How the Trade Began
Croatia is one of the six republics constituting Yugoslavia. It became an independent country in June 1991. It is considered as the home of the Croats or the traditional Slavic people. It covers a number of other regions which include Dalmatia, Istria and Slavonia. Its northern portion is made of plains. It is actually regarded as the passage way to the eastern part of Europe.
Its economy began to flourish after World War II. The said period opened doors both to industrialization and diversification in the country. As time went by, profits were seen in the land thus enabling Croatian government to help provide for poorer regions in Yugoslavia. However, much to their dissatisfaction, austerity programs and increase in inflation affected the nation.
Croatia's industries are comprised of textile, food processing, chemicals and petroleum refining. These businesses are strategically located in the cities of Dubrovnik, Rijeka, Zadar and split. Zagreb - Croatia's capital and largest city - also plays a major role in its entire economic standing. The most fertile agricultural land is situated in the northeast primarily on the Pannonian plain. Tourism is also vital but had been hampered due to the civil war of 1991.
A major turnaround in the tourism industry was seen in the year 2000. The economy was energized with the emergence of financial institutions and the privatization of foreign-aided banks. Road construction which is considered as one of the strongest capital investment, alongside income from small and medium enterprises is also important in the upsurge of the economy. To these days, this trend largely contributed to stabilizing all the factors of economy and although unemployment was still a problem, the rate has been declining for the past few years.
Croatia made efforts to form part of the European Union as well. As evidence to this, they signed a Stabilization and Association Agreement in 2001. The attempts to form part of this very strong organization were taken one step at a time. Several delays were seen along the way but after some four years of waiting, Croatia was declared as an active member of the EU concession in 2005.
The United States relations with Croatia were promoted due to their willingness to have democracy. In 1992, the former placed an embassy in the latter which fostered more opportunities for trade and development. Part of US's plan is to help Croatia get up from the remnants of the civil war as well as get rid of the authoritarian form of governance.
Major Exports and Imports between the Two Nations
Transfer of products from both the United States and Croatia were evidenced by a stronger statistics over the years. They may not be comparable to billions of dollars but at the very least hundreds of millions were a good mark of a prosperous trade. Through time, they have manifested their interests in each other and as an end result, trade balances were of help.
For the eight-month period ending August 2008, exports coming from the US to Croatia amounted to $311.4 million while imports were at a high of $168.6 million. These were further noted to provide higher numerical values than the total gains for the year 2007. Some pertinent facts on the trade amounts for last year are as follows:
Trade Agreements between the US and Croatia
- Products Exported by Croatia to US. For the year 2007, a total of $333.53 million worth of exports from Croatia to the US was recorded. The top commodity was jewelry like watches and rings which makes up 30.69% of the total or an amount of $102.34 million. Other products on the list were: medicinal, dental and pharmaceutical preparations; toys, shooting and sporting goods and bicycles; measuring, testing and control instruments; generators, transformers and accessories; stone, sand, cement and lime; footwear of leather, rubber and other materials; electric apparatus and parts; apparel and household goods from other textiles; and bakery and confectionary products. The last goods had total sales of $4.22 million or 1.27% of 2007's total.
- Products Imported by Croatia from US. For the imports made by the US to Croatia, a total amount of $247.01 million was reported. Of this amount, $77.81 million or an equivalent of 31.50% was given by metallurgical grade coal. Other notable products on the list were: other petroleum products; drilling and oilfield equipment; telecommunications equipment; medicinal equipment; photo, service industry machinery; passenger cars, new and used; minimum value shipments; shingles, molding and wallboard; and civilian aircraft engines. Civilian aircraft engines amounted to $4.33 million or 1.75% of the entire total for 2007.
- Fastest-Growing US Exports to Croatia. The foreign trade between these two nations is indeed booming. Relatively, US exports to Croatia were evidenced by remarkable products in terms of sales. Topping the charts was specialized mining which earned a total of $822 thousand or 3,736% from 2006. Other commendable goods were: civilian aircraft; materials handling equipment; civilian aircraft engines; and industrial rubber products. Industrial rubber products earned total sales of $223 thousand which is 1,174% higher than 2006 sales on the same category.
- Fastest-Growing US Imports from Croatia. The strong trade relations between US and Croatia had been supported by numerous goods. For 2007, the sales marks of some of the goods coming from Croatia to US were outstanding. Glass, plate, sheet and other products excluding automotives earned an amount of $773 thousand which is 6,442% higher than the sales it made in 2006. Other products were: numismatic coins; parts for civilian aircraft; iron and steel products except advanced manufactures; and cane and beet sugar. The last commodity was sold for a total of $118 thousand which is 1,967% higher than its sales in 2006.
Trade relations are always maintained by trade agreements. Croatia and the US had their own share of these pacts. These made their bond in world economy even firmer. Some of the famous treaties they have entered into are:
Trade Disputes between the Two Nations
- Croatia Bilateral Investment Treaty. Young as this independent nation is, Croatia entered into this agreement with US in July 13, 1996. The implementation of the provisions took effect in June 20, 2001. Aside from the encouragement and mutual guard of investment, strengthening the private sector was also important. On the part of US, protection of investment was necessary while on Croatia's side, economic development rendered more concentration. This was also done consistently with the US policy on international as well as domestic investments. They were set to comply with international laws for expropriation were a lot of things were covered like free transfer of funds , freedom of investments and fair and just treatment.
- Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA). Aside from Croatia, this US free trade agreement involved other central European countries such as Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia and Kosovo. Croatia joined the CEFTA in 2003. There was an update made on this treaty by 2006. Pertinent inclusions of the rules were geared on the establishment of a free trade zone by the year 2010 which will specifically start by the close of the said year. Other main agenda were on politics, economics, security and legislation.
Apparently, trade disputes between Croatia and the United States come from the membership of Croatia with the European Union. This was said to be a struggle especially that EU was exerting efforts to gain higher marks in world economy. The concept of free trade was a bit impeded because of the union's desire to concentrate on domestic goods rather than allowing foreign investors.
There were some wars that came along their way especially when the Serbs and the Americans threw stones and other dangerous materials against each other. During this 1997 event, Croatia was seen to be caught in between the lines and some rejections were seen along the way. Other than this fact, there were no traces of grudges or hidden agenda between the two.
The Future between the Trade of US and Croatia
The less than 20 years of independence of Croatia had made its name in the global economy scene. With the US meddling in between, it was able to stand up after the fall brought about by the civil war of 1991. To these days, these forces may not be the strongest alliance ever but there is proof of their wanting to help each other in all aspects of the economy. Furthermore, the traces of EU conflicts with the US were not at all contributory to make the trade relations between US and Croatia fall.
Their high regard and respect for each other have brought them to the type of comradeship they have today. They have extended their share of financial load to the fact that they could be dependent upon the existence of each other. The trails are not at all rocky for them to walk on and us they thrive for better years ahead, their children and grandchildren will benefit from the rules of their trade. There is no way any other person could divide what they have made and cause the foundations to fall. These two nations really mean international business.
US-Croatia Trade References