Although the coronavirus outbreak affecting neighbouring Italy is not expected to cause any major problems in business operations or supply chains, a prolonged crisis might have negative effects for Croatia's economy as Italy is one of its main trading partners, Croatia's chamber of commerce HGK said on Wednesday.
"If the current situation does not last for a prolonged period, we do not expect any problems," HGK told the state agency Hina.
Retail outlets are prepared and they have stocked up on supplies, although many stores have noticed a somewhat higher turnover, they added.
"It is not possible at the moment to estimate how much the situation with coronavirus might affect Croatia's economy, but we can say for certain that there will be some consequences," HGK said.
Although Croatian companies have not reported any significant problems in doing business with Italy and China, the situation could take a turn for the worse if the measures currently in place to contain the outbreak remain in force.
HGK warned that if the crisis in Italy escalates, it might cause problems for Croatian companies as the Italy is one of Croatia's major trading partners and export markets.
"...closure of borders, or the potential slowdown of Italy's economic growth, could affect Croatian companies in telecommunications, construction, personal services, commercial services, and trade industries. In addition to hurting Croatian exporters, the crisis could also cause problems for companies in the tourist industry as well as logistics, particularly those who depend on Italy as a transit route for goods in the wood-processing sector, clothing industry, and energy - our key industries when it comes to Croatian exports to Italy," HGK said.