Branches of the economy
Croatia does not have large quantities of mineral resources. Coal and other mines (bauxite) were closed in the 1970s and 1980s. There are significant sources of non-metal minerals, which are used as raw materials in construction (gravel, sand, marl, construction rocks). Croatia has its own natural energy resources, including oil and gas, and most of all renewable energy sources, such as wind, hydroenergy and solar energy. It also extracts and processes large quantities of salt from the sea (salt works in Pag and Ston).
Agriculture and fisheries
In Croatia there is a total of 3.15 million hectares of agricultural land, of which about 2 million is arable land, whilst the remainder consists of pastures, ponds and fish ponds. The different types of climate, relief and soil make it possible to produce a wide range of agricultural products, from arable and industrial crops, to vineyards, and continental and Mediterranean fruits and vegetables. Arable farming covers domestic need for cereals and sugar, and most of the demand for industrial crops. Croatia is a wine-growing country, and both continental and Mediterranean grapes are grown here, some of which are indigenous. Vineyards cover 58,000 hectares of land, and in 2011 1.4 million hectolitres of wine was produced.
Istrian olive oils are some of the best and most awarded oils in the world. Croatia produces about 50,000 hectolitres of olive oil every year.
Livestock is traditionally of lesser importance, but raising cattle, pigs, poultry and sheep is well developed. Slavonian kulen, Dalmatian and Istrian pršut are world famous and their geographical origin is protected.
Fishing and fish processing are mostly linked to the coastal and island areas of the country. In 2011, about 78,000 tons of sea fish and about 6,300 tons of freshwater fish were caught or farmed. Blue fish (sardines, mackerel) are dominant in sea fishing, and about one fifth are white fish and shellfish and molluscs. In freshwater fishing, the most common fish are carp and trout.
Industry, energy and construction
Industrial production in Croatia, until the recession, had an important place in total production. The most prominent forms were manufacturing and the petrochemical industry, and shipbuilding. Some companies were closed down in the process of transition, or were damaged in the war. This mostly applies to the textile, leather, metal and timber industries. There was also significant production in the construction and energy sectors. Some industries, however, still achieve positive results and are active in foreign trade. The value of the sales of industrial products in 2011 was HRK 129.8 billion (EUR 17.4 billion), of which HRK 49.1 billion was in exports (EUR 6.6 billion). According to their total revenues, the leading industrial branches lie the production of food, drinks and tobacco, and these are followed by the chemical and oil industries. The most common export activities are related to the processing of oil products (11.8%), motor vehicles (11.2%), chemical products (8.3%), food production (8.1%), electrical equipment 7.8%), machinery (6.2%), finished metal products (6.1%), pharmaceutical products (4.8%), clothing (2.9%), and timber and wood products (3.4%).
The energy sector is mainly based on electricity, gas and oil. In 2011, a total of 11,264 GWh of electricity was produced. Almost half of this production came from hydro--electrical power stations, and the remainder from classical power stations. Some of the production is occasionally exported. Production of natural gas and oil is not sufficient for domestic needs. The oil fields in Slavonia and Podravina meet 20–25% of the needs, whilst the production of natural gas covers about 65% of what is required.
Construction, up until the beginning of the recession, was one of the most propulsive sectors, especially in road building, housing and commercial construction, but after 2008 construction projects were reduced significantly.
Services, trade and transport
Croatia’s road network consists of 29,333 km of categorised roads, of which 1,254 km are motorways. In view of the area of the country and the size of the population, Croatia is first in Southeast Europe in terms of the length of its motorways. The first motorway, from Zagreb to Karlovac, was opened in 1972, but the motorway network was completed in particular at the end of the 1990s and the beginning of the 2000s. The international system of so-called E-roads includes more than 2,300 km of Croatian roads. Most passenger and goods transport are carried by road.
The total length of the railway lines is 2,726 km (36.2% electrified and 9.3% with double tracks). The most important railway hubs are Zagreb and Vinkovci.
Along the Croatian coast there are about 350 ports and docks, and the ports of Pula, Rijeka, Zadar, Šibenik, Split, Ploče and Dubrovnik are involved in international trade. In terms of strategic position and harbour traffic, the Port of Rijeka stands out. Links between the islands and the coast are maintained by ferries and shipping lines, which also partially link the Croatian coast with Italy. The most important port in the internal waterways is Vukovar on the River Danube.
The airports included in international traffic are those in Zagreb, Pula, Zadar, Split, Dubrovnik, Osijek, and those on the islands of Brač and Krk (Rijeka).
The Adriatic Oil Line system (JANAF) was built to transport oil and it links the oil terminal in Omišalj on the island of Krk with the Croatian refineries in Rijeka and Sisak, and also has branches towards neighbouring countries. The total length of the oil pipelines is 759 km, of which 610 km is in Croatia.
The telecommunications network is completely digital and the most modern in Southeast Europe. The telecommunications market is liberalised, with several operators in landline and mobile telephony. A total of 66% of households have internet access, which is below the EU average, but above the level of some individual members.
In foreign trade, Croatia imports almost twice as many products as it exports. In 2011, products valued at EUR 9.6 billion were exported, whilst EUR 16.2 billion worth of products were imported. Croatia exports most products to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Austria, Italy, Germany, Slovenia, the United Kingdom, Serbia, Hungary and Russia, and imports most from Italy, Germany, China, Russia, Austria, Azerbaijan and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
In the service industries, the greatest share is held by tourism and related services. In this sector, the highest turnover is achieved by small and medium sized enterprises, but large enterprises still have the most employees.