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Is Croatia missing the Brexit boat? Is Croatia missing the Brexit boat? Pixabay

European countries reaping the rewards of Brexit – is Croatia missing a golden opportunity?

Written by  Feb 10, 2019

With the UK set to leave the European Union on the 29th of March this year many countries are thinking ahead and offering attractive rates and conditions to companies to move their headquarters from their British base to a new European one. Among these is Lithuania who, according to a report in Reuters, have managed to attract around 100 British financial and technological companies to their new European and financial technology centre.

By moving their base from the UK to Lithuania companies would therefore secure access to the European Union after Brexit. With the fog of doubt hanging over the UK after a deal to leave has still yet to be agreed UK companies have decided to take matters into their own hands and find a new EU base. Companies that have obtained a business license in the UK may not be eligible to provide such financial services to the EU. British companies are looking for business licenses with electronic money, a member of the Board of Directors of Central Lithuanian Bank Marius Jurgilas said in an interview with Reuters.

Financial-technology companies have shown interest in Lithuania a few years ago. By the beginning of this year, the central bank issued a total of 83 licenses, making Lithuania ranked second among the EU countries, immediately after the UK, according to government data.

And it isn’t only Lithuania that is looking to cash in on Brexit. The Irish Central bank have also reported a sharp rise in interest in UK companies looking to register or expand their business after Brexit. According to a report in Reuters they are currently handling over 100 such requests. And about 250 UK-based companies are in negotiations with the Dutch Government on moving businesses to that EU member state. The negotiations have been confirmed by the Dutch government, who added that 42 British companies have switched business to the Netherlands over Brexit last year, opening up 2,000 new jobs the process.

The Guardian newspaper states that Luxembourg, France and Belgium are also strongly lobbying for UK based companies to look for a European future.

Croatia however has been slow to see the new opportunities for European Union members opened by Brexit. Whereas whilst many other European countries and cities have been running active campaigns in an attempt to attract UK businesses after Brexit the Croatian government has yet to make any moves.