tihomir orešković.jpg
Photograph: HINA/ Lana SLIVAR DOMINIĆ/ lsd

Prime Minister Tihomir Oreskovic said on Wednesday that parafiscal charges for companies would be cut by about 330 million kuna (4 million euros) or 0.1 percent of GDP by the end of this year and that an online central land registry would be established.

The introduction of an online central land registry is a key reform that will speed up many other decisions by the government, such as issuance of building permits, Oreskovic told the conference "Business Climate in Croatia - An Opportunity or Challenge", organised by the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK).

Among the measures that the government plans to carry out are simplification of the legislative framework and public administration reform. "I believe that the reforms planned by the government will make doing business easier," the prime minister said.

He said that the government would create a EUR 500 million fund for small and medium enterprises.

Oreskovic recalled that he had presented the 2016 budget proposal to Parliament on Tuesday, adding that the budget was the first part of the four-year plan to get the country out of the deep crisis, the second part being reforms that had been presented to the European Commission last week.

HGK chairman Luka Burilovc said that the government would have the HGK's support in implementing reforms. "Croatia has potential, it has hard-working people, but it needs to stop the long-standing management crisis. The biggest weights on the businesses are constant changes to legislation, administrative barriers and the anti-business climate," he said.

Burilovic said that the HGK too would focus its efforts on faster absorption of EU funding, and stressed the importance of adjusting education to the needs of industry.

Speaking of projects the HGK was working on, he cited a digital chamber, internationalisation of business, a centre of industrial development, a dual education system, and start-up Croatia.

German Ambassador Thomas Eberhard Schultze stressed the importance of strengthening the business climate, simplification of licensing procedures, especially at local level, and vocational training.

This year will be good for Croatia if all the reforms are implemented, in which case the country will see significant growth, Schultze said.

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