employed persons and 500 unemployed, reports Poslovni.hr on March 16, 2016.
The boom is also evidenced by the fact that the town budget of 55 million kuna is the biggest in its history. Mayor Dubravko Bilić is very proud that as much as 71 percent of employees are related to the processing industry, mainly small- and medium-sized businesses, while the agriculture is recovering as well, especially small family farms.
North-western Croatia is known for its high employment rate but, unfortunately, also for the lowest wages in the country. However, Ludbreg has managed to turn the tables, and now the salaries paid by the local entrepreneurs are 171 kuna higher than the average in Varaždin County. “The average net salary in Ludbreg in 2015 was 3,995 kuna, more than the County average of 3,824 kuna, but still much less than 4,878 kuna – which is the national average wage in business sector”, Bilić said. The wage increase was agreed with local entrepreneurs who wanted to have happy and motivated workers. All this is, however, affected also by the good performance of companies in this town and labour shortage. The labour shortage has reached such levels that they are not planning to keep encouraging companies to come to the town.
“Ludbreg has last year registered its trade zone as a single unit with capacity occupancy of more than 70 percent, and this puts it among the more successful zones in Croatia. A long-planned project in its northern part has also been activated. These days, we expect the beginning of the construction work and the arrival of the first business entity from the Ameropa company, which will invest nearly 20 million kuna in its projects. The construction of the new facility of the Ducati company in the western part of the zone is also to commence soon. They will hire another 50 workers in Ludbreg and invest over 50 million kuna”, said Bilić.
“We expect that by the end of the year the entire business zone capacity will be full, and this would mark the end of the quantitative increase in the number of entrepreneurs in the town. Because of the lack of workers… increasing the number of entrepreneurs in the town would no longer make sense”, Bilić said. However, they plan to work on the quality of the industry by encouraging highly profitable sectors of electronics and pharmaceuticals, which are already present in Ludbreg. The competitiveness of Ludbreg’s economy is also reflected in the fact that the value of exports from the town in 2014 amounted to almost 380 million kuna.