Croatian Tourism Days: No quotas on foreign workers as of next year, lower VAT on catering services

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There will be no quotas on foreign workers as of next year, and employers will be allowed to "import" as many of them as they need, including those sought by the tourist industry, Labour and Pension System Minister Josip Aladrovic announced at Croatian Tourism Days in the eastern city of Osijek on Friday.

Employers are aware that the new law on foreign nationals comes into force on January 1, under which no import quotas on foreign workers will be set, and we believe that this will simplify the search for labour, Aladrovic told a meeting between tourist workers and government officials.
Despite that, the focus will remain on hiring domestic workers and on employment incentives, he added.
Finance Minister Zdravko Maric was mostly asked questions about the VAT rate and tax cuts. He said that the tax reform so far had reduced the tax burden by HRK 10 billion, and that the reduction of VAT on food services from 25 to 13 percent as of January 1 would benefit the hotel and restaurant sector and enable it to increase pay and investment.
The meeting was preceded by the Croatian Tourism Forum which focused on the financing of the sustainable development of tourism. EBRD Director for Croatia Victoria Zinchuk said that the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development did not have such a financing programme for Croatia yet, but that it was in talks with several partners.
We may announce such a project in 2020 because we believe that sustainable tourism is important to Croatia given its share in the country's GDP. EBRD already participates in financing Croatia's tourism sector, but tourism is not just hotels, it is also infrastructure. Soon, at a conference in Zagreb, we will present a co-financing programme for small and medium businesses, including those in the tourism sector, Zinchuk said.
Boris Bekavac of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce's (HGK) banking association said that the banking sector was increasingly focusing on sustainable long-term projects supported by loans repayable over at least 15 years. He said that a lot of requirements needed to be met to qualify for such loans because longer-term crediting carries more risk. (Hina)