Slavonian oak conquering European floors Croatia ranks the third timber flooring supplier in the European Union and fourth in the world
Croatia lagging, Central Europe moving away Croatian average annual GDP growth of 6% an imperative in order to catch Western Europe
Sea, snow, valley, hill More than €100 million to be invested in both water-park and a ski centre construction sites
PAGE 8 2010
Croatian Business & Finance Weekly Established in 1953 Monday / 14th February / 2011 Year IV / No 0140 www.privredni.hr
S U P P O R T E D
T H E
pvinternational pv international C R O A T I A N
C H A M B E R
E C O N O M Y
TURMOIL IN NORTH AFRICA AND CROATIAN ECONOMY
Business activity as an imperative Slavonian businessmen are not interrupting negotiations with partners in Egypt, Tunisia or Morocco in spite of the current obstacles to business Svetozar Sarkanjac urbulent activity in North African countries, particularly in Tunisia and Egypt, has incited considerable economic uncertainty. According to calculations, political turmoil has been causing daily losses for Egypt and its economy of over US$300 million. The consequences have deeply affected the world economy as well as several Croatian companies. According to data from the Croatian Chamber of Economy (HGK), many prominent Croatian companies such as Ina, Crosco, Geofizika, Ingra and Končar and also wood exporters have their subsidiaries in Egypt. Moreover, there are many smaller Croatian companies there with jobs. However, total Croatian company data of business activity with the Egyptian market is definitely not irrelevant. Trade in goods and services between Croatia and Egypt in 2009 totalled US$110 million, with Croatian exports of US$97 million. Turmoil in North Africa can also be deeply felt in Slavonian companies with business activities, or with the anticipated conclusion of contracts, on local markets. A good example is Saponia from Osijek, whose annual exports has been €200,000
for years. At the beginning of this year it also started activities with the Tunisian market with an anticipated sales value of €500,000, stated Damir Skender, Saponia Board President. Certainly, due to altered circumstances the whole project has had to be postponed until the situation has stabilised. Slowed, but not halted The textile company Hemco has a parallel way of reasoning. According to the director, Slobodan Mihalj, it contacted potential Egyptian partners showing interest in Hemco’s products at the end of last year. Current events
have slowed the negotiations, but they have not halted them. As soon as basic safety and business conditions have been met, Hemco will set out for Egypt. OLT from Osijek is also planning a business trip to North Africa. The company signed negotiation pre-contracts covering agricultural machinery and equipment export worth about €1.37 million in 2010. Ante Ćorluka, OLT Board President, confirmed the negotiation slowdown. “This situation is convenient for us, nevertheless, as we are currently working on the final hammering-out of con-
clusive contracts. Irrespective of the fact that Morocco has not been as deeply affected by the turmoil as Egypt and Tunisia, it is inextricably connected. We are aiming for long term quality jobs. Currently we are only in the first tranche of negotiations. Success here will open several other Arab and African doors to us. Our partners in Morocco are striving for a long term business relationship of at least 15 years and that is also a favourable condition. This type of negotiation requires careful preparation and considerable effort”, concluded Ćorluka.
Privredni vjesnik Year IV No 0140
VINKO FILIPIĆ, DIRECTOR FASHION.HR CONCEPT
Croatian textile industry is not history We believe that joint work of designers and fashion houses through Fashion.hr will provide more accessible products
slump in production and job cuts have been a constant in the textile industry for some time. Producers are faced with a series of problems and one of the most severe is public image and media perception of Croatian textile workers. There is a contradictory situation. On one side, a number of companies supply houses such as Zegna or Dolce&Gabbana, and on the other the media and public view them as a thing of the past. This is the completely wrong attitude, since work and technical potential are immense. Some companies are actually opening new markets, and operate successfully despite the crisis. Survival on the market is also a great challenge for many Croatian designers. Considering we are dealing with unique
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items of clothing, which command a higher price, we believe that joint work of fashion designers and fashion houses will use Fashion.hr to make their products more accessible. We have been preparing the project for two years with the aim of connecting Croatian designers and textile, leather, watches and footwear factories. Established designers, such as Zoran Mrvoš, Robert Sever or Ana Maria Ricov are designing prototypes for their autumn/winter collections, which they will reveal at the national fashion fair. After industrial production, the collections will be on the shelves already in autumn. In co-operation with industrial giants, such as RIO Riječka industrija odjeće, MK Arena from Pula, San Peter from Ludbreg, Bambi from Varaždin and Marli from Zagreb, the designers will create something which we will be able to call modern Croatian fashion brands and a Croatian fashion scene. Furthermore, the companies, that have already joined this project, are opening new markets. Their strategy, which demands investment and is visionary in its core, is praiseworthy. We hope to develop Croatian brands this way, and the project’s success will depend on the way it will be institutionalised. Institutions are interested in keeping production plants alive and turn Croatian fashion into an export product. This has been recognised by the Croatian Chamber of Economy with whom we work closely and hope others will soon join.
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% Croatian timber flooring exported
WOOD AND TIMBER INDUSTRY SOARING
Slavonian oak European floo
Croatia ranks the third timber flooring supplier in the Eu Drago Živković he recession severely hit the wood and timber industry in Croatia and resulted in over 9,000 jobs lost from the end of 2008 to the end of 2010. Since then between 700 and 800 employees have resumed working, although the job deficit is still about 8,500. The industry recovery from the beginning of this year could indicate an overall economic recovery. Overcoming the crisis is certainly encouraged by the positive trends seen on the main export markets, particularly Germany, where the construction industry is flying high again in addition to a recovery in the real estate market. Confirmation of this could be seen on the three most important interior decoration fairs in Germany, held in the second half of January: IMM in Koln, Domotex in Hannover and BAU in Munich. The crisis is definitely not the main current economic topic in Germany and further stabilisation of economic growth is expected by the strengthening of the construction sector. The strongest impression from the BAU fair is the huge optimism
of German suppliers and buyers, which encouraged the optimism of Croatian exhibitors, who returned to Croatia anticipating satisfactory business activity in 2011. Sixth year of expansion Six Croatian companies (Parketi Požgaj, DIN Novoselec, Pan parket, Drvoproizvod, DIP Karlovac and Lipa) exhibited together in
Moris Puljiz, Spačva:
Sweet torment anticipated Our timber flooring sales are stagnating. However, we produced between 11,000 and 12,000 m2 of rustic floor in January 2010 and are currently producing between 22,000 and 23,000 m2 monthly. I anticipate the quantity will continue growing as there has been a return of the British market, mostly due to investment in the London 2012 Olympic Games and an increasing number of Russians are interested in our rustic flooring. We are anticipating “sweet torment” as the demand will exceed supply, which could contribute to a price increase.
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( US$850 million export value in 2010
uropean Union and fourth solid timber flooring producer in the world
Munich, organised by the Drvni klaster from Delnice, whilst Exportdrvo had its own exhibition space. Exhibits comprised of high quality wood flooring covering, based on Slavonian oak in addition to several innovations. Croatian timber flooring quality follows innovations from the leading European producers, whilst timber industry expansion has already been
ongoing for six years. 2.2 million m2 of timber flooring in 2004 increased to 5.6 million in 2010, with 70% for export. Exports totalled about US$850 million. In Germany, an FSC certificate (international certificate of sustainable forest management) is usually required, which is an advantage for Croatian producers as Croatia has been so certified since 2001. Croatian floorers have managed to retain their high position on the European market, mostly for the quality of their timber flooring, meeting deadlines and constantly turning to new markets, opined Drvni klaster Director, Marijan Kavran. “The EU continues to be our main market, yet countries such as Russia and Turkey are launching new investment where they need a considerable amount of timber flooring. Croatia ranks as the third timber flooring supplier in the EU and the fourth solid timber floor producer in the world. Oak has the highest level of demand with about 49% of timber flooring production, which, with respect to the well known Slavonian oak quality, opens up new doors for producers on an expanding market. All
markets require certified timber flooring and the greatest success this year has been rustic flooring (wide, long planks of rustic design from solid oak), where demand exceeds supply, so much so that Spačva from Vinkovci does cannot produce sufficient quantity to meet all orders. More brand strengthening needed The demand for exotic materials has dropped considerably, so German designers avoid dark and extravagant wood on floor coverings (such as mahogany and teak), and it is often dark coloured oak which is used as an alternative to these more exotic woods. The target market for Croatian floormakers are importers, wholesalers as well as designers who are, unfortunately, less acquainted with Croatian wood products, often identifying them with low quality and low priced mass products from Eastern Europe. According to Branko Banović, representative to several Croatian companies in Germany, local wholesalers who are well acquainted with quality wood are aware of Slavonian oak and European ash,
whilst floor-makers are mostly unacquainted with it as they are constantly bombarded by Polish and other country timber flooring and cannot distinguish the origin of the raw material. Therefore, the Croatian timber flooring brand in Germany is still quite weak. However, recent efforts put into branding have had a positive impact on the results and the number of German wholesalers aware of Slavonian oak quality is increasing. The competitiveness of Croatian producers at the beginning of this year improved significantly as prices of raw materials rose across Eastern Europe, Poland and Ukraine. Some large European buyers are, therefore, turning to new suppliers and the price of Croatian timber floor is currently 15% lower than that in Poland. Producers have new competitive products, adapted to rapid delivery standards and they have been sourcing representatives in Germany. The first contacts and job offers at fairs in Germany indicate that the Croatian wood and timber industry results this year could almost equal the record of 2008, when exports totalled US$960 million, anticipated Kavran.
Ivan Požgaj, Parketi Požgaj:
Tamara Svetina, DIN Novoselec:
Investment into distribution an imperative for expansion
We have satisfactory raw material and a good image
Our export products to Germany are mostly pre-finished multi-layered timber flooring and solid furniture. Three-layered rustic timber flooring of specific width has aroused considerable interest in Britain and is our latest innovation, yet our quantity is currently limited as we need quality raw materials. We have a salesroom in Munich, which has just become profitable, but investment into distribution is an imperative for expansion.
We sell about 90% of our furniture on Western European markets so IMM is of extreme importance for us. We exhibited our wood flooring in Munich, particularly solid timber flooring, popular in Western Europe. FSC certification is also a huge advantage and we have strengthened contact with German wholesalers as well as buyers from Dubai, Iran and Turkey. Croatian producers have satisfactory raw materials and a good image.
Privredni vjesnik Year IV No 0140
( 2700 km
gas pipelines to be built by 2014
( €0.18 billion
invested into system construction
DRAGICA KRPAN, DIRECTOR OF PSP
Without investment in new storage facilities, Croatia will be in a difficult position from 2015 The Energy Sector Development Strategy of Croatia includes the construction of two new storage containers for natural gas to provide more secure supply Boris Odorčić t the beginning of 2007 Ina started separation activities for gas storage. These were completed in 2008 when Podzemno skladište plina (eng. Underground gas storage-PSP) was founded. On May 1 2009, the company became 100% owned by Plinacra. Privredni vjesnik discussed with Dragica Krpan, director of PSP, the development, investment and importance of gas storage.
What is your evaluation of Croatia’s gas market? Much has been invested into the supply of natural gas over the past several years. Most was invested in the construction and modernisation of the transport system, especially in gas pipelines. They were the biggest infrastructural energy facilities in Croatia, and a total of 2,700 kilometres of gas pipelines will be built by 2014. Last year, €0.18 billion was invested in system construction. How will such construction benefit the market? The construction of gas pipelines encouraged and speeded up the construction of the distribution network, specifically the allocation of concessions in those counties which had not been connected to gas pipelines. The development of the distribution system enables more rapid economic growth in these areas and the ultimate goal for all entities on the gas market is to increase consumption.
But there is a crisis, and consumption is reduced. This is true. However, the latest reports from the European Commission and international gas organisations point to growing consumption. This proves the crisis is on its way out and we are on the way to economic recovery and revival of production as well as industrial growth in most European countries. I believe the same will happen in Croatia. The government measures will speed up investment activity and we will reach the amount of 5% of annual consumption of gas, planned by the Energy Sector Development Strategy. Will the share of local gas production decrease as a result? Naturally it will. We must keep in mind that the local production of gas, which now secures between 63% and 87% of our needs, will decrease. It is difficult to predict
the exact amount since precise data do not exist. Therefore, Croatia will need to secure new quantities of imported gas and from more remote sources, such Africa or the Middle East. This will increase the price of gas, but also reduce energy independence. What needs to be done in order to make Croatia more independent? Above all, storage facilities must increase. The Energy Sector Development Strategy of Croatia includes the construction of two new storage sites of natural gas in order to provide a more secure supply. Without investing in new gas storage facilities, Croatia will find itself in a difficult position from 2015. Where and when will new local storage facilities be built? After PSP separated from Ina, a three-pronged development plan
was developed. Firstly, the existing storage in Okoli in Croatia will be upgraded. The goal of the company is to increase volume in Okoli from 550 million m3 to 630 million m3, and to increase the outgoing capacity of extracting gas from storage. This will provide a more secure supply in conditions of higher gas consumption during winter. We are also working on obtaining a concession for the construction of new peak gas storage in Grubišno Polje. Research has shown that the geological construction of this location makes it possible to obtain high extracting capacity from a small storage of 25 million m3. The third project regards the construction of larger regional storage units in Beničanci with a volume of 2 billion m3. These are three projects in which €41.1 million will be invested during the forthcoming three years.
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Croatia lagging, Central Europe moving away Croatian average annual GDP growth of 6% an imperative to catch up with Western Europe by 2030 Drago Živković ross domestic product in Croatia has seen the meagre growth of 3.7% over the last 20 years, with industrial production down 28% and agricultural production by 23%. Employment numbers are currently 15% lower than in 1990, the number of retirees has ballooned and the actual appreciation of the kuna has reached almost 15%. It is not surprising that the Croatian human development index currently stands at 54%, whilst in 1989 it was 77% as was stated at a round-table conference on eco-
nomic and social development, held at the Croatian Academy of Science and Art (HAZU). Urgent measures 20 years ago, Croatian GDP outperformed that of Poland by 40%; currently it lags behind Poland by 12%. Over the same period, Slovakia lagged behind Croatia by 17%, whilst it currently ranks 30% higher. The human development index in Slovenia and the Czech Republic was some 15% higher than Croatia and currently in Slovenia it stands at 62% higher and in the Czech Republic 51%.
Although the war and the postwar period undoubtedly contributed to this state of affairs, the key issue was the lack of work and employment as well as the preference for redistribution over the creation of added value, according to Tihomir Domazet, President of the Croatian Institute for Finance and Accounting. Domazet proposed a solution based on urgent anti-recession measures and a range of development strategies. He suggested that the Croatian National Bank and the government provide low interest funds urgently, that monetary and fiscal policies become the start-point
for assistance to companies and projects and to encourage demand by a range of measures, including budgetary and salary policy reforms. Vladimir Stipetić, a member of the academy, drew his conclusions, based on the example of agriculture, that the situation in Croatia is parallel to other South-eastern European countries, which is why the entire area may be regarded as the most backward part of Europe. Croatian average annual GDP growth of 6% is an imperative for Croatia to catch up with Western Europe, which Stipetić considers highly unlikely.
NATIONAL CLEARING SYSTEM
Dun&Bradstreet on Croatia
135.5 million transactions last year
Business remains closely monitored
National clearing system (NKS) owned by the Financial agency has marked the first decade of its work. NKS is a payment system for the continuous clearing of funds transfer orders of small value between participants based on a multilateral net principle, where the settlement account result is the final nett position on settlement accounts at the end of an NKS clearing day.
From the initial 62.2 million processed payment transactions in the first 11 months in 2001, the number of transactions in 2010 rose by more than 100%, amounting to 131.5 million. Currently there are about 500,000 processed transactions daily
with an average total value of about €0.34 billion. The record number of processed transactions within one clearing day totalled 1,033,920. Fina has been continuously promoting its payment system over the last ten years, meeting the needs of the Croatian National Bank which regulates and controls the system and the Croatian Banking Association. Therefore, the Council of NKS Members was founded, constituted of all participating Croatian banks as well as the Croatian National Bank, the Croatian banking Association, the Croatian Chamber of Economy and Fina. Council meetings are opportunities for informing banks on NKS business transactions and the best way for the users to express their vision of the system in the future through personal contact as well as give proposals for any improvement. This trend is also expected in the future with special emphasis on Fina participation in the adaptation of the national payment system to European payment trends and standards. (V.A.)
In the latest edition of the International Risk&Payment Review, which includes business risk assessments of 132 countries, the reporting agency Dun&Bradstreet still puts Croatia amongst countries with a mild investment risk, according to the statement of the credit reporting agency BonLine. Business risk in Croatia remains closely monitored due to the decrease in bank lending activity, an increased number of bankruptcies and weak economic recovery. D&B therefore recommends all goods to be insured under a letter of credit. Concern was also expressed about the slow rate of economic recovery (0.2% GDP growth), a 9.5% fall in investment activity in the private and public sector compared with the year before and a fall in government spending for the fifth consecutive quarter. The latest available data point to a temporary recovery and the fact that the economic downturn will continue. This is confirmed by data on the drop in industrial pro-
duction and also the construction sector as well as rising unemployment, whilst any growth in lending remains weak. This resulted in a 1.5% GDP fall in 2010 and slight 1.3% growth in 2011, according to D&B’s evaluation. D&B also states that weak fiscal policy led S&P to lower their long-term rating to BBB, which puts Croatia at the bottom end of the investment class. However, D&B gave a positive mark to the government new fiscal act according to which it will attempt to decrease public spending by 1% of GDP each year. Even though this is a good plan, D&B remains sceptical as to whether this will this manage to limit government spending during this year. (V.A.)
Privredni vjesnik Year IV No 0140
CROATIAN FOREIGN CURRENCY MARKET Currency
AUD CAD JPY CHF GBP USD EUR Source: HNB
Kuna exchange mid-rate
5,470077 5,490743 6,563317 5,632184 8,764283 5,481809 7,411954
WEEK FEBRUARY 12, 2011
HKO TO ACCESS DATA ON 40 MILLION COMPANIES
Vaba bank: nett profit of €0.14 million According to unaudited data, Vaba bank had successful business in 2010 . Nett interest income was 14.8% up over 2009 and by retaining the level of expenditure to that of last year impacted on the 29.8% increase of profit before provisions. Due to difficult economic conditions, nett expenditure, provisions and adjustments soared from €0.31 million to €1.17 million, having a serious effect upon nett profit, plunging from €0.70 million to €0.14 million.
INTERNATIONAL ROUTE IS EASIER
Erste Maestro Plus: over €12.05 million in new lending Erste&Steiermarkische Bank new consumer lending stood at over €12.05 million in the first nine months after introducing their unique service in Croatia, Erste Maestro Plus. It loaned Maestro card current account users with some €11.72 million, payable in instalments. Concurrently, the transaction volume of purchased goods at contracted points of sale amounted to almost €0.37 million. A significant number of clients opted for repayment of withdrawn cash over a longer term, most often in 12 instalments. When interest rates do not fly Raiffeisen building society launched a media campaign aimed at informing the general public on the most favourable housing loans on the market, with a fixed interest rate of 0.5% and a fixed monthly annuity throughout the loan repayment period. The campaign was called “When interest rates do not fly” These loans can also be granted in kuna, are not affected by exchange rate alterations, have a favourable interest rate and a short repayment period.
Hrvatsko kreditno osiguranje has created a subsidiary company, Poslovni info servis, whose main goal is to asses risk and evaluate the credit status of companies
Boris Odorčić rvatsko kreditno osiguranje (HKO – Croatian Credit Insurance), is the first insurance agency specialising in receivables collection from business organisations. From its foundation in July 2010 until the end of last year, it achieved written gross premiums of €0.21 million. HKO offers its clients insurance of current receivables against political and commercial risks, with a deadline from 180 days to one year at maximum, covering the sale of goods and services in Croatia and abroad. At the end of October 2010 HKO created a sister company, Poslovni info servis, whose main task
is to assess risk and evaluate the creditworthiness of companies. Edvard Ribarić, board president of HKO, says that one advantage for the (currently) 26 Croatian exporters and clients of the company is decreased financial risk, which leads to better loss protection. Better risk management Another advantage is positive influence on cash flow, which enables better collection of claims or compensation and improves possibilities of indebtedness. Moreover, HKO’s clients can better manage risk, improve sales, and attract new clients and markets, increasing competitiveness. It is also important to note that HKO provides its clients with a
direct access to the Euler Hermes network, a leading credit insurance company with a 36% share of the global market and a database of 40 million companies. Entrepre-
Clients can better manage risk, improve sales, and attract new clients and markets, increasing competitiveness neurs can thus quickly check with whom they are dealing when exporting and decrease or eliminate the risk of problematic collection of claims at an early stage.
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MANPOWER HRVATSKA, ZAGREB
OPG ANTE DUNDIĆ, GRABOVAC
Zoo and museum of hunting Visitors to the farm can see and use various types of antique tools, carriages and two-wheeled vehicles, hike, ride and drive
PHOTO: Slobodna Dalmacija
Easy way to real employees Many highly educated people cannot find work showing state education is not in harmony with business market needs he companies Manpower Hrvatska and Manpower counselling were founded in Croatia at the end of 2008.
Companies need to make painful decisions, cutting the number of employees. Therefore they need to take into consideration an alternative way of managing them, such as outplacement They are part of the Manpower Corporation with around 4,000 offices in 82 countries. They offer various solutions to employees, including successful tools for talent assessment in order to link them to the appropriate candidate. “We offer counselling services in the area of market research, so that new companies can find out in advance the local business climate, information on where to find talented people who would take up the required positions, information about their expectations in the financial sense and how competition might effect the demand for talented people,” explains Tomislav Marjanović, operational man-
ager with Manpower Hrvatska. When he took over Manpower’s management in Croatia, he was faced with a series of challenges, starting with bureaucracy and the market, since companies need time to realise the advantages of outsourcing and to focus on the main subject of business as well as a long-term vision of development and success. “However, it was precisely this challenge that delighted me about the professional opportunity – to develop and expand business from its foundations, enabling companies and individuals to become winners in the volatile professional world,” says Marjanović. Acceptance of life-long learning Many companies are pessimistic about the economic situation. Companies need to make painful decisions, cutting the number of employees. Therefore they need to take into consideration an alternative way of managing them, such as outplacement, so they can attract these employees again when the economy boosts, opines Marjanović. Another problem is that many highly educated people cannot find work. People need to accept the concept of life-long learning if they want to participate on the labour market, concludes Marjanović. (B.O.)
nce the Sveti Ilija tunnel is completed, it will contribute to the development of tourism in the underdeveloped area of Dalmatinska zagora, connecting it with the tourist riviera of Makarska. However, despite the development possibilities of tourism, only a few entrepreneurs dared to invest in tourism in the municipalities of Šestanovac and Zagvozd. One of rare people who did so is Ante Dundić. After 30 years of working in Germany, he invested his savings in the renovation of his birthplace in Grabovac. Dundić intended his family house and estate for tourists, and
The news about this unique museum and its owners has been published in 24 foreign magazines also created a small zoo with around 260 animals. Amongst several breeds of horses, roe deer, fallow deer, mouflons, chamois, wild boar, Vietnamese pigs, bears, poultry and birds, he is especially proud of the Lipicaner horses he has recently bought. His association Zecan has its headquarters on the estate and is responsible for horse and game breeding. Visitors to the farm can see and use vari-
ous types of antique tools, carriages and two-wheeled vehicles, hike, ride and drive in carriages Children’s’ delight In addition to tourists from all over the world, the estate has become a favourite destination for Croatian hikers and school children. Three years ago, Dundić renovated and opened the first private museum of hunting, containing over 650 exhibits. He is proud to say that foreign reporters have become interested in stories from his museum. The news about this unique museum and its owners has been published in 24 foreign magazines. He is also proud of the 54 medals won for his hunting trophies. However, he expected more help from state institutions, since the amount he is receiving now is so small that it does not cover food expenses for animals, even for a couple of days. “I do not know what more I could do to cover basic expenses,” opines Dundić. Notwithstanding, it is clear to everyone who has visited the estate that it has great tourist potential, especially since it is located only a few kilometres from the motorway. (J.V.)
Privredni vjesnik Year IV No 0140
( € 8 million water park investment
( € 35.000 annual concession fee
NEW TOURISM PROJECTS
Sea, snow, valley, hill Over €100 million to be invested in a water-park construction and a ski centre on Velebit mountain
Sanja Plješa rojects related to the construction of a water-park project near Zadar and a ski centre on Velebit mountain date back some two years, yet finalisation is nowhere in sight. Notwithstanding they have a value of over €100 million and that they should have been completed last year or this at the latest, they are on hold due to the current economic crisis.
Trip back in time The theme park “Winnetou” covering an area of 30 hectares, will be constructed along the Zrmanja canyon and the main road leading from Maslenica to Zaton Obrovački, for which the urbandevelopment plan has been made and has already obtained a location permit. We are currently working on ownership regulations and on obtaining the construction permit. Visitors to the theme park will travel the locations and facilities shown in films that were made in this area in the 1960’s.
“The water park concept covering an area of 4 hectares originated in a Hungarian investors proposal, as they were interested in the location and it is a fortunate circumstance that there is an appropriate area for such a construction. The ski centre concept originated from the Lovinac municipality and, as we also liked the idea, we decided to become involved”, stated Martin Baričević, head of Jasenice municipality. “Currently the start of work on the ski centre cannot be defined. We have been working on the preliminaries, the area has been demined, conceptual plans created and we are anticipating further activity. The situation concerning the water park construction, with €8 million investment, is slightly better defined and the start of work depends upon the construction documentation. Investors have been granted a 50 year concession, at €35,000 annually”. The water park and the ski centre will create new jobs and some 120 mostly seasonal staff is anticipated to be employed in the water park alone.
::: news €20.8 million loan to Croatia Last week, the World Bank approved a loan of €20.8 million, in order to help Croatia to successfully prepare for EU accession in the area of environmental protection. Total funding of this project equals €43.7 million, of which the government will provide €2.9 million, in addition to co-funding from paralleled structural EU funds of €20 million. The deadline for redemption is 20 years, including a grace period of five years.
EC co-financing BIOCentar project The European Commission gave the Croatian business and innovation centre BICRO, the government agency for the implementation of programmes for technological support, its approval for the construction and foundation of BIOCentar, an incubation centre for bioscience and the commercialisation of science. Total investment is €18.8 million, of which €16.4 will go into the construction, monitoring and fitting, funded through the Ipa programme.
Janaf profit plummets 10% Last year profits from Jadranski naftovod plummeted by €1.64 million or 10.2% to €14.58 million on an annual basis, according to the Zagreb Stock Exchange. Profits significantly dropped in the last quarter of 2010, slumping by 57% to €2.05 million over 2009. Total profit of Janaf amounted to €64.25 million in 2010, which is 0.9% up over 2009, whereas total expenditure increased by 6.9%, to €45.82 million.