29-07-2011 14:35 Croatia
Croatia ranks poorly as foreign investment destination amongst regional states
Croatia is behind Serbia, Albania and Montenegro when it comes to foreign investment over the last year, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) statistics show.
According to the Croatian National Bank (HNB), the country received 227 million Euros of investments last year, the lowest amount since 1995 when the Croatia was still in the midsts of war.
Advisor to UNCTAD Branko Vukmir says that resistance to foreign investment in Croatia exists and that it requires a thorough revision of the country’s approach.
"Croatia was once a leader in south eastern Europe when it came to foreign investments, but that's Serbia now, where foreigners invested 1.3 billion dollars last year," Vukmir said.
It is especially surprising that the investment drought for Croatia happened in a year when the practice saw worldwide recovery, up by five per cent to 1.24 trillion dollars over the previous year. Only two countries, however, managed to attract more than 100 billion – United States (228.2) and China (105.7).
And although predictions show worldwide growth trend, Croatia can hope for little improvement in foreign investment this year, daily Vecernji List writes.
HNB data shows that Croatia received 129 million Euros of foreign investments in the first quarter of this year. Although per capita investment (5,457 Euros) is amongst the highest amongst the transitional states, their structure is problematic, the daily writes.
Investments in the financial sector, trade and services and properties dominate, while production and greenfield investments are rare. Most of Croatia's investments (90 per cent) come from European Union.
Bad investment climate is also pushing more and more domestic investors out of Croatia. Excluding circular investments, Croatian businesses invested 504.1 million Euros abroad last year, 2.5 times more than in 2009. The biggest Croatian investment abroad last year was the purchase of Slovenian Droga Kolinska by Emil Tedeschi’s Atlantic Group.
Source: Croatian Times