Like many countries in Western Europe, Croatia was founded on the ruins of the Roman Empire. When they arrived in the territory of present-day Croatia, the Croats were politicaly organized in principalities. In 925, Croatian King Tomislav united the principalities, establishing the first Croatian state. Later, Croatia retained its legal status and autonomy within the framework of the Hungarian empire, and the Habsburg Monarchy. On 25 June 1991, Croatia declared independence and became a sovereign state.
In Croatia, where the Mediterranean, the mountains and the Pannonian plains come together in a unique harmony of natural beauty, within just a little more than a hundred kilometres, you can come across excitingly different landscapes.
The Adriatic, with one of the most indented coastlines in Europe with its 1,185 islands and islets, of which only 66 are inhabited, is undoubtedly the most popular tourist destination. Continental Croatia, however, also abounds in beauty: it is a land of forests, rivers rich in fish, swift mountain streams and deep gorges of Gorski Kotar, and the magnificent Plitvice Lakes in Lika. It is a land of golden wheat fields, oak woods and wide rivers of Slavonia and Baranja, a land of quaint little villages, romantic castles and manors, and picturesque rolling hills and vineyards of the Croatian Zagorje.
High quality education standards are considered to be crucial for future economic development in Croatia and, therefore, there are a lot of investments into research and development. To goal is to set prerequisites for the development of a knowledge based society.
According to the experiences of numerous foreign companies operating in Croatia, workforce in Croatia is efficient, innovative and multilingual. High quality workforce is the base for development of high-tech and business services sectors. Only top-quality people make top-quality and successful companies. According to the World’s Bank poll (2005), more than 92% of companies operating in Croatia are satisfied with the skills and the competence of the employees.
The award for numerous efforts made in the Croatian educational system is the recent survey of the famous Newsweek which rated Croatia 22nd in education ahead of 12 countries from the G20 group.
Croatia offers reliable, good quality and modern infrastructure.Beside already developed infrastructure, Croatia continues to invest into transportation, telecommunications and energy infrastructure to be able to follow technology development trend in the World.
Croatia has a high-income market economy. International Monetary Fund data shows that Croatian nominal GDP stood at $69.357 billion, or $15,633 per capita, at the same time in 2008 purchasing power parity GDP was $82.407 billion or $18,575 per capita.
According to Eurostat data, Croatian PPS GDP per capita stood at 63.2 per cent of the EU average in 2008. Real GDP growth in 2007 was 6.0 per cent, and at the same time average gross salary of a Croatian worker during the first nine months of 2008 was 7,161 kuna (US$ 1,530) per month. In 2007, the International Labour Organization-defined unemployment rate stood at 9.1 per cent, after falling steadily from 14.7 percent in 2002. The registered unemployment rate is higher, though, standing at 13.7 percent in December 2008.
In 2009, economic output was dominated by the service sector which accounted for 73,6% percent of GDP, followed by the industrial sector with 20,5% and agriculture accounting for 5,9% of GDP. According to 2004 data, 2.7 percent of the workforce were employed in agriculture, 32.8 percent by industry and 64.5 in services.
The industrial sector is dominated by shipbuilding, food processing, pharmaceuticals, information technology, biochemical and timber industry. Tourism is a notable source of income during the summers, with over 11 million foreign tourists in 2008 generating a revenue of €8 billion. Croatia is ranked as the 18th most popular tourist destination in the world. In 2008 Croatia exported goods to the value of $14.4 billion (FOB) ($26.4 billion including service exports).
The Croatian state still controls a significant part of the economy, with government expenditure accounting for as much as 40% of GDP. Some large, state-owned industries, such as the country’s shipyards, continue to rely on government subsidies but with EU membership looming, Croatia is forced to restructure debt ridden shipyards as it is a prerequisites for Croatia before it joins the EU. Subsidies for loos making industries also reduce needed investments in to education and technology needed to ensure the economy’s long-term competitiveness.
In terms of primary goals of economic policy of the Republic of Croatia, a special position is given to foreign investments which are very important for the future development of the country and further restructuring and modernization of the economy.