Croatia: World Bank Helps Increase
Croatiaâ€™s Competitiveness Through Investments
July 7 2005
Press Release - World Bank
The World Bank today approved a US$ 40 million loan for a Science and Technology Project for Croatia. The project will help to improve the competitiveness of Croatian industry both in domestic and foreign markets.
Croatia has made significant progress in its transition towards a market economy. However, the Government of Croatia recognizes that more remains to be done to improve the competitiveness of the Croatian economy and propel it forward on a path to sustained economic growth. An increased productivity and technological base and strengthened linkages among Research and Development (R&D) Institutions, the scientific community, and industry will help enterprises compete more effectively and facilitate Croatiaâ€™s economic integration with global markets. In addition, upgrading the technological capabilities of firms is an important step in Croatiaâ€™s future accession to the European Union.
The Project is comprised of three main components:
Â· restructure R&D Institutions to increase the focus on applied research while maintaining scientific excellence;
Â· upgrade technological capabilities of private enterprises by providing financing support for technology startups, technology-based companies and R&D centers;
Â· engage the Croatian scientific Diaspora in joint projects and other initiatives, to transfer their knowledge and skills for the benefit of Croatian society, as well as to encourage the scientists to return to Croatia.
"The Project will build on the great depth of scientific knowledge in Croatian Research and Development institutions and will help bring more innovation into the market. It will also help to reduce â€˜brain drainâ€™ as well as use the knowledge and resources accumulated by the Croatian Diaspora to national advantage," said Anand K. Seth, World Bank Country Director for Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania.
The Science and Technology Project will yield a positive return for Croatiaâ€™s economy in the long run by reducing the burden of R&D Institutions on the state budget. Local private companies will benefit from increased incomes, improved competitiveness, raised market share, and positive impact on exports.
The Project was prepared in collaboration among key partners: the Ministry of Science, Education and Sport, the Brodarski Institute, the Business Innovation Center for Croatia, and the Ruđer BoÅ¡ković Institute.
The project has a maturity of 15 years, including a five-year grace period.
Croatia joined the World Bank in 1993. Since then, commitments to the country total approximately US$1.2 billion for 32 operations.