A growing number of Italian companies want to move production to Croatia
August 11, 2021 – An increasing number of companies based in Italy wish to start moving the production part of their activities to the Republic of Croatia. Could this further strengthen the economic ties between Italian companies and those here in Croatia? It is probable.
As Poslovni Dnevnik / Marija Brnic writes, for the third month in a row Italy is very firmly in the position of Croatia’s leading export market. Last year, during the country’s lockdown in the face of the global coronavirus pandemic which was declared by Italy much earlier than other European countries, exports to this country fell significantly and the traditional status of the main destination of Croatian products was taken over by Germany. .
In the first five months of 2021, Croatian exports have made good progress in both markets, but they are still stronger in Italy and, as data from the Central Bureau of Statistics show, the recovery so far has been accompanied a much better export result than that of the same period in 2019.
In the first five months of this year, a total of 899 million euros of goods were placed in neighboring Italy, which is seven million euros more than before the 2019 pandemic, and compared to the first five months of 2020 is a jump of 235 million euros.
In addition to exports, imports from Italy are also increasing significantly, although they are still below the values reached in the first five months of 2019. They amount to 1.32 billion euros. euros and are lower by around 300 million euros.
“Our predictions were that we would have the start of a resumption of bilateral relations, but the figures recorded and the momentum of the first part of the year exceeded all our expectations,” said Andrea Perkov, General Secretary of the Italo-Croatian Community. . Chamber of Commerce. The real expansion of the already close economic relations of these two neighboring countries, she says, is eagerly awaited.
“The crisis of last year has resulted in a change of commercial orientation among Italian companies, which has long been present to one degree or another, and that is the transfer of activities and production to d ‘other markets, even distant ones. With the coronavirus pandemic having gained the upper hand, this trend was interrupted, and during the first part of the year we recorded a huge increase in the interest of Italian companies in relocation of their production and the expansion of their business here in Croatia, ”said Perkov.
The more distant destinations in which Italian companies operated were mainly China and North African countries, with regard to non-EU countries, Serbia and within the EU, Bulgaria and Romania led the way. . Today, between 60 and 70 Italian companies have already expressed their interest in investing in Croatia, most of the demands regarding infrastructure and food production.
The sites studied are mainly in Istria, which is not surprising as many prefer bilingualism as well as good infrastructure and road links, but Perkov points out that he is also interested in the counties of Split-Dalmatia and Medjimurje. . .
With representatives of Italian companies at the level of the Italian system that connects the chambers (the Italian Institute of Commerce and the Embassy in Croatia), many meetings and communications on possible investments have been organized, and Perkov sees a particular interest in establish bilateral relations in the engagement of the Italian Ambassador to Croatia Pierfrancesco Sacco who took office last year.
The Croatian NPOO, the text of which has already been translated into Italian, should give additional impetus to a closer link between Italian companies and Croatia. When it comes to investment, cost is not an issue for Italian companies, but, according to the Italian-Croatian Chamber of Commerce, concerns about the notorious slowness of the Croatian administration and legal uncertainty prevail. .
While the shock of the pandemic has “reset” everything globally, Italians are now much more inclined to do business in their nearest neighborhood, with an industry registering intensive cooperation and networking, as well as mutual investments. IT, a booming sector in Croatia, will more or less dictate the pace.
Regarding exports, it is not yet possible to determine from official statistics whether any of the products particularly rebounded in the market during the first part of this year and pushed the overall result, but in recent years, the structure of Croatian exports has been dominated by wood, metal and textile and food industry.
With the implementation of the projects under preparation, Andrea Perkov is convinced that further strong growth in exports and total trade between Croatia and Italy can be expected with a healthy dose of healthy optimism. .
Besides Italy and Italian companies, an increase in exports is regularly recorded in most of the major markets, and the only significant drop in statistics is indicated in relations with Luxembourg, where last year the value of exports increased. exceeded 122 million euros in five months. , and this year it is only 5 million euros.
That said, exports to Luxembourg tend to fluctuate strongly and vary anyway due to the reliance on shipbuilding exports, which are lacking this year.
It can also be said that the case of Italy reflects the overall result of Croatian exports, which reached a record result of a total of 7.11 billion euros over five months, which far exceeds the previous highest level. high before the 2019 crisis, of 895 million euros in total.
The result will be even higher at the six-month level, as preliminary data from CBS shows first-half exports reached 8.72 billion euros, nearly 1.34 billion euros more than first half of the record, before the 2019 pandemic.
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