ZAGREB, October 23, 2019 – The government can support exporters and enterprises by reducing para-fiscal charges and by offering financial schemes for improvement energy efficiency in industry, Environment and Energy Minister Tomislav Ćorić said at a convention of exporters organised by the Lider business weekly newspaper.
Minister Ćorić says that Croatian exporters are faced with a series of challenges, some of these being an increasing cost of labour and electricity which is something the state cannot influence to any great degree. However, the authorities can reduce para-fiscal charges, which it is already doing, he added.
He recalled that currently a new model for paying charges for renewable energy sources (OIE) is being implemented which should relieve large consumers in the energy intensive industry sectors. This is at the final stage of negotiations with the European Commission and the cutting costs can range between 80%, 60% and 40%.
Ćorić said that the ministry had provided 495 million kuna in subsidies over the past two years to stimulate energy efficiency in industry.
In his comment on repeated complaints by exporters that the kuna currency is too strong, the minister said that a strong kuna has become an alibi for failure because it has been strong since 1994 while on the other hand since then to date, we have had a “unbelievable stable exchange rate.”
Asked about the possibility of Volkswagen coming to Croatia, Ćorić said that he did not personally participate in those talks however he believes that a move like that would mean a lot to Croatia’s industry and import sector.
If talks in that regard have commenced, everything will be done for that investment to be achieved, Ćorić said.
Marinko Došen, of the AD Plastik Group that manufactures car plastic parts said that the possibility of Volkswagen coming to Croatia depended on what concessions it would be offered and that statements by Economy Minister Darko Horvat were encouraging in that regard. The figures show that for every employee in the automobile industry there are at least seven employed in the entire infrastructure and supply industry, Došen underlined.
He believes that the arrival of Volkswagen would be an excellent boost for Croatia’s economy. Volkswagen is one of AD Plastik’s buyers and the arrival of that German giant would open the opportunity to finally sell something on the local market.
Croatia is going into the fight for an investment worth over a billion euro, which is how much German car maker Volkswagen plans to invest in a new factory, Večernji List daily said on Tuesday, citing sources at the Ministry of the Economy.
The Germans planned on building the factory in Turkey but ditched the plan over Ankara’s military offensive in Syria, Večernji List says, adding that, according to well-informed sources, Croatia will be included in a new round of talks between Volkswagen and the interested countries, namely Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania.
Volkswagen plans to produce 300,000 vehicles annually and employ 4,000 people in the new factory, the newspaper says.
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