ZAGREB, 1 April 2014 – The National Competitiveness Council today published the results of The Global Enabling Trade Report (ETI) 2014 by World Economic Forum (WEF). According to the report, Croatia is ranked in 56th place out of the 138 countries.
The ETI assesses the extent to which economies have in place the institutions, policies, infrastructures and services to facilitate the free flow of goods over borders to their destination. The Global Enabling Trade Report 2014 emphasized that the world’s emerging economies must carry out the reforms in accordance with the Agreement of the World Trade Organization adopted in December 2013 if they want to prosper. Inefficiency, bureaucracy and poor infrastructure are among the key factors that hinder economies in the ease of trading.
The ETI assesses each country in four areas: market access, border administration, infrastructure and the operating environment; and seven pillars: domestic market access, foreign market access, efficiency and transparency of border administration, availability and quality of transport infrastructure, availability and quality of transport services, availability and use of ICT, and operating environment.
The top-ranked countries again this year are Singapore and Hong Kong, while Netherlands, New Zealand, Finland, Great Britain, Switzerland, Chile, Sweden and Germany make up the rest of the top ten. All these countries are leading in the rankings because of their openness to international business and investment as an integral part of a successful economic strategy. Their other major advantages are effective border administration and stimulating business environment.
Of the above-mentioned criteria, Croatia is ranked highest in infrastructure, which includes the availability and quality of transport infrastructure and services (42nd). Under the criteria for market access Croatia is ranked in 50th place. Under the criteria for border administration it is 65th, while the operating environment is ranked the worst (69th).
The most problematic factors for exporting from Croatia are: inappropriate production technology and skills, identifying potential markets and buyers, access to trade finance, and difficulty in meeting the quality/quantity requirements of buyers. The most problematic factors for imports include: burdensome import procedures, domestic technical requirements and standards, tariffs, corruption at the border, crime and theft.
The following factors were cited as comparative advantages: the index of terrorism incidents, openness to multilateral trade rules, quality of roads, postal service efficiency, mobile broadband Internet, and dispersion of tariffs.
“This year’s report shows that based on the openness of the market Croatia is stagnating. Our goal is to be among the most competitive countries in the world and therefore we need to implement reforms more dynamically and create sustainable growth by stimulating exports and attracting foreign capital,” emphasized Ivica Mudrinić, President of the National Competitiveness Council.
Of the countries in our region, Serbia was ranked the lowest, in 89th place. Bosnia Herzegovina was 78th, Macedonia was 63rd, Montenegro was 49th, and Slovenia was ranked the highest this year in 38th place.