Croatia – 28th Member Of The European Union
Adriatic country Croatia will join European Union on 1. July. 2013 and European Union will soon be richer for more than 4000 km of beautiful Adriatic coast and about 1200 beautiful islands. Croatia is perfect tourism destination in Europe and tourism accounts 15- 20 % of the country ‘s GDP. Despite the great natural heritage this Balkan state with 4,2 million inhabitants faces huge economic problems. Croatia hopes that Economy will recover thanks to EU entrance, however chances that EU will significantly contribute to Croatia’s economic performance are pretty small as majority of EU members are still fighting their own financial problems. Croatia’s northern neighbor Slovenia enjoyed stable growth for almost 2 decades, but few years after joining European Union in 2004, the export orientated economy of the most developed Slavic state went into a deep recession and still cannot find a way out. According to Eurostat, Croatian PPS GDP per capita stood at 61% of the EU average in 2012. Very high unemployment and low competitiveness (even economy of Greece is still more competitive) are not very promising for future economic development of Croatian economy. Croatia is already 5 years in economic crisis. the only positive point is tourism and some bigger international companies. Besides tourism, Croatia has a some big companies with potential to increase business on the EU market: Food giant Podravka, Pharmeceutical company Pliva, oil industry INA and food and retail coorporation Agrokor. Agrokor is the biggest privately owned company in Croatia, which employs about 40.000 employees, in 2011 revenues amounted more than 3,6 billions EUR, according to Wikipedia. Agrokor’s core businesses are the production and distribution of food and drinks and retail. Despite the fact that Agrokor has also more than 3,2 billions EUR debts, the company is just signed a contract to buy the biggest retail chain in Southeastern Europe – Slovenian Mercator, which employed more than 23.000 people and generated almost 3 billion EUR revenue in 2012.