Reform programme has borne fruit but needs to continue

Since independence in 1991, Croatia has been implementing an ambitious reform programme based on the gradual opening of trade and investment, driven by commitments taken during its WTO accession negotiations and preparations for its key strategic goal of acceding to the European Union, according to a WTO Secretariat report on the trade policies and practices of Croatia.

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The WTO report, along with a policy statement by the Government, will be the basis for the Trade Policy Review (TPR) by the Trade Policy Review Body of the WTO.

High real GDP growth, relatively low inflation, and a declining fiscal deficit are some of the fruits of the programme, the report says. Nonetheless, there was a big contraction in economic activity in 2009 due to the global economic downturn, and Croatia still faces key problems, notably external vulnerability due to its high external current account deficit and large stock of external debt.

The report also indicates that important reforms have taken place in the trade and investment area since Croatia acceded to the WTO in 2000, including updating almost all its trade-related legislation with the objective of bringing it into line with the EU's trade policy and internal market rules, and reducing its simple average MFN tariff from 12.1% in 2000 to 7.1% in 2009.

The report makes clear, nevertheless, that continuation of its structural reforms, such as further improving its business environment, will be key to strengthening Croatia's resilience to shocks, sustaining growth, attracting investment, and improving productivity.

The report, along with a policy statement by the Government of Croatia, was the basis for the first Trade Policy Review (TPR) of Croatia by the Trade Policy Review Body of the WTO on 24 and 26 March 2010.

The following documents are available in MS Word format.


Note  back to top

Trade Policy Reviews are an exercise, mandated in the WTO agreements, in which member countries’ trade and related policies are examined and evaluated at regular intervals. Significant developments that may have an impact on the global trading system are also monitored. For each review, two documents are prepared: a policy statement by the government of the member under review, and a detailed report written independently by the WTO Secretariat. These two documents are then discussed by the WTO’s full membership in the Trade Policy Review Body (TPRB). These documents and the proceedings of the TPRB’s meetings are published shortly afterwards.

Print copies of previous TPR publications are available for sale from the WTO Secretariat, Centre William Rappard, 154 rue de Lausanne, 1211 Genève 21 and through the on-line bookshop.

The TPR publications are also available from our co-publisher Bernan Press, 4611-F Assembly Drive, Lanham, MD 20706-4391, United States.


Schedule of forthcoming reviews  back to top

Armenia: 6 and 8 April 2010
Albania: 28 and 30 April 2010
China: 10 and 12 May 2010


> Full list of previous TPRs

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