With moderate optimism CEA urges Government to implement other reforms


Zagreb, 12 December 2016 - The traditional pre-holiday gathering of members of the Croatian Employers' Association pointed out that the optimism of entrepreneurs is growing, but at the same time the Government was invited to take advantage of current favorable circumstances to carry out broad reforms and measures that ensure sustainability and greater economic growth.

President of the Croatian Employers' Association Gordana Deranja said that GDP growth for eight consecutive quarters rightly brings optimism among employers and among citizens, but businesses are still cautious because next year will bring many challenges to which the Government has yet to provide the right answers.
"We welcome the Government's announcement of GDP growth above 3% for the next year, but we are concerned that it is largely based on the expected growth of consumption. In addition, we can not be satisfied as with the first weak growth gives up stronger fiscal consolidation by reducing the budget expenditures. They will, unfortunately, grow again. If we want to move forward and get away from the economic bottom of the European Union, then the problems should be solved, and we should not continue to look away from them. The Government has entered into a mandate with tax reform, but as one swallow does not make a summer, so one reform does not bring significant changes.

The previous Government reforms have not wanted to deal with real issues and chose some easier way. That's why we are where we are. Therefore, we are eagerly awaiting the government's concrete steps that will lead to the further unburdening of the economy and creating an environment that encourages entrepreneurial initiative and the investments ", said Gordana Deranja.

The Director General of CEA, Davor Majetić presented the new results of HUP Skor according to which Croatia's position in relation to other transition countries, members of the European Union, has improved by only a single point.

"The Croatian score is 34 out of a possible 100. At the same time the Romanian is 50, Bulgarian 51, Slovenian 59, Estonian 68, and Lithuanian 69. No one can be satisfied with such an outcome. It illustrates how our current growth must not deceive us. We are still very far from the zone of security and stability, stronger growth of what we need and what we want. Solid foundations for such growth have yet to set up, and it is necessary to change the current situation - a combination of smaller and larger reforms. Without them, we will stagnate and decline in relation to other countries.“- warned Davor Majetić.

Vedrana Jelusic on behalf of the EBRD and Bernard Jakelić on behalf of the CEA reported the progress of the joint project initiative of the private sector for youth (PSY). It is a project that connects higher education institutions and businesses in order to enable young people to seek out practice during their studies and gain practical knowledge and skills that increase their chances of employment. The project was announced in October and included 21 educational institutions and 110 companies. Thanks to the great response the companies have already secured 500 places for student practice, and it is expected that this number will be even greater as new companies will apply. The first practice will start in February 2017, and before that trainings for mentors will be organized in order to ensure a high level of usefulness and practice for students and for employers through the implementation of best European experiences.
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