hrvatska gospodarska komora - HGK.jpg
Photograph: HINA/ Damir SENČAR /ds

Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK) President Luka Burilovic said on Wednesday that policy makers had to make decisions more quickly and courageously and that reforms had to be implemented more successfully.

"Policy makers must make decisions more quickly and courageously and reforms must be implemented more successfully," Burilovic said at an HGK convention.

Burilovic said that prosperity required "concerted action of all stakeholders".

He added that the growing public debt, lack of investments, low employment and high unemployment were concerning.

Burilovic reiterated that forecasts indicated an increase in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of around 2 percent this year, but noted that this was not sufficient. "We need a growth rate of 3 to 4 percent just to service our debts, while significant economic growth and development require a greater growth rate," he said.

HGK analyst Zvonimir Savic said that main macroeconomic indicators (industrial production, retail, exports...) in the first quarter of this year showed a continuing growth of GDP, and the HGK forecast that the maximum growth in 2016 could be 2 percent, which, he said, was not sufficient to remove the existing macro-economic imbalances.

As for public debt, Savic said that it currently accounted for 86% of GDP.

He underscored that according to EU indicators, Croatia had the worst statistics in terms of public debt and gross foreign debt and that there did not seem to be any solution to these problems in the long term.

The best indicator of the state of our economy is the situation on the labour market where despite the current positive trend impacted by the upcoming tourism season, the unemployment rate is 15.1%, Savic said, adding that many other labour market indicators put Croatia among the worst EU member-states.

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