“Croatia Has All Ingredients to Offer Best Standard of Living in Europe”

April 18, 2020 – Who has the potential to have the best standard of living in Europe? Why one Dutch entrepreneur in Split believes it is Croatia. 

One of the many things I love about working at TCN is the exposure it gives me to a wide cross-section of people, opinions and backgrounds regarding Croatia. I have never come across a country with such polarised opinions about absolutely everything. It brings an extra challenge to reporting on things here, and I long ago gave up on thinking that I would ever write an article that everyone would agree with. 

As I get older, I find that I am placing less emphasis on the opinions of people in faraway lands with Croatian heritage but no more experience of the realities of life in Croatia beyond a fortnight on an Adriatic beach each summer, and more emphasis on the opinions of people who have not only tried to make a living here, but who have succeeded. And if one of them managed to employ over 400 locals on the way, then all the more reason. 

I often call Ognjen Bagatin, the charismatic and dynamic CEO of Bagatin Clinic, Mr. Positive. For an international ambassador of positivity, look no further than Jan de Jong in Split, whose latest LinkedIn post focuses on how Croatia could have the best standard of living in Europe.  

[I am not dreaming – I am wide awake]

Did you know that the Dutch tourism industry is 8 times larger than that of Croatia?

Yet, in the Netherlands, people barely talk about the importance of this industry, because it represents only 3% of the Dutch GDP. (Vs. 20% in Croatia)

To me, this only shows the growth potential Croatia still has in other sectors of the economy. And that’s exactly what I believe Croatia’s entrepreneurs should be focusing on.

Do we really need more apartments, or another hotel, or another pizza place? 

How about agriculture, the service sector, production, exports? 

For 5 months a year, we can’t find enough waiters, chefs, cleaning personnel. But when somebody graduates from university, they have a hard time finding a job.

Is there nothing we can learn by watching closely at what entrepreneurs do in other countries? Plenty of great company solving problems at large and doing things that are not being done in Croatia yet. And then, when I say that there are so many opportunities left in Croatia, people think I am dreaming…

If you would only see what I see you would realise that I am wide awake.

Croatia, the land of unexplored terrain, the land of opportunities.

#LivingTheCroatianDream #entrepreneurship #Croatia

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Read more from Jan de Jong in 5 Things I Learned from Croatian People.

To learn about Jan’s entrepreneurial story in Croatia so far – it is a great one – check out his interview in our Foreign Entrepreneurs in Croatia series.