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FEATURE STORY March 13, 2019

Croatia and the World Bank Group – 25 Years of Partnership

Croatia’s partnership with the World Bank Group began in 1993. Over the past twenty-five years, we have worked together on post-conflict reconstruction, social and economic recovery, economic stability, and Croatia’s preparation for European Union accession. We have focused on infrastructure reconstruction, strengthening public institutions, improving the provision of services to citizens, and ensuring better protection of the most vulnerable members of society.

Download our 25th Anniversary Brochure

At a Glance

The World Bank and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) have supported over 80 projects to a total of EUR 4.8 billion, produced over 300 research studies, and provided a wide range of technical assistance to help strengthen Croatia’s institutions and support policymaking.

Our current program focuses on:

  • Ensuring public roads and railway companies are more competitive and less reliant on state subsidies.
  • Supporting the innovation ecosystem and connecting public research institutions with business.
  • Improving the business environment.
  • Supporting new growth opportunities in Slavonia, Baranja and Srijem, helping with the preparation of the National Development Strategy.
  • Supporting the Ministry of Agriculture in the formulation of rural and fisheries strategies.
  • Modernizing health and land administration systems to provide better and quicker services to people.
  • Improving the investment climate and providing investments in the financial sector, agribusiness, tourism, renewable energy, retail and manufacturing, through the IFC.

World Bank Portfolio by Sector, 1993-2018


Visit the interactive timeline showcasing the World Bank Group's support and partnership with Croatia.


The removal of landmines after the war, with help from the World Bank, allowed for the reconstruction of bridges, roads and railway lines, the restoration of irrigation and flood protection systems in Eastern Slavonia, the revitalization of agricultural production, and the development of tourism in areas of special state concern, as well as the safe return of displaced people to their land.

The World Bank Group provided funding for over 400 community infrastructure and economic revitalization projects, including the construction of kindergartens, schools and community centers, repairs to water supply systems, and grants to small and medium enterprises, artisans, businesses and cooperatives in war-affected areas. 

Over 230,000 people in 23 coastal municipalities benefited from better provision of efficient and sustainable water services through the construction or upgrading of wastewater collection, treatment and disposal systems along the Adriatic coast.

We provided financial support to companies during the recent economic crisis. As a result, the level of exports of supported companies increased by 19% through improved access to finance during the economic slump, while financed companies increased their exports by EUR 225 million.

We helped transform Croatia’s two largest international seaports at Rijeka and Ploče into gateways to European corridors by introducing long-term concessions by private investors and expanding current terminals and building new ones.

Modernization of the land administration system brought about a major reduction in case backlogs and reduced the transaction time for mortgages from 46 days to 12 days in Land Registry Offices, and from 30 to 8 days in Cadaster Offices.

Over 100 innovative companies and 40 research groups were awarded R&D financing to improve their products and services, increase their presence on the market, and find new market niches.

Future Partnership

Our goal for the future is to help Croatia continue to create a fair and inclusive society where businesses, communities and regions have the opportunity to prosper for the benefit of everyone. Where public institutions provide effective and efficient services to people and where Croatia’s natural capital is preserved and used in a sustainable way.

This is our vision for the years to come. Investing in people will guide our strategy and projects.