The prime minister was accompanied by five of his ministers and met with representatives of Rimac Automobili headed by the company’s founder, Mate Rimac, as well as delegations from Porsche and Hyundai which have shares in Rimac Automobili.
Rimac presented the government with his vision and guidelines to attract investment in the car industry.
“We came to Rimac Automobili because attention needs to be dedicated to good stories and this is certainly one of them, which in a way seems almost unreal and what they have managed to achieve in their first ten years. This isn’t just about high technology, electric cars, manufacturing cars and car parts, the greatest value of Rimac Automobili is their integrity – because they combine all segments of the car industry. There is also a vision for the future here and I think they have good prospects,” Plenkovic said.
He underscored that investments in that sector and other segments of the economy have to be the Economy Ministry’s key job and in that regard it is necessary to listen to the messages investors are sending. He said that all new investments, or at least 50% of them, have been made by companies that are already present in Croatia because they are familiar with the market and all.
There is a similar situation in Slovakia, which already has a developed car industry and so investors go there because they know what they can expect. Since that still does not exist here in Croatia, we will have to try even harder to promote Croatia as a country where such investments are welcome and profitable, he said.
“All our consultations and activities with global financial and other institutions are aimed at strengthening Croatia’s investment hub in which investors can rely on the legal system, a familiar taxation framework, and in which there is cooperation at all levels of government in the country. It is necessary to increase investment in research and development, although already now these are the highest in history. What is very important is to strengthen the education system that will produce skilled people to take jobs that are being offered on the labour market in Croatia, including more and more technological jobs and those that require high skills,” the prime minister said.
He underlined that Croatia can already offer investors security, firm integration in the EU and NATO, a developing education system and the existing one that is producing personnel that is being sought, as well as talent who are recognised in the world.
And the government is also here with all the frameworks it is working on, including fiscal consolidation, responsibility, structural reforms for all vital areas and the legislative framework that we have created is already producing results.
“I understand that from the point of view of Rimac and similar people the most important thing is for Croatia to come up with something that will be a ‘beacon’ for him and other investors to come here and invest. We will do everything to ensure that,” said Plenkovic.
Rimac noted that people in Croatia still expect too much from the state, which he believes is not good, and added that when his company could not find investors or buyers in Croatia, he found them abroad as well as the specialists that were required.
Rimac’s company currently employs 550 people, 10% of whom are foreigners, and by the end of the year he plans to increase that number to 750, and to between 1,500 and 2,000 in the next two to three years.
“The important thing is that the car industry remains in Croatia and develops even further and for investors to come. It is also important that they get what they expect and that they do not get disappointed. That is why everyone in the country, we and the government have to create a win-win situation for everyone,” Rimac said and added that his company believes that in cooperation with the government a lot can be achieved but that it will take time because nothing can be created overnight.