COMMENTARY: Croatian National Industrial Strategy – Flawed Step in the Right Direction

iva vrdoljak28 April 2014, LPJ Croatia Issue 82

Last week, together with his immediate advisers and assistants, Minister of Economy Ivan Vrdoljak (HNS) held a presentation and round-table discussion on the ministry’s overriding national industrial strategy for Croatia through 2020, completed in January 2014.

The presentation was to an American Chamber of Commerce audience filled with local and international business people, the diplomatic corps in Croatia and the media.  The round-table discussion focused upon two business sectors that are included in the state strategy – pharmaceutical and ICT. This is the first state-wide business development strategy that has included the ICT sector as an integrating sector, but also an individual business field in and of itself that serves as a national driver for economic growth and increasing overall competitiveness.

The final 300-page strategy focuses upon the manufacturing, construction and ICT.   The manufacturing sectors that Croatia’s strategy intends to develop and support is pharmaceutical production (i.e. biosimilar and generic drugs), and the manufacture of computers, electronic and fibre optics, electronic equipment, and metal products.

The goals of the strategy are to increase Croatia’s industrial production to yearly average growth of 2.8%, increase employment by 85,000, and increase exports by 30%…

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