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Key Economic Data 
  2002 2001 2000 Ranking(2002)
Millions of US $ 22,421 20,300 19,000 63
GNI per capita
 US $ 4,640 4,550 4,600 70
Ranking is given out of 208 nations - (data from the World Bank)

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Update No: 092- (01/01/05)

The EU beckons
The Balkan state of Croatia, with a population of 4.4 million, hopes to join the 25-member European Union (EU) in 2007 with Bulgaria and Romania, although diplomats say 2009 is more realistic. 
Croatia's Prime Minister Ivo Sanader has vowed to cooperate fully with the U.N. war crimes tribunal to ensure that his former Yugoslav republic can start membership talks with the EU this year. EU leaders are set to decide to launch accession talks with Croatia, possibly around April, provided that the country works together with the International Criminal Tribunal (ICTY) on former Yugoslavia.

Gotovina still a problem
The start of Croatian entry talks was thrown into doubt when the tribunal's chief prosecutor, Carla del Ponte, told the U.N. Security Council in November that Croatia had failed to cooperate sufficiently over catching fugitive former General Ante Gotovina. "I am going to say very clearly that Croatia is fully cooperating with the ICTY. We are fully committed to this cooperation," Sanader told reporters in Brussels hours before the summit was due to start. "I do expect the European Council to open negotiations with Croatia in early 2005," he added.
EU leaders are expected to decide that Zagreb's cooperation with the U.N. tribunal will need to be scrutinized before membership talks finally begin, although they may leave it open who will do the review. Zagreb will also have to enable all Croatian Serb war refugees to return to their homes and further improve relations with its neighbours. 
An EU official said that under one option the review could be carried out by the European Commission, the bloc's executive body, and later debated by Union foreign ministers. 
EU foreign ministers decided on December 13th to keep pressure on Croatia after del Ponte said Gotovina could be protected by a support network that included backing "within state structures." Gotovina was in charge of the government's final offensive to recapture rebel Serb-held territory in 1995 and is seen by many Croats as a hero of Zagreb's 1991-95 war of independence. 
The 49-year-old former foreign legion veteran, who is also a French citizen, was indicted for looting, harassment and murder of Serb civilians after the operation.

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Croatia Airlines joins Star Alliance

The national air carrier Croatia Airlines signed an agreement on joining the Star Alliance in Frankfurt recently, HINA News Agency reported.
Croatia Airlines general director, Ivan Misetic, Star Alliance president, Jaan Albrecht, and Lufthansa CEO, Wolfgang Mayrkuber, signed the agreement. 
Slovenia's air carrier Adria Airways have also signed an agreement on joining the Star Alliance.
The Star Alliance is a global air transport association whose members offer more than 14,000 daily flights to 755 destinations in 132 countries.
Croatia Airlines representatives said admission to the Star Alliance represented the realization of one of the company's strategic goals.

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Croatian, Hungarian oil companies interested in buying Bosnian oil company

Croatian oil company INA and its strategic partner, Hungarian oil company MOL, submitted a non-binding letter of intent to the Bosnian government on 26th November for investing in the oil company Energopetrol, HINA News Agency reported.
INA and MOL said in a statement that at the first stage the two companies would gather all relevant information on possible investment in the Sarajevo-based company.
The chairman of the INA board of directors, Tomislav Dragicevic, said that INA's decision to compete in the tender together with MOL, which owns a 25 per cent stake in the Croatian company, was "solely the result of a business assessment."
Energopetrol is in 67 per cent ownership of the state.

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Croatia, Oman interested in improving economic cooperation

Croatian Assistant Foreign Minister, Drazen Margeta, visited the Sultanate of Oman recnelty, during which he signed a memorandum on regular consultations between the two foreign ministries and discussed the strengthening of economic cooperation with his hosts, HINA News Agency reported.
The Croatia Foreign Ministry said in a statement that both sides expressed great interest in economic cooperation.
Some 200 Croatians are already working on oil and gas research in a joint company and the maintenance of oil plants in Oman. Margeta and his hosts also discussed the expansion of economic cooperation in the area of infrastructure, road construction, shipping and airports, and tourism. 

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French businessmen interested in investing in Croatia

Efforts to boost foreign trade cooperation and increase French direct investments in Croatia as well as in other countries in the region including Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, Serbia-Montenegro and Macedonia were the main topic of a recent meeting, held in the French Senate in Paris, HINA News Agency reported.
The Senate's president, Christian Poncelet, opened the gathering, which about 100 French businessmen and other interested parties attended.
Croatian businessman, Robert Lovric, commented on the event at which it was said that the entire region was interesting to French investors.
The trade between France and Croatia in the first ten months of 2004 came to some US$757m, with Croatian exports to France rising by 3 per cent to US$151.7m and imports falling by 3.6 per cent to US$606m.

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Croatia's best tourist season so far

Croatia this year registered the best tourist season since it became independent from Yugoslavia in 1991, the tourism ministry said recently, Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa) reported.
In the first nine months of the year, 8.3m tourists visited Croatia, a five per cent increase compared to the same period in 2003, itself better than all previous years. There were also 45.7m overnight stays. According to the ministry, revenues from tourism are expected to reach US$8.5bn. Tourism is Croatia's most important source of foreign revenues and also the engine of growth for the entire national economy.

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