31 March 2014-11 April 2014
by Elisabeth Prill
apprentice for industrial management assistant
This project is funded by the European Union (ESF)
and the Federal State of Saxony-Anhalt.
Some facts about the project
Facts about Croatia
Day 1 – Arrival in Zagreb
Facts about Zagreb
Day 2 – RWE and AHK
Day 3 – Vocational school in Zagreb and visiting the town
Day 4 – HAMAG invest and Medical Intertrade
Day 5. – Nestlé Adriatic and vocational school in Zagreb
Day 6/7- Weekend and arrival in Split and workshop in the hotel
Facts about Split
Day 8 – Chamber of commerce Split and University of Split
Day 9 – Workshop in the hotel
Day 10 – Croatian employers‘ association and visiting the town
Day 11 – Workshop at the hotel
Day 12 – Way back home
SOME FACTS ABOUT THE PROJECT
The project is co-financed by the European Union (ESF) and the federal state of Saxony-
Anhalt and is organised by isw GmbH.
It is a good possibility for the trainees to learn more about the economy of SME ‘s
(Small and medium-sized Enterprises) in the MOE (middle- and Eastern European)
countries. They get to know the industry in another part of Europe, not only of the region
they live in. This helps to understand and to compare the economical situation in two
Another point is that the trainees have
the opportunity to visit a lot of firms
and companies in various regions of
Croatia. Thus they can learn more
about the culture and the way of life
in this country.
Furthermore they have the possibility
to get into contact with a lot of firms
and with different students.
This is our group.
FACTS ABOUT CROATIA
Inhabitants: 4.3 million
Area: 56 600 km²
GDP: 62 bill. $
19 % unemployed high youth unemployment
Unitary, parliamentary and constitutional republic
and central government
Independence: since 25June 1991
20 regions and Zagreb + suburbs
since 1st July 2013 a member of the European Union
(28th member state)
90% Croats, 4% Serbs, 6% Bosnians, Italians, Czech, Slovaks
Official Language: Croatian
Neighbouring Countries: Hungary, Slovenia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina,
The currency: Kuna
DAY 1- ARRIVAL IN ZAGREB
We took the plane from Halle/Leipzig and arrived at Zagreb at 1 o‘clock. Our group
consisted of 14 students from different vocational schools of the environs of Halle and the
coach, Ms. Kaufhold.
Zagreb is the largest City in Croatia with 780 000 inhabitants (with suburbs approx. 1.1
million). It is a metropolis with a nice old town and an interesting history.
In the evening we visited Zagreb in small groups and
Enjoyed the beautiful old city with the
Cathedral, the Ban Jelacic Sqare and the
The Art Pavilion
FACTS ABOUT ZAGREB
Capital of Croatia
Largest city of Croatia
Inhabitants: 780.000 (with the suburbs approx. 1.1 million)
One of the biggest economic zones (the others are Rijeka and Osijek)
Area: 641 km²
most important centre of economy in Croatia
Seat of central government and
all government ministries
a lot of very green parks
(for example Maksimir Park, Park Ribnjak)
Ban Jelacic Square
The flag of Zagreb
DAY 2 – RWE AND AHK
After a very good breakfast in the hotel, we went to our first appointment in business dress.
The weather was on our side, so it wasn‘t too warm for a swallowtail.
With a private bus we went to RWE Hrvatska, specially to WWTP (waste water treatment
plant). ZOV (Zagrebacke otpadne vode d.o.o.) was founded in 1998 and was charged to
plan, finance and erect the WWTP as well as the related infrastructure. RWE is a part of the
ZOV and operates this area together with ZOV.
In Croatia, RWE has 3 parts. We learned that there
are the coal-fired power plant in Plomin, which
is run by RWE with HEP, furthermore ZOV
and last but not least RWE Energija. We learned
that the latter is responsible for public lighting,
procurement and sales of electricity to final
customers, mainly SME‘s.
This is the area of the WWTP.
For every visit it was our task to search the route. So everyone of us had the possibility
to try to find out the right way in an unknown and foreign town. Furthermore, after
these meetings one of us had to say thank you and to give a present to our current host.
On the part of AHK Mr Gunther Neubert welcomed us and gave us a short introduction
into the work of the AHK. AHK means the German-Croatian Chamber of Commerce.
For some of us it was a good fortune that he spoke German. After this everyone had an
impression of the main functions of the AHK:
The main functions of the AHK is to support
German investors in Croatia and to
inform about the rights, the laws, the import,
the export and the cooperation in Croatia.
For the members of the AHK they organize
meetings regarding different subjects and give
recommendations of their members to
firms in Germany or in Croatia.
They organize a meeting for their members
in a restaurant in Zagreb every month.
DAY 3 – VOCATIONAL SCHOOL AND
VISITING THE TOWN
The vocational school in Zagreb is called the „Uprava Skola Zagreb“ and has two
different parts for the students: the part of fashion and design and the administration.
This day we visited only the first
part and we learned more about this
type of school. The students go to
that school for three or four years.
A German teacher showed us different workshops of sculptors and the studios of
shoemakers and tailors.
It‘s all hand-
made. On the
left tailors and
on the right the
RALLY OF THE CITY
In the afternoon we had the task to visit the town in small groups and to answer different
questions about the history of important persons and places in Zagreb. My group
consisted of four members, it was a great work together.
Some nice places:
Ban Jelacic Square
The Mandusevac Fountain
The Croatian National
This Fountain was built above a natural spring
and was important for Zagreb to supply drinking
water until the 19th century.
Ban Jelacic abolished serfdom
and held the first elections for
the Croatian Sabor or
The Cathedral of
Assumption of the
Blessed Virgin Mary
RALLY OF THE CITY
One task of our rally was to find out the meaning of the name „Zagreb“.
We found out that the origin of the name Zagreb is a legend about the spring:
„One sunny day an old Croatian war leader was returning from battle tired and thirsty,
and asked a beautiful girl called Manda to scoop up some water from the spring for
In Croatian the word for „to scoop up water“ means „zagrabiti“. This was the birth of
the name of Zagreb.
And last but not least the young girl Manda gave the name to the Fountain
DAY 4 – HAMAG INVEST AND
Here it was the first time for us to speak business
English. At first it was difficult for all of us to
understand, but after a while we got used to it.
We learned something about the work of
- The company tries to promote and to develop investments in Croatia and
guarantees bank credits for SME‘s like a certificate that their investment
is quite safe so that the bank can give a credit to the SME‘s.
It was founded in 1994 as the Croatian Guarantee Agency.
It was established by the government of the Republic of Croatia (1995) and is an
independent institution under the supervision of the Ministry of Entrepreneurship and
Finally, in 2002 it became the Croatian SME Agency.
In the evening we visited the headquarters of the Medical Intertrade in Sveta Nadelja
near Zagreb. It is 100 % self-financed.
Medical Intertrade was founded on 31th May 1990 in Vukovar in the East of Croatia.
During the Independence War from 1991 until 1996 this area was completely destroyed.
So three different business units were born in Croatia. (Sveta Nadelja, Solin and
The business unit in Solin provides the services in the south of Croatia and Vukovar does
the same for the northeast of Croatia.
In Sveta Nadalja it is a warehouse and the distribution of all the health products for
hospitals, pharmacies, health centres and wholesalers.
There are other business units in Slovenia (Ljubljana) and in Bosnia and Herzegovina
DAY 5 – NESTLÉ AND VOCATIONAL
It was founded by Henri Nestlé in Vevey (Swiss) in1866.
In 2016 the company celebrates its 150th anniversary.
Henri Nestlé was a pharmacist and in 1867 he applied for the first patent on baby’s milk.
Today Nestlé isn‘t centralised, but it is the largest food maker of the world.
The headquarters are in Vevey near Lausanne and there are 1000 employees. Worldwide
the company employs 330 000 people.
In Croatia Nestlé just imports the products. Thus we could only visit the department of
The visit included three speakers with different
contents in their presentations:
the history of Nestlé, the economy in Croatia,
marketing strategy and the main products in Croatia.
Here we learned some interesting facts about the different school system in Croatia.
The Croatian students had prepared a presentation in German and we presented our
presentation about the German school system, too. After that we had time to discuss and
talk in German as well as in English.
In Croatia the pupils go to the primary school until the eight class and than they can
choose between the college or a kind of vocational school.
The vocational school lasts three or four years. During that time the students only have
lessons. In Croatia there is no dual system like in Germany. For any practical experience
the students have to do a work placement during their summer holidays.
The college time is four or five years. Having passed their college-exams they can go to
Today more and more students choose the way of college and the university to improve
their chance to find a god job.
A lot of young people in Croatia are unemployed. So they often decide to go in another
country in Europe to work there for a time or even for their whole life.
DAY 6/7 – ARRIVAL IN SPLIT AND
It took us five hours to travel from Zagreb to Split.
It was a very interesting route with a lot of new
tunnels. The highway A1, which was completed
last year, is a new and important road connection
for this region as well as for the economy of Croatia.
During the workshop in the hotel we learned
something about business English and the
economic of Croatia. Here we got to know
once again that the quote of unemployment
among young people is very high. Thus
many young people are forced to look for
a job abroad.
Besides we practised our business English,
e.g. the situation of a business telephone call.
It is Split view from The Marjan.
FACTS ABOUT SPLIT
Area (Split and Dalmatia): 14 106 km² (land: 4 572 km² )
Area of Split: 80 km²
Population: 178 192 inhabitants
placed on a peninsula
The old town is a UNESCO World Heritage because it is the best preserved and the
oldest in the world.
important branches of economy: tourism and ship-building
largest city in the south of Croatia and one of the oldest in this area (over 1700 years old)
DAY 8 – CHAMBER OF COMMERCE SPLIT
AND THE UNIVERSITY OF SPLIT
The Croatian Chamber of Commerce
is an independent professional
We learned that it is involved in the new European entrepreneurship support network.
In 1852 it was established and organised in a European tradition like the chambers in
Austria or in Germany.
It is an organisation in Croatia and his headquarters are in Zagreb. There are 20
chambers in different cities, for example in Split.
The task of this Chamber is to promote, represent and protect their members‘ common
interests towards governmental authorities home and abroad.
THE UNIVERSITY OF SPLIT
Here, we visit the Department for Professional Studies in Split. This is the second largest
in Croatia with 2 000 full-time, approx. 1 000 part-time students and 120 employees.
It was founded in 1974 as a public university and since 2003 it is the University of Split.
It is for professional studies and the students are there for three or four years.
There are five different departments:
electrical and mechanical engineering,
information technology, finance accounting
and business trade.
We made the acquaintance of students from the
project „Erasmus“, who were from Germany.
After our English presentation of our vocational
school system in English and our region we
had time to talk and discuss with some students
DAY 9 – WORKSHOP IN THE HOTEL
In this workshop we learned something about how to prepare a good presentation.
The important websites for any information about economy in MOE countries are GTaI,
AHK, EEN, iXPOS and europages.
Finally we had time to prepare our presentation.
Last but not least Ms. Kaufhold showed us some video clips of our English presentation
at the University of Split. So we could see and learn how we talk in front of a class.
Of course we did not like it very much but
it helped us to find our mistakes.
In addition we saw what we had done well.
DAY 10 – CROATIAN EMPLOYERS‘
ASSOCIATION AND RALLY OF THE CITY
On this day the weather wasn‘t on our side. It was the
second rainy day during our two weeks stay.
In this meeting we had learned something about the
Croatian Employers‘ Association (CEA).
It is a voluntary, non – profitable independent employers‘ association protecting and
promoting its members‘ rights and interests. And a second mission is the protection and
promotion of member companies‘ rights and interests.
It was founded in the first half of 1993 and since 1993 it is a member of the international
Organisation of Employers (IOE – Geneva).
The business units are in Zagreb, Split, Rijeka and Osijek. In Zagreb there are the
headquarters with 46 employers.
RALLY OF THE CITY
We had the task to make our own visit of Split with us
being the guides. So everyone had to choose one
of the famous buildings and sights of Split.
I had chosen the Cathedral of Domnius, the oldest Cathedral of the world. It is a catholic
cathedral and was originally built as Diocletian‘s mausoleum. Diocletian was a Roman
imperator, by the way the only one which died of a natural death.
There are two differences:
The church was built for the Virgin Mary and the bell Tower
The oldest monuments in the Cathedral are the remarkable
scenes of the life of Jesus Christ on the wooden entrance doors.
They were made in the 13th century.
Other very nice places in Split are:
The Riva, The Basement Halls and
The old Town of Split.
The Bell Tower
DAY 11 – HARBOUR OF SPLIT
On this day we visited the Port of Split (LUKA d. d. Split). It has a port area from
33 000 m² and is a free zone port, what means that business activities are performed
under special and fixed conditions.
We learned that it was founded in the 40‘s of the 20th century and until 2005 it was a
company under the government. Today it is a firm of a Russian investor.
We could learn that the port is important for all countries of Europe and that it distributes
the products on railway and road connections.
Our group during the visit.
DAY 12 – WAY BACKHOME
Early in the morning we had to check out of the
hotel and to take the bus to the airport.
The flight was via Cologne to Berlin. We arrived in Berlin at 1 o‘clock p.m.
So everything was fine and on 6 o‘clock
in the evening everyone of us was at home.
It was a great time in Croatia with a lot of information about the people, the way of life
and the economy.
We learned that Croatia has a good infrastructure, important sea routes and a lot of
highly motivated workers. In this respect it is worthwhile investing in this country,
although corruption and the bureaucracy are problems that could delay the realization of
The people in Croatia are very nice, helpful and friendly, perhaps even more than in
Germany. They like to talk face to face to business partners and persons who are honest
For me it was a great chance to improve my knowledge of the Eastern European
countries. Over and above that, I have become a fan of Croatia. I learned that there are a
lot of people in the World that are wearing a little thing of Croatia. It‘s the cravat. The
word means „Croatian“ in French ☺.
I am indebted to you for the opportunity of that journey and I hope this project will exist
for a long time.
from prasentations and conversations with employees and students/teachers
Flyer „Step to Step“ from Zagreb
FOR YOUR ATTENTION!
ZELIMO VAM UGODAN DAN!
(I WISH YOU A VERY NICE DAY!)