In 2019, foreign direct investments (FDI) in Croatia totalled €1.24 billion, or 19 percent up from the year before, and the largest single-year amount since 2014, according to data recently released by the central bank.
By country of origin, the single largest investing country was Luxembourg, where €286 million of FDI investments came from. It was followed by Austria (€257 million), Slovenia (€140.8 million) and Germany (€135 million).
A major FDI outflow was reported with Switzerland, worth €157.8 million.
From 1993 – when investment statistics were first began to be collected – through 2019, Croatia received €31.8 billion of foreign direct investments. Over that entire 26-year period, banking sector accounted for more than 22 percent of FDI, followed by investments in wholesale trade (9.3 percent) and real estate transactions (6.9 percent).
Commenting on these figures, Raiffeisen Bank analysts said although foreign investments bring positive effects to local companies, a major problem that Croatia has yet to overcome in attracting more FDI is the largely unfavourable business climate.
They illustrate this by Croatia’s position in Global Competitiveness Report rankings, compiled by the World Economic Forum, which ranks 141 countries based on business policies, institutions, and overall productivity.
In the 2019 report, Croatia placed 63rd – up five spots from 2018.
Although this means Croatia was ranked in front of other countries in the region such as Serbia (72nd), Montenegro (73rd), Albania (81st), North Macedonia (82nd), and Bosnia and Herzegovina (92nd), it also placed Croatia behind all other countries of the European Union, and among only three countries of the bloc oustide the global top 50, along with Romania (51st) and Greece (59th).