Construction and Zoning Minister Anka Mrak Taritas said on Wednesday that according to the World Bank's Doing Business 2016 report, Croatia had made an enormous progress in the construction sector and that current ranking in the category "Dealing with construction permits" that is still relatively low was the result of numerous pre-investment taxes and contributions, such as water and utility contributions, which the minister said must be resolved in a different way.

"Croatia ranks 40th in the world and that is an exceptionally big success which we can only be proud of. When it comes to the construction sector ( "Dealing with construction permits" indicator), last year we were below the 180th place and now we are 129th, which means we moved up by 60 places. A great step was made, an enormous progress," Mrak Taritas told Hina.

The minister explained that the rankings in the construction sector depended on four segments -- the quality of construction, the issuing of construction and occupancy permits, taxes and contributions that must be paid before the construction starts and special conditions and consents, such as fire protection, conservatory requests, etc.

"A big step has been made, a huge progress. We moved up 60 places from last year and clearly the problem is neither the permit nor the quality, but the other two things that are not directly in the jurisdiction of this ministry but this too can be resolved through good cooperation," Mrak Taritas said.

She also commented on the procedure of issuing professional certifications for real estate which the report also mentions, adding that obtaining property certificates would become normal and that everything would have certificates and people in two years and people would get used to it.

Croatia ranks 40th out of 189 countries covered by a report from the World Bank that has assessed conditions for doing business in those economies, according to the latest "Doing Business 2016" publication.

The latest publication has been compiled according to amended methodology used by the World Bank, and it now shows that last year Croatia was 39th on the ranking instead of 65th, as initially published in the "Doing Business  2015" publication released last year.

In the latest report, Croatia scored the maximum 100 points in the category "Trading across borders".

When it comes to "Enforcing contracts", Croatia ranks 10th. It occupies the 29th place in the indicator "Protecting minority investors", while its performance measured by the indicator "Paying taxes" puts it at the 38th place.

Croatia ranks 59th in "Resolving insolvency", and 60th when it comes to "Registering property". Croatia's performance in "Getting electricity" puts it at the 66th place. It ranks 70th when it comes to "Getting credit", and 83rd "in the category "Starting a business".

Croatia's worst ranking is in the category "Dealing with construction permits", as it is 129th country out of 189 economies.

The World Bank said that Croatia had made it easier to enforce contracts and judgements by introducing an electronic system to handle public sales of movable assets and by streamlining the enforcement process as a whole. In particular, Croatia scores particularly well on the new quality of judicial administration index, where it obtains the maximum possible score on the sub-index analysing the local court structures (5 out of 5 points) indicating, among others, that the economy has dedicated systems in place to solve commercial cases and small claims.

Croatia is also one of only 6 economies that score 5.5 out of 6 points on the new sub-index examining the use of case management techniques. In the Registering Property indicator, Croatia’s ranking improved due to the introduction of the new quality of land administration index, where Croatia ranks at the top quartile of economies. 

In the Dealing with Construction Permits indicator, Croatia introduced the new building quality control index and scored 12 out of 15 possible points. Croatia fares particularly well on quality of building regulations, quality control during and after construction and in professional certification requirements.

“We are encouraged to see the progress made by the authorities in making it easier for investors and entrepreneurs to do business in Croatia. Such efforts need to be sustained and deepened in the years to come. Speedier implementation of these regulatory reforms will not only improve the investment climate and stimulate job creation but it will also accelerate the economic recovery by attracting private sector investments,” said Carlos Pinerua, World Bank Country Manager for Croatia.

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