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Basic Information

Area: 56,542 km²

Calling code: +385

Population: 4,453,500

Official Language: Croatian

Time zone: CET (UTC+1), Local time: 17:33


The Republic of Croatia is a country which is located in south-eastern Europe, and shares its borders with 4 other countries: Bosnia-Herzegovina, Hungary, Serbia and Serbia-Montenegro. It also has 5,383km of coastline which borders the Adriatic Sea, and allows for shipping routes to European cities. Its total territory spans 56,594 km2, with a population of 4.4 million (2009). The largest area is the capital city of Zagreb, which is home to 804,000 people, other large cities include Split, Rijeka and Osijek.

The government system is based on a democracy, where the head of state is the President of the Republic, who is voted in on a five year basis. The country is divided into 20 counties, each act as separate administrative division, where council members oversee the running of local services. Croatia is not yet a member of the European Union, but is currently in candidate status and hopes to become a full member by 2012. Its currency system uses the Croatian kuna (HRK), but it aims to implement the euro (EUR) currency system if it is accepted into the European Union.


Croatia's economy has seen a recent boom, thanks to an increase in service related industries, along with an influx of visitors to the country. The service sector accounts for 61% of the countries total GDP figure, which currently stands at $79.23 billion. Most of the financial and business districts are located in the CBD area Zagreb. The largest employer in the country is Agrokor, which employs 31,000 people and has its headquarters located in Zagreb. Other large companies include Bina Fincom, Hrvatski Telekom, Pliva d.d, Podravka, Tesla and T-HT.

Industry accounts for over a third of total GDP, and many factories and plants are located on the outskirts of major cities. Manufactured goods include automobiles, machinery, metal, electronics, and petroleum refineries, with over $10 billion worth of goods being shipped annually - mainly to Italy, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Germany, Slovenia and Austria in 2009.

Only 7% of the total GDP is accounted for by agriculture, most of the land is used for growing wheat, corn, barley, citrus and olives which are used within the country as well as being exported to other European countries.


Travel in Croatia is possible via land and air, with 83 airports in operation in the country. The largest in the country is Zagreb International Airport (ZAG) which is located 10km away from the city centre. It is a hub for Croatian Airlines, and is also used by 16 other airlines who provide flights to European destinations. It currently handles 2.2 million passengers annually (2009) and expansion of the airport is underway in an effort to modernise the airport, and and create a new terminal to ease the increasing passenger demand.

The road system is modern and consists of a number of highways, semi-highways and expressways. Toll booths are in operation on all major routes and road users can pay in both kunas and euros, or use a pre-paid SMART card. There are four major train routes provided by Croatian Railways, all connecting Zagreb to other towns and cities. Rail travel is also possible to Croatia's neighbouring European countries. Croatia is developing a high speed train system, which will dramatically reduce journey times for a number of the long-distance routes in operation, construction is due to commence in 2011.


Croatia has a total labour force of 1.19 million, 61% of which are employed by the service sector and 31% in the industrial sector. Almost 90% of the total population are officially Croatian citizens, while 4.5% are Serbian. The remaining foreign nationals mainly come from Eastern European countries such as Bosnia, Hungary, Slovenia and the Czech Republic. The official language is Croatian, while Serbian is spoken by 1% of the population. Other Eastern European languages are spoken in some communities by the countries immigrant population. Many Croats are bi-lingual and speak either English, German or Italian along with their first language.
Schooling is compulsory to up until the age of 16, and in 2007 new legislation was passed that helps provide free education to citizens up to the age of 18 - if they chose to continue their studies after leaving secondary school. There are a total of eight universities operating in the country, each of which have internationally accredited undergraduate and post-graduate degree programmes. Croatia has a national literacy rate of 98.1%, and a high literacy rate for individuals aged between 15-24 of 99.6%. Despite the strong education system, Croatia has an unemployment rate of 16.1% (2009), one of the highest rates in Europe.

Business Costs

Office rental costs are extremely economical and favourable for the business owner, rental prices are highest in the capital city of Zagreb, but they cost a low average of just $27.14 per square foot per annum. Much lower than the European average, putting rental costs in Croatia on par with costs in Asian cities such as Bangkok and Jakarta.
Corporate tax rates are set at 20% of all profits. However several 'care areas' have been developed by the government, which although located away from the primary economic centres, offer reduced tax rates of 5%, 10% and 15% depending on what criteria the company fits. Any individual is deemed an official resident of Croatia if they reside in the country for more than 183 days per year. Personal tax brackets range from 15% to 45% and vary depending on what municipality the individual lives in. VAT is charged at 23%, with some special items being exempt from VAT. There are separate charges for luxury goods (30%), tobacco, alcohol and automobiles.

Labour is typically cheap in Croatia - much more so than labour costs in Western Europe. The Minimum Wage Act has set minimum salary rates which are 2814.00 kunas per month - the equivalent of £338 per month, for comparison purposes the Untied Kingdom's set minimum wage is a much higher £1005.33 per month.
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