Croatia flag Croatia: Economic and Political Overview

Foreign trade figures of Croatia

Foreign Trade in Figures

Croatia, which joined the WTO in 2000, depends heavily on foreign trade, which amounts to 90.6% of the GDP (World Bank, latest data available). The country mainly exports petroleum oils, medicaments, human and animal blood, and electrical transformers; while imports are driven by motor cars, medicaments, blood, petroleum oils and crude oil, and telephones.

In 2020, the EU accounted for 69.7% of Croatian exports (mainly towards Germany, Italy, and Slovenia), followed by Bosnia and Herzegovina (8.6%) and Hungary (7.2%). The leading import origins were the EU (81.2%, reflecting the structure of exports’ destinations), China (4.6%), and Bosnia and Herzegovina (2.9% - data Comtrade and Croatian Bureau of Statistics).

In terms of merchandise, Croatia has a structural trade deficit: according to figures by WTO, in 2020 exports of goods totalled USD 17.1 billion (stable y-o-y) while imports decreased by %5.1, at USD 26.7 billion. However, the country is a net exporter of services, with exports – at USD 9.7 billion – far above imports (USD 3.9 billion). According to figures by the World Bank, the overall trade deficit stood at an estimated 6.7% of GDP in 2020, much higher than the level of 0.3% recorded one year earlier (mostly due to a sharp contraction in services’ exports, at -43.4%). Preliminary figures from the Croatian Bureau of Statistics show that in the first ten months of 2021, total exports of the Republic of Croatia amounted to HRK 114.5 billion ( 25.4% higher than in the same period of 2020). In the same period, total imports reached HRK 174.0 billion (+21.9% y-o-y).

 
Foreign Trade Values 20162017201820192020
Imports of Goods (million USD) 21,68824,82928,20328,16026,719
Exports of Goods (million USD) 13,73616,06917,40217,18017,167
Imports of Services (million USD) 3,9064,5745,4305,5733,932
Exports of Services (million USD) 13,49015,05416,35417,1629,714

Source: World Trade Organisation (WTO) ; Latest available data

Foreign Trade Indicators 20162017201820192020
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 94.199.1101.2104.290.6
Trade Balance (million USD) -8,437-9,517-11,406-11,525-9,779
Trade Balance (Including Service) (million USD) 671595-613-317-3,938
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 6.58.47.56.3-13.8
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 7.06.83.76.8-25.0
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 46.549.351.052.248.9
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 47.649.950.252.041.7

Source: World Bank ; Latest available data

Foreign Trade Forecasts 2022 (e)2023 (e)2024 (e)2025 (e)2026 (e)
Volume of exports of goods and services (Annual % change) 11.36.65.04.53.9
Volume of imports of goods and services (Annual % change) 8.36.04.52.82.3

Source: IMF, World Economic Outlook ; Latest available data

Note: (e) Estimated Data

 
International Economic Cooperation
Slovenia is a member of the EU since July 1st, 2013 and as such is a member of the EU Customs Union. The Republic of Croatia has signed agreements on free trade with the countries of former Yugoslavia: Albania, Turkey, Moldova, and Macedonia.
 

Main Partner Countries

Main Customers
(% of Exports)
2021
Slovenia 12.7%
Italy 12.5%
Germany 11.8%
Hungary 9.1%
Bosnia and Herzegovina 8.5%
See More Countries 45.4%
Main Suppliers
(% of Imports)
2021
Germany 14.8%
Italy 12.6%
Slovenia 11.0%
Hungary 7.3%
Austria 6.4%
See More Countries 47.9%

Source: Comtrade, 2022. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

 
 

Main Products

22.7 bn USD of products exported in 2021
Electrical energyElectrical energy 5.2%
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals (excl. crude); preparations containing >= 70% by weight of petroleum oils or of oils obtained from bituminous minerals, these oils being the basic constituents of the preparations, n.e.s.; waste oils containing mainly petroleum or bituminous minerals 4.5%
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals, crude 4.0%
Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed...Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed products for therapeutic or prophylactic uses, put up in measured doses "incl. those in the form of transdermal administration" or in forms or packings for retail sale (excl. goods of heading 3002, 3005 or 3006) 3.4%
Wood sawn or chipped lengthwise, sliced or peeled,...Wood sawn or chipped lengthwise, sliced or peeled, whether or not planed, sanded or end-jointed, of a thickness of > 6 mm 2.2%
See More Products 80.7%
33.7 bn USD of products imported in 2021
Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally...Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons, incl. station wagons and racing cars (excl. motor vehicles of heading 8702) 4.0%
Petroleum gas and other gaseous hydrocarbonsPetroleum gas and other gaseous hydrocarbons 3.8%
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals (excl. crude); preparations containing >= 70% by weight of petroleum oils or of oils obtained from bituminous minerals, these oils being the basic constituents of the preparations, n.e.s.; waste oils containing mainly petroleum or bituminous minerals 3.7%
Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed...Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed products for therapeutic or prophylactic uses, put up in measured doses "incl. those in the form of transdermal administration" or in forms or packings for retail sale (excl. goods of heading 3002, 3005 or 3006) 3.2%
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals, crude 2.8%
See More Products 82.6%

Source: Comtrade, 2022. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

 
 

To go further, check out our service Import Export Flows.

 

Main Services

9.7 bn USD of services exported in 2020
56.83%
15.83%
9.62%
9.32%
2.36%
2.31%
1.75%
1.08%
0.62%
0.28%
3.9 bn USD of services imported in 2020
29.29%
20.07%
16.21%
10.43%
8.05%
3.79%
3.31%
3.00%
2.51%
2.28%
1.08%

Source: United Nations Statistics Division, 2022. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

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Latest Update: November 2022

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