Međimurje County is the smallest Croatian county by area, but the strength of its economy and the entrepreneurship and mentality of its population place it at the very top of the entrepreneurial counties in Croatia – GDP is 1.254.707.000 € (Central Bureau of Statistics (2019)). The processing industry is the backbone of the county’s economy, and in recent years the service sector is also gaining importance; the ICT sector, the sector of e-mobility and continental tourism. The county stands out compared to the rest of Croatia with a distinct surplus in the foreign trade balance. In 2019, Međimurje County achieved the highest value of exports per capita (approximately 6,580 euros of exports per capita) compared to other counties. The most important export markets are Germany, Austria and Slovenia. SMEs make up 98% of the Međimurje economy.
There are 51 business zones in Međimurje County, and seven more are currently being developed. All zones are in the immediate vicinity of major traffic routes and are fully or partially equipped with infrastructure, which accelerates access and set up for investors. In some zones, investors are given incentives in the form of complete exemption or reduction of communal fees and contributions. The largest business zones include the Međimurje Business Park, the Nedelišće Business Zone, the North Industrial Zone in Prelog and the North Industrial Zone in Donji Kraljevac.
Međimurje County covers 729 m2 with 22 municipalities, 3 towns and a total of 131 settlements. Međimurje County has a population of 105.863 people.
Throughout Europe, Međimurje County is recognized as a destination suitable for investment, which is confirmed by numerous awards. For the fourth time, Međimurje is among the Top 10 regions for investment in the European Union. The most recent one is the recognition of FDI Magazine (Financial Times) for the year 2022/23; in the category of SMALL EUROPEAN REGIONS OF THE FUTURE for Investment Attraction Strategy, Međimurje County won 6th place.
In the metal industry in Međimurje, the experience, knowledge and skills have been acquired over generations and have shaped the metal industry into one of the most dynamic sectors with 165 operating companies. Using modern technologies, they produce various components and final products, from small tools to parts of wind farms, exported mainly to EU countries.
The textile and footwear industry played an important role in the industrial development of Međimurje in the 20th century and still represent an important part of the economy. Numerous small local entrepreneurs have maintained their positions in the market due to innovation, knowledge and flexibility. Also, Međimurje is home to several global textile and footwear companies that achieve the highest standards of productivity and product quality.
The tradition of over 100 years in food industry, together with a strong agriculture, is successfully growing with completely modernized production and numerous quality certificates.
- Foreign direct investments in Međimurje County continue, and they come mostly from Sweden, USA, Austria, Luxembourg and Germany.
The most significant foreign direct investments in Međimurje County include:
- Haix footwear (Germany) / FOOTWEAR / 1,163 employees
- LPT Leggett & Platt (USA) / WIRES, WIRE CORE FOR MATTRESSES AND MACHINES / 367 employees
- Hilding Anders (Sweden) / MATTRESSES AND FURNITURE / 543 employees
- LTH Alucast (Slovenia) / PARTS FOR THE AUTOMOBILE INDUSTRY / 222 employees
- Calzedonia (Italy) / PRODUCTION OF SOCKS / 380 employees
- CETITEC (Germany) / SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT / 20 employees
- FRAMOS Technologies (Germany) / VISUAL INFORMATION PROCESSING / 62 employees
In addition to foreign investments, there are examples of strong local investments in Međimurje that are present on the global market. Company Tehnix Ltd. from Donji Kraljevec is the leading eco industry in the world, and by applying internally developed technology, municipal waste becomes an economic resource. Čateks Plc is one of the largest textile companies in the region, whose beginnings date back to 1874. Due to technological development and innovations, Čateks has positioned itself in the market as a producer of technical fabrics and materials for special purposes and higher added value, whose exports in 2021 make up 78.5% of sales revenue.
In recent years, investments in communal infrastructure have intensified in the county, resulting in almost 100 percent coverage of public utility.
The Međimurje County Knowledge Centre is an initiative that transformed a former neglected barracks into a living ecosystem made up of educational, supporting and scientific institutions that proactively support the business sector. Today, entrepreneurial support institutions operate within the Knowledge Centre (Public Institution for the Development of the Međimurje County REDEA, Technological Innovation Centre Međimurje Ltd. and Međimurje Energy Agency Ltd.); Međimurje University of Applied Sciences (MEV) with a student dormitory and the Centre for Sustainable Development; MIN-Međimurje Investment, Real estate Ltd..; The Tourist Board of Međimurje County and the Development and Education Centre – Metal Centre Čakovec, which implements projects in the metal and creative industry as well as in medicine.
Watch more about in the video: Međimurje – Investment Promotion – YouTube
Are you thinking of investing in Međimurje? Please contact Maša Tomašić, Head of Department for Economy Projects