Sunday, November 28, 2004

Croatian Product That Can Be Exported

One of the reasons why Croatia is burdened with approximately 26 billion US$ of foreign debt is huge disparity between Croatia's exports and Croatia's imports. Croatia's economy, although in definitely better shape than the rest of Southeastern Europe, is nowadays based around services rather than manufacturing. There are few Croatian companies that try to make money by selling their product on foreign markets.

Croatian manufacturing industry has just received one major endorsement, although it is very unlikely that it would be featured in any kind of advertising. Otvoreni Radio reports that the slaying of Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh was committed with HS 2000, a pistol produced in Croatia. The weapon was acquired illegally for 1000 €.

This type of assassination, however, is probably the only way Croatian weapons industry can remind the world of its existence. While Croatia had its share of ex-Yugoslav weapons industry - M-84 tanks, produced in Slavonski Brod, were successfully used by Kuwaitis during Desert Storm – most of the facilities fell victim to dissolution of the former federation and policies that favoured arms smuggling and import commissions over domestic productions. Those trends continued with downgrading of Croatian military and NATO standardisation. Ambitious plans to produce new tank models and warships were scrapped and nowadays small arms are the only thing that was left of Croatian arms industry's former glory.


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