Croatia

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As the youngest member of the European Union (since 2013), the country is striving to increase its competitiveness to keep pace with other economies in the large EU market and maximise the opportunities that membership brings, especially the absorption of a large amount of EU Structural Funds — €8.6 billion from the 2014-2020 budget.

The economy is less competitive than its peers. From 2007 to 2013, Croatia’s private sector share of GDP remained at 70 per cent — lower than the EU average.

In 2014, Croatia’s GDP was estimated to have fallen by 0.5 per cent.There is more optimism about the prospect for growth in 2015, with exports projected to pick up in the Eurozone and private investments expected to increase. The privatisation of large state-owned enterprises and the availability of EU funds (in net terms about 2 per cent of GDP per year) should also help growth prospects in the medium term. Forecasts say the country’s GDP should grow by 0.2 per cent in 2015 and by 1 per cent in 2016.

The country’s is improving its business environment. In the 2015 edition of the World Bank’s Doing Business report Croatia ranked 65th compared to 89th in 2014. From 1993 to mid-2014 Croatia received foreign direct investments in the amount of €29 billion.