Zagreb Enters World’s Top 75 Cities for Opening Business for First Time

Lauren Simmonds

As a destination for startups, the Croatian capital city of Zagreb has come 70th place, hot on the heels of Frankfurt (Germany), Birmingham (UK), and Rome (Italy).

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Bernard Ivezic writes on the 6th of November, 2019, Croatia’s capital has found itself ranked on the list of international cities suitable for starting a business for the very first time. The result is not stellar, but it’s a good start. In total, Zagreb ranks 74th out of 75 cities covered by an analysis made by Europe’s largest moving company for moving companies and people, Moving. However, overall, the Croatian metropolis is just behind Zurich in Switzerland and ahead of Tbilisi in Georgia.

In an analysis that spanned twenty of the world’s most iconic business destinations, from San Francisco with the Silicon Valley through to London and Berlin to Beijing, Seoul and Tokyo, Zagreb found itself close to the bottom of the list, but the fact it is appearing on it at all is an improvement.

Moving states that the Croatian capital is a better choice for starting a technology business, not only in comparison to Tbilisi, but also in comparison to Marseille, Lille and Lyon in France and Gothenburg in Sweden. Ranked 70th in the rankings in this category, Zagreb is hot on the heels of the likes of Frankfurt, Birmingham and Rome.

Zagreb is 66th when it comes to running an import-export business and 52nd to Toronto and Amsterdam, and stands in a better position than Dublin, Paris and even Munich. Moving argues that it is best to start a healthcare business in Zagreb, which also taps in to Croatia’s potential health tourism-oriented future.

Frane Šesnić, CEO of Zicer, says that it’s good that Zagreb has started to appear on the global business charts. “Being among the top 75 start-up cities in the world, on a scale that has not only included capital cities, indicates that we’re heading in a good direction, and Zagreb can improve because it’s safe for life, has affordable rental rates and a university with a long tradition,” says Šesnić.

Prior to this, Zagreb was on the European Digital City Index 2016 list, ranking 57th out of 60 cities in Europe, where quality of life and human capital were key assets. Last year, Atomico praised Zagreb in its report because it has the cheapest office space to rent in Europe alongside Sofia, Bulgaria. Crane’s president, Davorin Štetner, says Zagreb has substantially improved its business support infrastructure over the last 2-3 years.

“More and more business founders are coming to live here because Croatia is generally beautiful to live in, and this can be increased if it’s accompanied by a more friendly environment in regard to taxes and a reduction in preregulation,” concluded Štetner.

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