EBRD adopts new strategy for Croatia

By Axel  Reiserer

The EBRD has adopted a new strategy for the country which sets out the Bank’s priorities in the period 2013-2016. The Strategy was adopted ahead of Croatia’s accession to the European Union on 1 July 2013.

EU membership will be an important landmark, rewarding many years of comprehensive reforms. Croatia joins the European Union well-prepared. The continuation of prudent economic policies and an accelerated implementation of the reform agenda are essential to make full use of EU accession.

The EBRD stands ready to assist these efforts and will focus its activities in Croatia on the following:

  • Restoring sustainable growth: The EBRD will continue to provide finance to meet demand for long-term investment as well as working capital financing and financial restructuring in the framework of the Joint IFI Action Plan for Growth in Central and South Eastern Europe. Support for the corporate sector will focus on providing finance to small and medium-sized enterprises and available to local companies as well as foreign investors.
  • EU accession: In order to make best use of the benefits EU membership can bring, the EBRD will concentrate on selected areas where EU Structural Funds and EBRD financing can be combined, including the municipal sector. The Bank will also provide financing, mainly through financial intermediaries, to facilitate investments by corporates to enhance their competitiveness.
  • Public sector enterprises: The Bank will work with the authorities to accelerate the reform of publicly-owned companies in the infrastructure sector to strengthen the absorption capacity for EU funds. Progress in restructuring large infrastructure utilities is expected to boost the country’s economic performance.

To date the EBRD has signed some 150 projects in Croatia for a total amount of €2.75 billion. The Bank’s investments are split between the industry, commerce and agribusiness sectors, the energy sector, the financial sector and the infrastructure sector. The year alone the EBRD plans to invest some €230 million in the country focusing on corporates, municipalities and support for cross-border initiatives.