TRANSMADRID IN CROATIA

Before the democratic elections and the subsequent war in 1991, our CEO, Aleksandar Hajduka, organized meetings between Yugoslav leaders, from both the ruling party and opposition, and the Spanish public Television (TVE), represented by Pedro Gonzalez, a renowned journalist, producer and editor of a television series entitled “Nuestra Europa” (“Our Europe”). The idea of the series was the Spanish viewers to attend to the process of political transition which had taken place in countries of the so-called Eastern Europe after the fall of the Berlin Wall, including the Soviet Union.

Yugoslavia, a country that was still politically and economically ruled by a communist party, was also at this juncture, though the changes were happening more slowly than in other countries. The so-called self-managed socialism, the strong autonomy of the republics, the distribution of the economic power despite the centralization tendency and the apparent religious and social harmony (in a multinational state with different religious beliefs), had created the illusion of Yugoslavia being the model of a successful transition. Western Europe, which for years had watched with sympathy the Yugoslav economic and political model of the time (not in vain its multicultural and multiethnic profile was quite close to the model of the European Union) followed with interest the developments. The report on Yugoslavia issued by the Spanish Television at “Nuestra Europa”, faithfully reflected this climate.

However, it should be noted, that Pedro Gonzalez was who precisely who reported at TVE the last plenary session of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia in 1990, in which the full delegation of the Communist Parties of Slovenia (led by Milan Kucan) and Croatia (led by Ivica Racan) stopped and left the Congress. An event that caused the disintegration of Yugoslavia.

After coming to power in 1990, the new Government of the Republic of Croatia began developing its economic politic program. Late 1991 the “Program( Programme )of economic policy for 1992″ was approved. Its main objectives were:

  1. Privatization of the former collective ownership
  2. Restructuration of the Economy
  3. Financial consolidation of companies and banks
  4. Development of SMEs
  5. Rationalization of public services and administration

Achieving these objectives would mean the end of the monopoly of the state companies and the introduction of competition in market relations by increasing its efficiency.

Aiming to accelerate this process, the Government of the Republic of Croatia adopted a series of measures and laws. Those measures were essential to liberalize the business activity and stimulate the foreign investment and privatization. The adoption of the law on direct taxes modernized the tax system with two objectives:

a) The Approach to European models, as a condition for the entry of the country into the European Union.

b) Attracting essential capital for the Croatian economy with an exemption tax system for foreign companies and domestic start-ups.

The result was a large increase in the number of new businesses and the creation of the Croatian Fund for Development to assist the companies in the process of restructuring and privatization, as well as encouraging foreign investment.

The parliamentary and presidential elections of 2000 were a first step to create a more democratic and modern Croatia. More rational political and professionally prepared leaders were elected.

The orientation of Croatia into the European Union as a political model for democratization, achieving the economic bases of the welfare state according to their tendencies and its aspirations of joining the NATO (in the field of defense and security) determined the future mainstream guidelines for the development.

Under those circumstances, and taking into account Transmadrid had already been working in Croatia, the company felt the necessity to create, in 1991, local companies. Aleksandar Hajduka then created Finman, company based in Zagreb. Within the activities carried out by the association named CROMA (Croatian Management Association), in 1992 the company Croman it is founded. In 1994, Transmadrid created the company PM & Amper based in Zagreb and finally, in 2004, delegations from Transmadrid in Zagreb and Dubrovnik are launched. The main objective of the founding of these companies was to provide consulting services on technical cooperation between Spain and Croatia, based on the extensive experience demonstrated by Transmadrid in this field.

CROMA (Croatian Management Association) In 1992, Hajduka actively involves himself in the CROMA project. After participating in its structuring, he organizes international symposia and different publishing activities. To that end, the company and the magazine “Croman” were born. The “Croman” magazine started then to edit texts on corporate activities, reports, seminars and symposia organized by the association.

Representation of the Croatian Chamber of Economy In 1991 the Croatia Chamber of Economy appointed Aleksandar Hajduka as his honorary representative in Spain. Aleksandar Hajduka accepted this position despite the discrepancies that separated him from the Croatian political power of the time. Using the experience and prestige of Transmadrid, various actions were initiated to link the economies of Spain and Croatia. Meanwhile, Croatia became independent.

It took much effort to explain the position of Croatia, a country with secular desire to be an independent State, subject to various war attacks and which had paid a heavy price for its independence. Transmadrid helped to establish an alliance between Spain and Croatia. This way, the Spanish banks granted credit lines to Croats banks. It is remarkable to underline the special help given by Banco de Santander, Banco Exterior de España, Privredna Banka Zagreb, Zagrebacka Banka and Istarska Banka. Through negotiations with the CESCE (Spanish National Political Risk Insurance and Trade Institute), the first policies to insure loans granted by Spanish banks in Croatia were subscribed. Also the first export credit to finance equipment for shipbuilding, steel and miscellaneous equipment, granted to Croatian shipyards was conceded. All those steps certainly made worthy the perseverance of Transmadrid. The honorary representative of the Croatian Chamber of Economy in Spain guides and advises with its reporting and analysis settled the basic lines of cooperation to assist the work between both countries.

In conclusion, what has been done so far is mainly the result of the work and concerns of some Spanish companies that had the will and courage to be part of the Croatian market during the hard times of the country. It was also a result of the unquestionable contribution of the embassies of both countries, which had always stressed the desire to strengthen their cooperation. In our opinion, only two things can be indentified as Croatian national products: shipbuilding and tourism. Regarding to shipbuilding, Transmadrid achieved many goals showing that it has been possible to build an industry, even competing with a world power in shipbuilding as Spain. That is why, we, as a company, think that more effort, imagination and organization could achieve the same success in tourism.