Overview of Zagreb

Economy of Zagreb

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Croatia's economy is largely dependent on the service industry, which comprises about 70% of the total GDP. In 2013, Croatia's GDP was 13,597 USD per capita.

Historically, Croatia's economy was based on agriculture. After WWII, it experienced rapid industrial growth, but much of its profit was distributed to less economically prosperous parts of Yugoslavia. After Tito's death in 1980 Yugoslavia experienced hyperinflation, and Croatia's economy suffered significant blows due to the Croatian War for Independence in the 1990s. However, Croatia was noted for its significant economic growth among countries in Southeast Europe until the global financial crisis. Croatia's leaders have since struggled to maintain economic stability. Unemployment rates in Croatia continue to rise, hitting about 17% in 2014.

However, 2012 was a great year for Croatia in terms of tourism. The coast saw some 11 million visitors who generated 6.4 billion Euros in revenue - up 5.3 % from last year and accounting for about 20% of Croatia's GDP. Croatia is consistently ranked as one of the top tourist destinations in the world.

Industry makes up about 25% of the GDP. Shipbuilding is the dominant industrial activity, generating annual exports of over €1 billion. Agriculture, including exports of wine, olive oil, and lavender, accounts for 5% of Croatia's economic output. Of Croatia's 1.3 million hectares of agricultural land currently in use, fruit and olive groves cover 52,000 hectares, while vineyards, 82% of which are family owned, cover 34,000 hectares.

Fishing is also an important industry in Croatia, with over 40 fish-processing companies that produce some 18,000 tons of fish products annually. Tuna exported to the Japanese market accounts for around 66% of the total fish export.

Trade is an important sector of Croatia's market economy, and all laws regarding international trade follow WTO rules. Additionally, Croatia is a member of the European Union since July 2013, which will relax trade regulations between Croatia and other EU member states.

Croatia is open to foreign investors. The United States and Croatia have a bilateral investment treaty and investment protection agreement. Detailed information for foreign investors is available on the official website of the Croatian Chamber of Economy.

Croatia has its own currency: the kuna. Croatia should remain on the kuna for the next few years instead of adopting the euro immediately to allow its economy to strengthen.


Zagreb is the economic center of Croatia, generating 31.4% of the country's GDP. The largest industry in Zagreb is wholesale and retail commerce and motor vehicle and motorcycle repair, accounting for 38.8% of the city's revenue, followed by manufacturing, at 20.6%. Most of Croatia's industrial and service sector is clustered in Zagreb. Other notable industries include information and communication, and electricity and gas supply. Professional, scientific, and technical activities account for just 5% of the city's revenue.

Tourism is on the rise in Zagreb, though it attracts nowhere near the number of tourists that visit the Adriatic coast. Last year, tourist arrivals in Zagreb accounted for only 6% of the country's total arrivals.

Compared to the rest of Croatia and other Eastern European countries, Zagreb offers better economic opportunities and a higher salary. However, average salaries for the city are still well below most Western European cities. The average net salary in Zagreb was 827 Euro (1105 USD) in September 2012 compared with the country's average of 709 Euro (947 USD).

Update 14/03/2016

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