The American Chamber of Commerce in Croatia organized a business lunch during which the AmCham Recommendations for Improving the Business Environment as well as the Recommendations for Reform of the Tax System were presented.
The opening speeches were given by Mr Tomislav Čorak (Boston Consulting Group) and Mr Berislav Horvat (AmCham Board of Governors), while the participants in the panel discussion were Ms Jasminka Barić (Ministry of Economy, Entrepreneurship and Crafts), Mr Zdenko Lucić (Agency for Investments and Competitiveness), Mr Hrvoje Jelić (PricewaterhouseCoopers), Mr Stanko Kršlović (Philip Morris Zagreb) and Mr Mike Klyszeiko (AmCham Finland, Launchpad USA program).
Mr Čorak spoke about the importance of direct foreign investment as well as global trends. Direct foreign investments for the domestic economy may bring a series of advantages such as an inflow of capital, access to new markets, innovation and increased productivity.
Mr Horvat presented AmCham’s “Recommendations for Improving the Business Environment and Encouraging Investment Growth in Croatia“ and stressed that AmCham recognizes the following as key prerequisites for further economic growth: a strategic approach to attracting direct foreign investment, a digitalized and optimized system of public service provision, a stimulative tax system, efficient legislation and judiciary, and strategic management of human potential.
The panel discussion raised a series of questions about the positioning of Croatia as an attractive destination for direct foreign investment.
Ms Barić acquainted those present with the activities of the Ministry of Economy, Entrepreneurship and Crafts related to the relief of the administrative burden in the economy, and to reinforcing the partnership between public administration and the private sector. She underlined that the Ministry strives to achieve an environment in which it would not be necessary for entrepreneurs to apply for a special permit for each individual venture, but rather in which they would notify the government of their actions.
Mr Lucić briefly mentioned the latest legislative amendments as well as a series of benefits that Croatia offers to attract investment. He also stressed the importance of actively promoting those benefits which may contribute to the investors’ decisions on Croatia as a location for investment.
Mr Jelić presented AmCham’s “Recommendations for Reform of the Tax System with the Emphasis on the Unburdening of Labor”, and stressed the importance of a clear, predictable and stable tax system and partnership between the tax authorities and business community representatives. The recommendations set out a series of measures for the relief of the administrative burden as well as proposals regarding the treatment of profit tax and further reduction of charges on income of individual employees.
Mr Kršlović stressed the importance of a legislative framework that is open to innovation and frequent technological changes. Due to its specific know-how, the private sector should be involved in the legislative process from the very beginning of the drafting of legislative acts, and not only in the final phases, as is often the case.
Mr Klyszeiko confirmed the significance of a transparent and consistent tax system for attracting investment as well as of a stable and predictable legislative framework.
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