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Croatia declared independence from Yugoslavia on 1991. In 2008 Croatia was invited to join NATO. European Union accession negotiations were completed in June 2011. Croatia is expected to accede to the European Union in mid-2013. This will provide Croatia with a voice in European Union decision making, thus adding a new dimension to New Zealand’s relationship with Croatia.
The relationship between New Zealand and Croatia is warm and based on historical ties. The first Croatian immigrants arrived from the Dalmatian Coast in 1858, establishing a small but significant community, which has been particularly successful in horticulture and viticulture, as well as contributing to New Zealand society in a range of areas. Sports heroes, such as rugby league player Stacey Jones, community leaders such as former Wellington Mayor Sir James Belich, historian Jamie Belich, and the late Dame Mira Szászy, former President of the Maori Women’s Welfare League, are all of Croatian descent.
New Zealand is currently negotiating a social services agreement as well as a working holiday scheme with Croatia.
Land Area 56,594 sq km
Population 4.48 million (2011 estimate)
Capital City Zagreb
Political system - Democratic republic
National Government – A majority government, led by the centre-left Social Democratic Party and supported by the Croatian People's Party, the Istrian Democratic Assembly and the Croatian Pensioners' Party, and minority representatives. The government is appointed by the President and confirmed by the parliament.
National legislature – unicameral parliament comprising a maximum of 160 deputies (currently 151 deputies).
Last election December 2011 (parliamentary); January 2010 (Presidential)
Next election -December 2015 (parliamentary); February 2015 (Presidential)
Head of State - President Ivo Josipovic (sworn in on 18 February 2010)
Head of Government - Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic (appointed December 2011)
GDP: $US63.85 billion
Real GDP growth: – 0.0%
Exports: US$13.75 billion
Imports: US$22.56 billion
Main exports: transport equipment, machinery, textiles, chemicals, foodstuffs, fuels
Main imports: machinery, transport and electrical equipment, chemicals, fuels and lubricants, foodstuffs
Current account balance: US$-449 million
NZ Exports (FOB): $NZ 4.5 million
Main Exports: Molluscs, furniture, sheepmeat, engines and motors, medical instruments
NZ Imports (CIF): $NZ 34.5 million
Main Imports: turbines, pharmaceutical products, foodstuffs, footwear, woven apparel
The Safe Travel website provides a travel advisory for travellers to Croatia [external link].