Marić Reveals Most Important Planned Reform for 2018

Lauren Simmonds

How does next year’s investment climate look?

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 30th of November, 2017, Finance Minister Zdravko Marić has stated that the risk associated with the investment activity of companies from the ailing Agrokor Group is maybe directly lower than the indirect effect on their suppliers and all those who work with them.

Marić said on Thursday that he’ll continue to look for room for further tax breaks in public finances and that some of that will come into effect early next year, and over the rest of this government’s mandate.

In response to questions about the most important reform the government is planning for next year, given that the most important strategic ones like retirement/pensions and health are being somewhat delayed, Marić said he was proposing taz reforms and that that was certainly one of the major reforms from this government so far.

“We’ve disburdened the economy and citizens of 2.5 billion kuna, we’ve made significant simplifications and deregulations, both administratively and financially. We have stabilised public finances, we’re working together with Oleg Butković on road sector reforms, and we’ll be supporting all other areas when it comes to implementing other reforms,” he stated.

He pointed out that there are still a lot of things to be done.

“For two years in a row, public finance has had good results, all of that has been recognised by both domestic and international players, and we’ll continue on in this field. Our basic idea when it comes to public finance is to look for room for further tax breaks and tax reductions. Something along those lines will already be in place early next year, and then something more during the remainder of this [government] mandate,” Marić announced.

Asked whether or not investment will be slowed down next year due to the problems facing Agrokor, Croatia’s largest privately owned company, Minister Marić said that all potential risks in both economic and fiscal policies had been clearly identified and clarified in projections for 2018.

The state budget for next year is based on the projections of expected economic growth of 2.9 percent, while for this year, the budget has been based on estimates of growth of 3.2 percent.

In reference to potential damaging consequences for Croatia’s investment climate owing to Agrokor’s problems, the finance minister stated that the government will do its utmost to make it easier to operate and to raise the level of the investment climate to an even higher level, not only to neutralise this potentially negative effect but also to stimulate and therefore increase investment activity.

When asked whether or not Agrokor’s suppliers were preparing for the privatisation of the company, Marić said that he believed most of them, if not all of them, operate and work responsibly in regard to their owners, their capital values ​​and of course, their workers. But, on the other hand, whenever some new circumstances arise, adaptation will need to be adhered to.


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