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Croatia: Economy Growing At More Than Two Percent

Washington, 3 October 1996 (RFE/RL) -- The governor of the National Bank of Croatia expects economic growth this year to top two percent, with continued price stability and inflation kept between one and three percent a year.

Marko Skreb told the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank in Washington, however, that "speedier, sustainable growth is now a must." He says the government is aiming at GDP (gross domestic product) rises of 5 to 7 percent per year over the next few years, while keeping the deficit to no more than 3 percent.

Skreb said Croatia has four major goals for putting its economy on a sustainable path to steady growth.

First, it will speed up restructuring and privatization of commercial banks and other enterprises. Secondly, it will work to increase the rate of domestic savings over the next few years, while working to get the government and private sector to pay more attention to longer term economic trends and "forget the short-term, monthly or even daily, results."

Finally, the bank governor said the country must be "more determined about accepting European and world standards, especially in financial operations." He said Croatia is a "small open economy, not a trend-setter" and it must work with the trend toward globalization.