In his presentation for Deloitte, ‘Pandemic, the war in Ukraine and Croatian economy’, Economic Analyst Velimir Šonje showed a conceptual framework for forming expectations. In the pre-war scenario, Croatian GDP growth was 4.8 %, thanks to the further recovery of tourism and investments.
Šonje predicts three different scenarios: the first one is ‘conflict attenuation’, in which case Croatia would continue with 3-4% growth. In a ‘creeping conflict – short term escalation’ in March, with lesser intensity and negotiations the country would keep with 1-2% growth, whilst the worst-case scenario of medium-term escalation would lead into a recession, with a significant negative impact on tourism.
The international community calls for peace and more effort into negotiations, whilst trying to help those affected.
Hrvatski Telekom (HT), a Croatian telecommunications company, was one of the first to react swiftly to the developments in Ukraine, sympathising with those affected. In order to make it as easy as possible for their customers to communicate with their families and friends in Ukraine, HT enabled sending SMS messages and calls from Hrvatski Telekom’s fixed and mobile network to all networks in Ukraine free of charge, as well as roaming from Ukraine to all other countries.
Span, a global IT company based in Croatia, offered its employees from Ukraine to come to Croatia, trying to take care of their employees as much as possible. Span opened their Ukrainian office in 2018 and currently employs 32 people. The company specialises in professional services for the design and development of information systems and technical customer support for business users and enterprises.
Ukrainian company Intellias recently launched a new development centre in a new region and had chosen Novi Sad in Serbia. However, even though they had support from individuals and the professional community in the country, for strategic reasons, they decided to move their delivery centre to Zagreb, Croatia, whose official standing is clear, and states that enabling freedom and democracy is the only right path.
Croatian companies understand this situation is the one requiring patience. Infinum’s COO Nikola Kapravljević invited businesses that are considering withdrawing their businesses from Ukraine, stating that
There are 285,000 IT professionals in Ukraine, and the country has produced several tech unicorns, including GitLab and Grammarly. The local tech community is strong, and not everyone has gone to war. Some have moved to different locations but continue to work remotely. That work means more to them now than ever, not only as a stable source of income but as their connection to normal life.