- Published: 12.02.2020.
PM: Companies owned by Croats from Bosnia strongly contribute to Croatia's GDP
Companies in Croatia managed by Croats born in Bosnia and Herzegovina employ more than 11,000 people and strongly contribute to GDP, and the Prsten association is working excellently in strengthening ties between the two countries, Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said on Wednesday opening the Prsten Business Forum Zagreb 2020.
Addressing the forum that was organised by the Prsten Association of Croats from Bosnia and Herzegovina on the topic "Education and entrepreneurship: Challenges of Croatia's future," Plenkovic said that the association has for years been strengthening ties among Croats from Bosnia and Herzegovina and that it is doing an excellent job in strengthening ties between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia.
"The association's special value is that it cares for all Croats who live in Bosnia and Herzegovina, regardless of which part of the country they live in. Their contribution to companies working in Croatia is very large and their owners, co-owners, founders are Croats from BiH. More than 11,000 people work in their companies. They significantly contribute to overall GDP. They are a strong connection between the two countries and help our young people and in BiH, particularly Croats, with various scholarships," Plenkovic underscored.
He added that every Croatian government has taken extra steps to help Bosnia and Herzegovina. "Croats have a strong position as a constituent people in BiH. This approach, approach by education and approach by enterprises, is concrete, good, necessary and right," Plenkovic said and underscored that education enhances the culture, language and identity of a country.
The government has ensured the necessary steps to connect entrepreneurship with education, he said and underscored that the government has shown resilience, resoluteness and strength to secure better living standards.
He recalled that the fourth round of the tax reform introduced reliefs in the economy of €1.21 million and said that a new plan that the Economy Ministry is preparing will provide even greater cuts to non-tax contributions and other administrative levies which, he added, will not only reduce costs for entrepreneurs but also cut red tape.
He said that the government supports elderly people returning to the labour market and that it is providing scholarships, particularly for shortage occupations.
"Cooperation between Croatia and BiH is very good. BiH is our friend. Trade between the two countries is worth €2 billion and we will continue our cooperation," concluded Plenkovic and recalled that during the term of his government, a Zagreb-Mostar flight was introduced, the national HRT broadcaster opened an office in BiH, the Croatian Chamber of Commerce has its branch office there and the government supports the Mostar Clinical Hospital as well as the Croatian National Theatre project in Mostar.
The president of Prsten's business club, Ivica Nuic said that the association's membership consists of 210 businesses that operate in Croatia and account for 5.5% of Croatia's GDP.
The association, among other things, advocates education reforms, seeing that Croatia's economy has a shortage of qualified labour. Nuic said that the association's members had invested about €1.35 million into the additional training of its workers.
Prsten's president, Pavo Zubak, expects further government subsidies for education for those occupations that are currently experiencing a shortage. Addressing the prime minister, Zubak said that he expects the government to deliver political stability and a good education system and that the rest is up to entrepreneurs.