ZAGREB, September 10, 2015 – The Minister of Economy, H.E. Ivan Vrdoljak, and the World Bank’s Country Manager for Croatia, Mr. Carlos Piñerúa, jointly hosted a presentation of the Doing Business Reform Memorandum which discusses business environment reforms in the Republic of Croatia.
The Memorandum highlights a series of recommendations on short and medium term reform opportunities, following the ten areas of regulatory reform measured by the World Bank’s Doing Business report. It was prepared by World Bank experts with the support of experts from the Croatian Agency for Investments and Competitiveness. The recommendations could help the Government of Croatia to have a direct impact on business conditions through legal, regulatory and administrative reforms.
For example, in the area of ‘Starting a Business’, it is recommended to eliminate both the requirement of obtaining a company seal and the paid-in minimum capital requirement for Limited Liability Companies, as well as to implement e-signatures for individuals. Furthermore, all registration processes should be made fully electronic, along with the introduction of a single integrated platform for out-of-court business registration with the taxpayers office, the Croatian Bureau of Statistics, the Croatian Institute for Health Insurance and the Croatian Institute for Pension Insurance.
Some of the medium term measures include reforms such as the removal of land registration from county courts and merging the Land Registry and Cadastre. The recommendations also stress the importance of accelerating the pace of court and bankruptcy procedures, facilitation of debt collection and further development of e-tools in fields of business registration, construction permits and tax collection where considerable efforts have already begun to show visible results.
“The World Bank is encouraged to see the progress and the results of doing business reforms in Croatia,” said Carlos Piñerúa, World Bank Country Manager for Croatia. “However, there is further room for improvement which can be accomplished through sustained efforts and continued focus on economic development policies and business environment reforms. Speedier implementation of these regulatory reforms will not only stimulate job creation and improve the investment climate but will also speed up economic recovery by attracting private sector investments.”
Minister Vrdoljak expressed his appreciation for the recommendations provided by the World Bank and highlighted activities implemented so far by the Government to improve the business environment in Croatia.
“Through sustained efforts and continuous coordination, only introduced during the mandate of this government, the Ministry of Economy, the Agency for Investments and Competitiveness and the competent public administration bodies reversed the negative trends. The work resulted in the enhancement of the business climate, improvement of the investment environment and the reduction of para fiscal fees. Positive results were also achieved in companies’ business operations, investments and the overall economy. These improvements were also noted in the last World Bank Doing Business report in which Croatia was ranked 65th out of 189 countries covered by report,” asserted Ivan Vrdoljak, Minister of Economy of the Republic of Croatia.
Considering the undertaken reform activities, Minister Vrdoljak trusts that positive results may be noted in the forthcoming Doing Business report. The report is expected to be launched at the end of October of this year.
Both parties stressed the need to continue improving the business environment in Croatia and to continue the cooperation between Croatian public administration and the World Bank. The World Bank will continue to support the implementation of regulatory reforms in Croatia.