The trade sector, especially the retail sector, is one of the most important sectors of the Croatian economy. The Republic of Croatia is going through accelerated globalisation because of the trade sector which reflects special dimension of its role in the economy. It is indisputable that the trade sector indicates economic trends regarding necessity of business adaptation to demands of contemporary global trends.
28.1% of the total number of registered economic entities is in the sector of trade, and this sector employs about 22.1% of the total number of the employed. The contribution of the distributive trade to the GDP amounts to 10%. Considering the importance and dynamics of the trade sector, which should be in function and in the interest of the overall Croatian economy, a legal framework has been created with regard to employees and consumers with a view to supply of goods to remote and isolated areas, including goods in compliance with their cultural and family traditions and with needs of tourists. Therefore, the functioning of the whole society was embedded in creation of legal grounds in trade.
Consumer protection for development of the economy
A high level of consumer protection reflects on a better functioning of the internal market, creation of a higher value added in the economy and a higher level of legal safety of consumers and traders that in total contribute to the expansion of trade, to new forms of sale and to larger investments in the economy. We ensure the best possible consumer protection with laws, but we also ensure better conditions to traders regarding business activities and investments. Fully informed consumers that may resolve possible disputes in efficient and cost-effective manner, influence the development of market efficiency and innovation.
The same rules throughout the EU Internal Market
For example, the spreading of online shops on the Common Market has influenced the need to create a unique regulatory framework for all the Member States of the European Union that provides an equal legal certainty for consumers and traders, contributing thus to the creation of favourable environment for cross-border trade. This reduces operating costs and creates a greater added value in the economy, since different legislative solutions in some Member States, regarding online trade, have led to legal uncertainty either for consumers or traders.
Croatia in the EU Single Market
Many companies in Croatia, and especially consumers, have recognized all the advantages of operating in the Single EU Market. In the free market of services, entrepreneurs have equal opportunities to compete in the single market of the European Economic Area, without discrimination.Croatia has its Consumer Centre, dealing exclusively with issues in cross-border trade in goods and services in the Single Market. Therefore, the European Consumer Centre is an important link between the European Commission and European consumers
Dynamic development of trade in the future
Dynamism has been given to trade, as well as adaptability to changes and new market conditions, and through legal framework traders are enabled more transparent and simple starting a business. All this is done with the aim to increase competitiveness, develop entrepreneurship, attract new investments, but also to satisfy all the needs and modern consumer protection.