Croatian business culture guide - Learn about Croatia
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Croatian business culture guide - Learn about Croatia

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http://businessculture.org - Find out about business culture in Croatia. This guide is part of the Passport to Trade 2.0 project, which examined European Business culture in 31 countries looking at ...

http://businessculture.org - Find out about business culture in Croatia. This guide is part of the Passport to Trade 2.0 project, which examined European Business culture in 31 countries looking at business communication, business etiquette, business meeting etiquette, internship and student placements, cost of living, work-life-balance and social media guide.

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Croatian business culture guide - Learn about Croatia Croatian business culture guide - Learn about Croatia Document Transcript

  •            |  1     businessculture.org Business Culture In Croatia   http://businessculture.org/southerneurope/business-culture-in-croatia/ Content Template Last updated: 27.09.2013 businessculture.org   Content  CRO   This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the view only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.
  •            |  2     TABLE  OF  CONTENTS   Business  Culture  in  Croatia  .......................................................................................................  4   Xenophobia: being a foreigner in Croatia ........................................................................................... 5   International business in Croatia ......................................................................................................... 5   General educations ............................................................................................................................... 6   Educational standards .......................................................................................................................... 6   Other issues .......................................................................................................................................... 6   Cultural taboos ..................................................................................................................................... 7   Business  Communications  in  Croatia  ........................................................................................  8   Face-to-face communication ................................................................................................................ 8   Language matters ................................................................................................................................. 8   Business relationship ............................................................................................................................. 9   Making contact ..................................................................................................................................... 9   Personal titles ........................................................................................................................................ 9   Business  Etiquette  ..................................................................................................................  10   Corporate social responsibility ........................................................................................................... 11   Punctuality .......................................................................................................................................... 11   Gift giving ........................................................................................................................................... 11   Business dress code ............................................................................................................................. 11   Bribery and corruption ....................................................................................................................... 11   Business  Meeting  Etiquette  ....................................................................................................  13   Importance of business meetings ........................................................................................................ 13   Business meeting planning ................................................................................................................. 13   Negotiation process ............................................................................................................................ 13   Meeting protocol ................................................................................................................................ 14   How to run a business meeting .......................................................................................................... 14   Follow up letter after meeting with client ........................................................................................... 15   Business meals .................................................................................................................................... 15   businessculture.org   Content  Croatia  
  •            |  3     Business meeting tips .......................................................................................................................... 16   Internship  and  placement  .......................................................................................................  18   Work experience................................................................................................................................. 18   Internship and placement advice ....................................................................................................... 18   Social security and European health insurance card ......................................................................... 18   Safety .................................................................................................................................................. 19   Do I need a visa? ................................................................................................................................ 19   Internship and placement salary ........................................................................................................ 20   Internship and placement accommodation ........................................................................................ 20   Cost  of  Living  ...........................................................................................................................  21   Money and banking ........................................................................................................................... 21   Travelling costs ................................................................................................................................... 21   Work-­‐life  Balance   ....................................................................................................................  22   National holidays ................................................................................................................................ 22   Working hours .................................................................................................................................... 23   Work culture ....................................................................................................................................... 23   Health insurance ................................................................................................................................ 23   Social  Media  Guide  .................................................................................................................  24   SMEs .................................................................................................................................................. 24   Search and Social Media Marketing for International Business ........................................................ 25   businessculture.org   Content  Croatia  
  •            |  4     Business  Culture  in  Croatia   The following is a very short introduction to Croatia. External links at the end of this page provide you with more in depth information concerning different topics. The following video gives you an overview of the general facts: (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jho_TcOMFbk) Croatia is strategically placed at the crossroads of Central Europe, the Balkans and the Adriatic Sea and is also close to the Mediterranean. It is bordering Hungary to the northeast, Serbia to the east, Bosnia and Herzegovina to the south-east, Montenegro to the south-east, the Adriatic Sea to the south-west and Slovenia to the north-west. The population of Croatia is 4,290,612 (census 2011) and its capital and largest city is Zagreb with a population of 792,875, followed by Split-Dalmatia with a population of 455,242. Altogether Croatia comprises 20 counties as well as the city of Zagreb. Most of the population are Croat, with the most common religious denomination being Roman Catholicism. Croatia covers 56,594 square kilometres (21,851 square miles) with a diverse climate ranging from continental to alpine and Mediterranean along the coast. Croatia’s Adriatic coast contains more than a thousand islands. businessculture.org   Content  Croatia  
  •            |  5     Croatia has a low birth rate of 9.4 per 1,000 inhabitants (2011), while the death rate is higher at 11.6 per 1,000 inhabitants. According to the Croatian Bureau of Statistics (2009), the age of the population is distributed as follows: 15.3% are 14 years old or younger, 15 – 64 years 67.5% are between the ages of 15 to 64 and 17.3% are 65 years or older. The main ethnic groups are Croats at 90.4%, followed by Serbs at 4.4% and the remaining population at 5.2% (including Bosnian, Hungarian, Slovenians, Czech, and Roma) (Wikipedia, 2011). Croatia today has a very high Human Development Index. The International Monetary Fund classified Croatia as an emerging and developing economy, and the World Bank identified it as a high income economy. Croatia is an acceding state of the European Union, with full membership expected in July 2013. The Croatian economy has been steadily declining for the past four years and the government national debt is currently estimated at 59.535% of GDP. Croatia’s main export partners are Italy, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Germany, Slovenia and Austria, which is similar to its main import partners: Italy, Germany, Russia, China, Slovenia and Austria (2011). Croatia’s main exports are transport equipment, machinery, textiles, chemicals, foodstuffs, fuels and its main imports are machinery, transport and electrical equipment; chemicals, fuels and lubricants, and foodstuffs. Foreign Direct Investment into Croatia has been in continual decline since 2008 and currently has some of the lowest levels of FDI in south-eastern Europe. The official language of Croatia is Croatian and its official currency is the Kuna (HRK). Croatia is in the Central European Time Zone and adheres to CET (UTC +1) during the winter and CEST (UTC +2) during the summer. Xenophobia:  being  a  foreigner  in  Croatia   Businesses in Croatia are very formal, but receptive to cross cultural management. This means that they are ready to accept foreign ideas if they are approached in a respectful way, whereas any dictatorial or forceful approach to business by a foreigner will not be tolerated. Croatia remains a country in transition and that is why the government is promoting foreign direct investment (FDI) and partnerships with local companies through liberal frameworks and tax breaks. International  business  in  Croatia   When you visit another country on business, you expect some differences in how business is conducted. However, you do not always have sufficient time to learn these differences through personal experience. Sometimes, you will find yourself in a meeting businessculture.org     Content  Croatia  
  •            |  6     only a few hours after your arrival, where your lack of local knowledge leads you to make basic cultural mistakes, which can have serious repercussions on your efforts. General  educations   The literacy level in Croatia is 99% with a highly skilled workforce like most of the other south-eastern European countries. The primary school education starts from grade 1 to grade 8 from the age of 6 to 14, and then there are two possibilities to choose from, a vocational or specialized and gymnasium secondary school. After four years of education they graduate at the age of 18 and students from gymnasium secondary schools have the best chance of furthering their education by attending a university. Most of the students that went to a vocational / specialized school will either enter the workforce directly or go to university. University education normally takes four years for an undergraduate degree, although this varies according to the subject matter, and most postgraduate degrees require a further two years of study. Educational  standards   The educational standard in Croatia is on a par with the rest of Europe. The primary and secondary education is compulsory for every citizen of the country and it is free of charge. University education is also free but some costs are involved. Other  issues   During the past ten to fifteen years, the number of Croatians emigrating to other EUcountries has been stagnant or even slightly declining. However, this trend has changed in the last couple of years because of the economic situation, which has been a catalyst for many young professionals to emigrate to other EU countries. Due to emerging skill shortages in some sectors, labour migration to Croatia has also been growing in recent years. Most migrants come from the successor states of the former Yugoslavia, in particular Bosnia and Herzegovina and Macedonia, taking up jobs in the construction, shipbuilding and tourism sectors. Though calculations on the potential migration flows following EU accession are missing, it can be assumed that the numbers will be small; even taking into account those Croats from Bosnia and Herzegovina with dual citizenship. businessculture.org     Content  Croatia  
  •            |  7     Given Croatia’s economic situation (21.6% unemployment rate), the difficulties of unemployment facing minority returnees cannot solely be attributed to discrimination. Many of the regions where the majority of people are returning to were underdeveloped, even before the war. Yet the percentage of jobless minority returnees is disproportionate to that of the general population. In particular, the percentage of ethnic Serbs employed in the public sector does not correspond to their numbers as a percentage of the general population. The Constitutional Law on the Rights of National Minorities (CLNM) guarantees employment of national minorities at all levels of public service, including State and local administration, which incorporates the police and the judiciary. Cultural  taboos   Because Croatians like to know their business partners very well there might be some mixing of business with pleasure but try not to over step the boundaries. It is important to avoid: • Mixing confidential and intimate discussion on personal and business level • Personal financial questions • Any subject or question that might show that you have lost respect for them or that may cause them to lose respect for you. • Discussions concerning the political and military history of Yugoslavia, collapse of communism, the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina (1992-5), and anything related to war crimes. • Raising the thumb, index, and middle finger at once, because it is a Serbian gesture and is connected to Serbian nationalism. businessculture.org     Content  Croatia  
  •              |  8   Business  Communications  in  Croatia   Communication is probably the most important aspect of doing business, yet we tend to take it for granted when doing business in our own country because we are dealing with people that speak the same language as us. The following section is divided into three areas: communication, working practice, and eating out. It explains the differences between face-to-face communication, and dealing with people via the telephone or by letter/fax etc. How important is it to address people by their correct title? How should you introduce yourself? Should you always give your business cards? How important is it to get things agreed in writing? We think that this covers most business situations. By reading this section, you should be sufficiently well equipped with the basic ‘ground rules’ for doing business in Croatia. Face-­‐to-­‐face  communication   Croatians are often direct and view soft-spoken or shy people as vulnerable and weak. Eye contact is essential and is considered a sign of respect. Croatians enjoy irony and dark humour and will often laugh at difficult situations and personal flaws. Croatians find humour in sarcasm and do not typically change their tone of voice or facial expression when telling a joke. For these reasons, it can be difficult for foreigners to understand Croatian humour. Croatians tend to tease others, especially foreigners, but mean no ill will and expect you to behave in the same manner towards them. Personal space is important, but a large distance indicates dislike. Croatians are personable and will want to know about your family and where you come from. Do not talk about money or personal problems, because they view this as a sign of weak character and the discussion will leave your colleagues feeling uneasy. Language  matters   Croatian society is formal, but in the business environment they prefer personal contact. They also like to get to know business partners in a less formal setting, giving them opportunity to see another side of their partners without affecting the business opportunity. Most Croatian business people/managers are multi-lingual and the main business languages apart from Croatian are English, German and Italian (used mainly in the Content  Croatia   businessculture.org    
  •            |  9     coastal areas of Istria). Nowadays, most of the younger managers speak fluent English, which should negate the need for an interpreter. However, a foreign business partner should always ask before the meeting whether an interpreter is required in order to avoid an uncomfortable situation. It is also advisable to learn a few greeting phrases in Croatian just to break the ice at the beginning of the meeting. Business  relationship   Croatians prefer face to face to written communication, because it gives you the opportunity to look into the eyes of your business partner and gauge their commitment to the project. Written documentation is needed in most business situations for formal arrangements and providing a basis for discussion. Making  contact   In order to find information about possible partners in Croatia, you can visit the websites of the following organizations: Croatian Chamber of Economy, Union of Industry, trade department of Croatian Embassies abroad, Croatian Agency for Small Businesses and many more. Europe, during introduction you extend your right hand to shake while saying your greetings like good morning, afternoon or evening and stating clearly either only your surname name or your full name so that the other person can hear and understand what you said. Personal  titles   Most professionals are addressed according to their qualification or their position at work. Titles according to education are Bachelor (prvostupnik), Master (magistar struke), Doctor of Science or Doctor of Arts (dr. sc. or dr. art.), Doctor of Medicine (doktor medicine). If you are unsure of titles then use “Gospodin” for Mr, “Gospodja” for Mrs and “Gospodična” for Miss). Only close friends and family members tend to use first names. Never jump to first names terms without being invited to. businessculture.org     Content  Croatia  
  •            |  10     Business  Etiquette     Business etiquette focuses on the behaviour deemed appropriate in a professional setting and you’ll be more likely to make an excellent impression on people you encounter if you maintain a professional approach. Attitudes and values are very important in trying to develop a business relationship between two cultures or countries. Croatians are well known for their relaxed attitude to business, even though they maintain a high degree of professionalism. They are friendly and lively, but it will take them a few visits to get to know you before they can feel comfortable with you. Attitudes and values are the foundations that drive behaviour and that gives us clues to people‘s thought patterns and what they consider important. Understanding these little details could be the difference between a successful business partnership and a failure. Basic tips to follow when doing business in Croatia: • Greetings should include a firm handshake and direct eye contact, a weak handshake means that you are weak and no direct eye contact can be taken to mean that you are hiding something. • Remain standing until you are invited to sit down as there might be a seat reserved especially for you. • Always maintain direct eye contact while speaking. • Initial meetings are scheduled as introductions and a first meeting may be with a middle manager, rather than the actual decision maker. • Punctuality is expected and taken extremely seriously. • Expect some small talk and getting-to-know-you conversation before business is discussed • Business is conducted slowly. You will have to be patient and not appear ruffled by the strict adherence to protocol • Companies tend to have a hierarchical structure, with decision-making power held at the top of the company. • Do not try to schedule meetings on Friday afternoons, as many Croatians leave for their country cottages after lunch. • Many businesses are closed during the month of August. • Letters should be addressed to the company rather than to a specific person. This prevents a letter from being held up if the person it is addressed to is away from the office. businessculture.org     Content  Croatia  
  •            |  11     Corporate  social  responsibility   Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a partnership between companies, stakeholders and the government to integrate social and environmental concerns into their business operations on a voluntary basis. The European Commission, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA Norway) financed projects supporting the development of Corporate Social Responsibility in Croatia from 2004 to 2008. This was done to help offset the financial burden on the companies and the government, because of the high cost of investing in new environmental friendly machineries. With Croatia about to be a permanent member of EU the government have to be stricter to both state and private companies that pollutes the atmosphere. Punctuality   In Croatian culture, it is very important to pay particular attention to your time-keeping skills. It is considered good manners, whether attending a business meeting or social lunch, to be punctual. A 15 minute grace period is normal in social settings, but might well be frowned upon in a formal business environment where punctuality is appreciated. Gift  giving   Small presents like a book or a souvenir representing the country you are visiting from would be acceptable. Expensive presents are not recommended and most companies have a ceiling on the value of the gift that can be accepted. Most business people would not expect gifts to be presented at the first meeting. Business  dress  code   The dress code is formal in Croatia. Croatian business people wear suits to the office and to business meetings. Men wear suits with a jacket and tie, while women tend to have a wider range of options. Women’s business attire is formal and must not be too revealing. In any case, dressing well is a sign of respect, demonstrating your attitude to business and attention to detail. Bribery  and  corruption   Bribery is used by both foreign and local businesses in order to acquire contracts or to cut through bureaucratic red tape when they are starting a new business. The main businessculture.org     Content  Croatia  
  •              |  12   problem in Croatia seems to be the legal system, which has a backlog of over a million cases waiting to be heard. The Corruption Perceptions Index (2012) from Transparency International charts levels of corruption in 176 countries throughout the World and places Croatia at 62nd on the list. businessculture.org     Content  Croatia  
  •            |  13     Business  Meeting  Etiquette     The safest practice when organising and attending meetings in another country is to ‘act local’. In this way, you can be confident that your meetings will be successful and your hosts will appreciate your cultural sensitivity. There are a number of things you need to consider: • What are the local attitudes to business meetings? • How should you go about organising a meeting? • How do you greet people at meetings? • How should you run a meeting? • What do you need to think about when conducting negotiations? • What should you do after a meeting? Importance  of  business  meetings   As with most countries, business meetings are accepted as a necessity of doing business in Croatia. Most Croatian business people use the first meeting as an opportunity to get to know their partner and they will need two or three meetings before they are able to decide if they are going to do business with you. These meetings are used as a form of bonding between the two people or group to gauge the level of trust between them before starting business arrangement. Business  meeting  planning   • It is appropriate to offer several options for the dates and time of the meeting and give an indication of what should be discussed. Make sure you get a confirmation of attendance from the attendees • Set out the agenda of the meeting • Organize the meeting room and equipment (if needed) and seating arrangement • Arrange a translator, if required • Refreshment and drinks should also be arranged, depending on how long the meeting is scheduled for • Don‘t forget to produce copies of any documentation required for the meeting in the language of your business partner. Negotiation  process   It might take several meetings for your Croatian business partners to warm up and be more receptive and less formal, it is therefore better to take the time to develop a more businessculture.org     Content  Croatia  
  •            |  14     personal relationship with him/her to facilitate smoother business cooperation. A degree of cross cultural adaptability is also necessary. Remember that business is conducted slowly and there is a great deal of red tape to get through; Croatians are not straight forward to deal with. They often say things in a roundabout fashion. Politeness prevents many Croatians from giving an irrefutable “no” and phrases such as “It is difficult” or “We will see” are often negative responses. Meeting  protocol   The basic way of greeting people is by shaking the right hand and saying “Dobro jutro” (good morning), “Dobar dan” (good day or good afternoon). When addressing a man, the correct phrase is “dobro došao”, when addressing a woman use “dobro došla” and for a group of people or an older person use “dobro došli”. Irrespective of gender, the host offers their hand first. So, when introducing yourself, use both your first and last names and shake hands. Exchanging business cards is usually the next step. As in Western meetings, you are expected to address senior staff in a formal manner, using last names and titles rather than first names. What to do: • Do show respect towards everyone you meet, including people that you do not know, as Croatians will often acknowledge strangers in passing. • Do ask Croatians for their opinions on the subject matter at hand, as they will be happy to assist you and this will help you earn their trust. • Do translate one side of your business card into Croatian. While not a necessity, this shows respect and will impress your Croatian business partners. What not to do: • Do not shake hands in a weak manner; it has to be a firm handshake. Croatian partners might get the impression that you are weak or are not sure of yourself. • On the other hand, do not overdo the firmness of the handshake. The way you shake hands says how open you are to the meeting. It is good while shaking hands to maintain direct eye contact. • Do not use overly friendly gestures like slapping on the back, hugging, kissing on the cheek etc. Also, the kissing of hands is not acceptable for a first meeting. How  to  run  a  business  meeting   If the Croatian company is hosting the meeting, you should expect a little diversion from the agreed program. After all the pleasantries, the meeting starts with small talk (like Content  Croatia   businessculture.org    
  •            |  15     getting to know each other), Croatians are very demonstrative when they talk, so they will not feel intimidated if you are also demonstrative. Don’t be surprised if your meeting does not follow the written agenda because they sometimes allow the discussion to go in a different direction. Depending on how long the meeting is, there might be some refreshment provided in the office or a working lunch at a nearby restaurant; and, if it is an all day meeting, you may expect a dinner invitation afterwards. Follow  up  letter  after  meeting  with  client   If a first meeting is successful, it will usually outline a number of action items that will need to be completed or a time period that should elapse before a follow-up meeting can take place. However, once there is an agreement then the timetable for the rest of the activities has to finalized, tasks are formulated, deadlines are fixed and dates and places of future meetings are arranged. Business  meals   Dining is generally one of the more enjoyable aspects of doing business in another country. We have included this as a separate section because formal meals can represent an opportunity to develop social relationships, which, as we all know, can be essential for strengthening any long-term business relationship. However, this presents a whole series of questions. Who pays? Should you offer to pay? When and what do they eat? Could you refuse a specific dish? What to wear? Can you discuss business at the table during the meal or when is it most appropriate? • Attitudes to Business Meals Business meals are used not only to discuss business but also as an opportunity to relax, socialize and get to know your partners. • Restaurant Etiquette The host of the business meeting is in charge of choosing the restaurant, making the reservation and paying at the end of the meal. An invitation to lunch is usually offered during the first meeting, whereas meeting to finalize the details of a business deal is usually held in the more formal surrounding of the company’s office. It is recommended you arrive on time. There are no strict rules on how to sit, but if there are only two people then you will probably sit opposite each other. businessculture.org     Content  Croatia  
  •            |  16     Formal dress is recommended, with a dark coloured suit or jacket and trousers with tie for men and something smart for women. • Food and Drink Traditional Croatian cuisine reflects widely diverse cultural and geographic influences. Some are a result of Croatia’s proximity to the sea and fertile farmland, and some are the result of foreign occupiers who imported their tastes and recipes. Croatians are very proud of their gastronomic traditions. Lunch (rucak) generally is Croatia’s main meal. It is often a three course meal of soup, roast meat with a side dish and a dessert. Lunch starts from about 12am till late afternoon and often with a small glass of plum brandy. Some typical Croatian food: Dalmatian smoked pork (prsut), paprika flavoured sausage (kulen), turkey with macaroni (mlinci) and Croatian fish dish (brodet and pasticada) are a must when you visit Croatia. Also delicious and well worth trying are the salted pilchards (a type of herring), mushrooms, sheep cheese and the strong Slavonian sauces. Croatians have a long history of making quality wine and most of the wineries are situated on the coast. They produce red wine like Teran and Merlot and white wine like Graševina, Portugizac and Malvazija. Beer (Pivo) is very popular in Croatia and the two best-known Croatian brewers are Ozusjko and Karlovacko. Other Issues (Including Restaurant vs Home) In most cases, a business host will choose to have a business lunch or dinner in a restaurant rather than at home. Inviting a business partner for dinner at home happens only after a more personal relationship has developed. Smoking during a business meeting is not a taboo and depends on the restaurant and the host. It is commonly accepted good manners to ask permission to smoke. Business  meeting  tips   Croatian business etiquette (Do’s and Don’ts) • Do show respect towards everyone you meet, including people that you do not know, as Croatians will often acknowledge strangers in passing businessculture.org     Content  Croatia  
  •            |  17     • Do ask Croatians for their opinions on the subject matter at hand, as they will be happy to assist you and this will help you earn their trust • Do translate one side of your business card into Croatian. While not a necessity, this shows respect and will impress your Croatian business partners • Don’t discuss religion, war, and other former Yugoslavian ethnicities. These subjects are taboo in Croatian business culture • Don’t openly criticise your Croatian colleagues. Croatians are very proud and are easily offended, so make suggestions rather than complaints and avoid direct confrontation • Don’t make plans, either business or personal, at the weekend without the consent of your Croatian colleagues. Weekends are considered family time and • Croatians do not tend to let business interfere with their personal plans businessculture.org     Content  Croatia  
  •            |  18     Internship  and  placement     Work  experience   A placement involves the placement of a student in a temporary work or research environment to enable them to gain extremely valuable experience that will benefit them in the long term. There are many types of placement, work placements, school placements and student exchanges. Some companies have placement departments to help integrate new hires into the company. They may also help with paperwork, especially if the candidate is from a different country. Placements are sourced by outside agencies as well as university departments, and most opportunities are advertised through the internet or university career centres. In fact, most universities have career centres that will support and assist students with placement applications, as well as assistance in finding work that compliments their studies or a permanent position following their graduation. Placements are not common in Croatian companies, even though some companies are trying to implement the system as part of their strategy to bring in new qualified employees. Most placement opportunities are found with educational institutions looking for research assistants or young foreigners who are targeted to fulfil European Union funding requirements. Some companies are now trying to attract students through attendance at university open days, which give employers access to potential future employees and allow students to explore options that are open to them. As part of policy targeting unemployed students and general unemployment, the government has also instituted a subsidy scheme to assist companies who are able to take on and re-train new workers. Internship  and  placement  advice   The practical needs of a local student will be far less than a foreign student, and placement negotiation would usually be limited to salary and duration. As a foreign student, issues including accommodation, work permit (if needed), insurance and health care, taxes, banking and so on, will need to be investigated prior to the submission of a placement application. Social  security  and  European  health  insurance  card businessculture.org     Content  Croatia  
  •            |  19     The level of care you are entitled to will depend on where you come from and whether Croatia has a reciprocal agreement in place with your country. If you have compulsory health insurance coverage from abroad during your stay in the Republic of Croatia, you are entitled to emergency medical care. Croatia’s healthcare system is a mixture of public and private services and is in the process of undergoing reform, so it is important to research your entitlement and purchase additional insurance, if required. Slovenian, Czech, Hungarian and German citizens may use health care services upon presentation of the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) and submission of a photocopy of the card or certificate and maintain a temporary medical record with the doctor or institution where they receive health care services for the first time. If you do not have entitlement to healthcare services, you will need to cover the full cost of any treatment or services and should be aware that prices are not regulated and may not be the same as prices applied to persons insured in Croatia. Safety   Croatia is a safe country, however no country is 100% safe so be careful where you go and when you go there. Be aware of pick-pockets in crowded places like public transport and popular tourist places. If something should happen below are contact numbers and general information to take note of: • The universal emergency telephone number is 112 and you can reach all the relevant emergency response units including the Ambulance service, (193) Fire service, and the Police • The electricity voltage is 220 V; 50 Hz • Tap water is safe to drink • The speed limits are 50 km/h within inhabited areas; 90 km/h outside inhabited areas, 110km/h for motorway and 130 km/h on highways Do  I  need  a  visa? Because Croatia is at an advanced stage of joining the European Union, its citizens are allowed to travel into EU member states without first obtaining a visa, with a reciprocal agreement for EU citizens going to Croatia. Residents of the United States are allowed to visit Croatia for a maximum of 90 days without requiring a visa, unless they intend to work or study. Most visitors from the rest of the world will need to apply for a visa, except where there is an agreement in place between the two countries. Temporary residence permits are available to those who wish to remain in Croatia longer than 90 days and who are able to meet certain criteria required by the government. These permits are typically issued on an annual basis and can be converted into a permanent permit, after a certain number of years. businessculture.org     Content  Croatia  
  •            |  20     Internship  and  placement  salary   A salary should be agreed before the start of the placement and that agreement is between you and the company. Some countries have a minimum hourly rate salary that is applicable to most or all employment situation. You should also consult with the company about your tax situation, if the company will pay income tax or social security tax including health and social benefits. Internship  and  placement  accommodation   Most local universities have dormitories or hostels available to both local and foreign students. This accommodation is generally cheaper than renting a private flat. Some companies might also have cheaper accommodation for their employees as some sort of company benefits to compensate for less salary. businessculture.org     Content  Croatia  
  •            |  21     Cost  of  Living     The cost of living in every country is different and not comparable that is why doing some investigation about where you are going is very important. The living standard in Croatia is comparable to other eastern and central European countries but obviously lower than western European countries. Students going for placement in Croatia should visit the following websites to get an idea of what the prices for everyday things are: Money  and  banking   The currency of Croatia is the Kuna (HRK), which is subdivided into 100 Lipa and equal to approximately 0.13Euros (as of June 2013). The Kuna was introduced in June 1994 after the transitional period following Croatian independence. For most banks, opening a bank account is extremely simple. They usually offer a choice between current accounts, giro accounts and savings accounts. Accounts can be opened in either Kuna or a foreign currency. This is because although there are no restrictions on the amounts of foreign currency that can be brought in and out of the country, restrictions do apply to movements of Croatian currency. Normally, opening an account only requires ID and a small deposit, although sometimes the banks might ask you for proof of residency in Croatia (particularly for giro or savings accounts in Kuna). Some banks automatically provide a debit card and an overdraft allowance of up to 30,000 Kuna. Others prefer that you apply for an overdraft once your account is set up. Charges for accounts vary from bank to bank and account to account. For example, student accounts are generally free. Travelling  costs   If the placement is in any of the big cities, transportation should not be a problem. Croatian public transportation is efficient, clean and punctual and is the easiest and fastest mode of transportation in the capital and country at large. businessculture.org     Content  Croatia  
  •            |  22     Work-­‐life  Balance     The result of a survey by ABSRJ (Advances in Business-Related Scientific Research Journal) into the work-life balance in Croatia came to the conclusion that men and women have different needs. The work – life balance is relatively the same around Europe except maybe in France where they have only 35hour work week. It is a balance that everyone is striving to achieve but with the growing work load and work place pressure and rising unemployment in Croatia everyone is under pressure to spend more time at work. Weekends for Croatians are family time and they are very strict about it. National  holidays   Public holidays in Croatia are regulated by the Holidays, Memorial Days and Non-Working Days Act. Date - English name - Local name • January 1st – New Year’s Day – • January 6th - Epiphany • Variable dates – Easter and the day after Easter and Easter Monday - Uskrs i uskrsni ponedjeljak • May 1st - International Worker’s Day – Međunarodni praznik rada • Variable date – 60 days post Easter, Corpus Christi - Tijelovo • June 22nd - Anti-Fascist Struggle Day – Dan antifašističke borbe • June 25th - Statehood Day – Dan državnosti • August 5th - Victory and Homeland Thanksgiving Day and the Day of Croatian defenders – Dan - Nova Godina Bogojavljenje, Sveta tri kralja pobjede i domovinske zahvalnosti i Dan hrvatskih branitelja • August 15th - Assumption of Mary - Velika Gospa • October 8th - Independence Day - Dan neovisnosti • November 1st – All Saints Day - Dan svih svetih • December 25th – Christmas - Božić • December 26th - St. Stephen’s Day - Prvi dan po Božiću, Sveti Stjepan, Štefanje Note: Citizens of the Republic of Croatia who celebrate different religious holidays have the right not to work on those dates. This includes Christians who celebrate Christmas on January 7 per the Julian calendar, Muslims on the days of Ramadan Bayram and Kurban Bayram, and Jews on the days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. businessculture.org     Content  Croatia  
  •            |  23     In Croatia, all employees are entitled to a minimum of 20 working days annual leave. Saturdays can be included, even if company offices are not open on Saturdays. This is left for employers and employees to agree. Working  hours   Croatian official working hours are 40 hours per week, a typical working day is 8 hours plus 30 minutes lunch break, the start and end of the day depends on the sector you work for. People working for government institution starts earlier than people working for private companies. They are entitle to at least 20 working days per year. There are forms of protection in case of maternity leave or for employees who are temporarily or permanently disabled. Under certain conditions, employers may require employees to work up to 10 hours per day to a maximum of 52 hours per week, or 60 hours in the case of seasonal jobs. Work  culture   The work culture in Croatia is formal and very professional, the government has a number of legal measures protecting workers. All companies have to adhere to government regulations in the areas of health and safety, discrimination, minimum wage levels, part-time employment, and equal opportunities. Health  insurance   Croatia’s healthcare system is a mixture of public and private services, citizens are entitled to free health care as long as they have their insurance card. All employers are supposed to pay the health insurance of their employees monthly with social security. The private clinics and hospitals charge for their services and if you can afford it the services are faster than the public sector hospitals. businessculture.org     Content  Croatia  
  •            |  24     Social  Media  Guide     Social media usage in Croatia has been on an upward trend in the last few years just like everywhere else. Facebook is the most popular social media network with 1,611,400 registered users, as of December 2012. It had grown by 90,420 in the previous six months with a penetration of 35.88% of the country’s population and 60.08% in relation to the total number of Internet users. The demographics of the network show that it is most popular with 18 to 24 year olds (500,000 users) followed by users in the 25 to 34 year age range and the 35 to 44 age range showing the fastest current growth. LinkedIn is being used as a tool by professional people to promote themselves and it is becoming very popular with university students who are using it to also present themselves to potential employers. Many head hunting and jobs agencies use LinkedIn as a tool to either look for new recruits or for a reference check on potential clients. Twitter is primarily individual oriented and most companies that do use twitter have no more than one or two employees who are using the company account to broadcast press releases and company information to customers and potential customers. Twitter’s popularity has being growing gradually. SMEs   Most Croatian companies now have some form of presence on the internet. Some just have a company website, while others have a Facebook page or have joined LinkedIn. Many of these social media networks are used for different things and by different companies. The service sector, mainly hotels and restaurants, are heavy users of social media; promoting their services and reacting to peoples’ comments about their establishments. They actively seek followers and likes on social media in order to expand their audience and reach greater numbers of people. By controlling their presence and reacting to people’s comments on social media, these companies are able to shape their image and change people’s opinion of them. They can gain a good reputation for responding quickly to their customers’ concerns. businessculture.org     Content  Croatia  
  •            |  25     Some companies have begun to use LinkedIn to advertise vacancies or to find potential employees. These companies can also encourage their employees to join different groups on LinkedIn that might or will be beneficial to the company. Technology and manufacturing companies have been attracted to YouTube because video is an excellent means of showcasing products and demonstrating process improvements. YouTube also has the highest daily traffic of all social media network and many major companies use it to advertise current products and introduce new products for immediate customer comment, which allows companies’ to shorten the feedback cycle and improve customer relations. Croatia has a number of local search engines that should be referenced when doing a country-specific search; see below for a list of the key search providers: Search  and  Social  Media  Marketing  for  International  Business   Learn how to use social media for business from one of Salford Business School’s latest business management courses. The course was jointly researched by the Passport to Trade 2.0 project team and prepared in collaboration with some of the leading digital marketing agencies in the UK. This Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) can help businesses and individuals to make the best use of search and social media platforms. The course is called Search and Social Media Marketing for International Business and is applicable to students looking for placements abroad as well as businesses thinking about new trade links; it comprises the following twelve topics: How to develop a personal brand online (1/12) • • Whether you are a student beginning a job search or a business person planning a new business venture, personal branding can make a difference. Learn about personal branding and why it is important for you. http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=l9LYw0mgtn4&feature=player _embedded businessculture.org     Content  Croatia  
  •            |  26     How to use Twitter (2/12) • • Learn the basics of using Twitter to develop an individual or business profile. Remember to use hash tag #SSMMUoS to share your learning journey on this course so far! http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=9CVY3pp91Dc&feature=playe r_embedded How to use Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) (3/12) • • Learn the principles of SEO to ensure that your website and any social media profiles are found by individuals searching for your name, products and services. These basic principles of SEO include keyword research, on-page optimisation and off-page optimisation. http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=zw27cRcwtM0&feature=player _embedded How to use social media for international business development (4/12) • • businessculture.org     Social media networks break down the traditional country barriers, but do you know which networks are relevant for the country you are interested in trading with? Find out in this video how to identify the relevant networks and what social media strategies you might be able to use on these networks. Content  Croatia  
  •            |  27     http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=Bx-B56AHS4c&feature= player_embedded How to use Facebook (5/12) • • Facebook is currently the largest social media network in the world and it can benefit you as a business as well as an individual. Learn how to develop a Facebook business page and see how other businesses use it and what strategies work for them. http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=UmRGn-vdcO8&feature= player_embedded How to use YouTube (6/12) • • YouTube was identified as the second largest social network amongst younger internet users as part of the Passport to Trade 2.0 project. Learn how to optimise your video content in order to reach wider audiences for your profile. http://www.youtube.com/watch? feature=player_embedded&v=G2 0OVpmTBss businessculture.org     Content  Croatia  
  •            |  28     How to use LinkedIn (7/12) • • LinkedIn is one of the three main professional social networks – the others being Xing and Viadeo which are also popular in several European countries. Learn how to make the most of LinkedIn for your profile. http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=N6e_EAUQqic&feature=playe r_embedded How to use Google+ (8/12) • • • Google+ is the second largest social network as of January 2013. It is one of the fastest growing social networks and one that has the biggest impact when it comes to search engine results integration for anyone who uses Google as their main search engine. Learn how to make the most of Google+ for you and your digital profiles. http://www.youtube.com/watch? feature=player_embedded&v=8ti 3SPHkEWw How to use copywriting online (9/12) • • Copywriting is a process of translating technical specifications and product descriptions into engaging and understandable customer focused text. Learn about the basic techniques in structuring your online content here. http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=5f1hx_f2ONI&feature=player_ embedded businessculture.org     Content  Croatia  
  •            |  29     How to stay legal on social media (10/12) • • Everything and anything you do and say online can be potentially viewed by anyone who has internet access. Always respect the law and familiarise yourself with new options offered to you through a creative commons licence which is popular online. http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=eQxDpiHsdk&feature=player_embedde d How to use monitoring and reporting (11/12) • • Whether you are an individual or a business spending time on social media – there has to be a return on your engagement online. How do you justify your engagement on social media to your boss? Listen to the industry experts in this area and see what you might be able to measure in respect of your on-line engagements. http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=LbEq7jsG0jg&feature=player_ embedded How to blog (12/12) • • http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=OqVjR7oI8Rs&feature=player _embedded businessculture.org     • Blogging is a process of writing text and sharing content with others. It can help your customers or friends to keep in-touch regardless of social media platforms. Think about the voice you might want to adopt and who your audience might be. Share your thoughts with us by writing a blog post about this MOOC. Tweet us the link to your post on the #SSMMUoS Twitter hash tag. Content  Croatia  
  •              |  30   Passport  to  Trade  2.0  Project  Partnership   Five Universities: Lead partner: Salford Business School, University of Salford, United Kingdom Elena Vasilieva Aleksej Heinze Alex Fenton URENIO research unit at Aristole University of Thessaloniki, Greece Christina Kakderi Nitsa Papadopouloui TSE Entre Research Centre Turku School of Economics, University of Turku, Finland Satu Aaltonen Elisa Akola Institute for Information System Research University of Koblenz-Landau, Germany Verena Hausmann Susan P. Williams Petra Schubert Valahia University of Targoviste, Romania Adriana Grigorescu Leonardo Badea Three Small & Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) Spin, Italy Carmine Antonio Donato Dorella De Tommaso Technology Development & Innovation – TDI LTD Bulgaria Milanka Slavova Ivan Stoychev TIS Praha, Czech Republic Anna Klosova Richard Adekeye businessculture.org     Content  Croatia