Remember those interesting themes from previous episodes of The Grand Tour? Petrol vs. hybrid vs. electric? A ferocious Ford GT pitted against planes, buses and trains? Well, there’s absolutely none of that well-thought-through stuff on display here as the team turn up in an entirely random selection of vehicles. Clarkson tips up in an Audi TT RS, Hammond arrives in a not-at-all-comparable Ariel Nomad and May puts the cherry on this weird cake by appearing in an old Lada that he’s decide to turn into a fire engine (for reasons best known to himself). In fact, given the amount of planning that’s gone into it, it’s practically a miracle that they’ve all managed to get together at the same time at the right meeting point in Croatia.
Incidentally, if you’ve ever been interested in doing business or investing in Croatia and if, unlike The Grand Tour team, you’d rather enter the country with some sort of a plan then here’s a little introduction that you might find useful …
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With over 1,000 islands and the most gorgeous coastline in Europe, lapped by the crystal clear waters of the Adriatic, it’s no surprise that Croatia has become one of the world’s must-visit holiday destinations. But despite generating a whopping €7bn in tourist income every year, foreign investment still accounts for only a small percentage of that figure. Hotels? Dive schools? Adventure holidays? Is that opportunity you hear knocking?
One of the big advantages of doing business in Croatia is that investors from abroad are treated the same as locals. There are no caps on foreign investment – you can hold up to a 100% stake in Croatian companies. The country also offers some appealing tax incentives: 0% profit tax for up to 10 years in certain free trade zones, double taxation avoidance agreements with 55 countries and a healthy incentive of €9k for every job created. It’s most definitely open for business.
Croatia is the newest member of the European Union, which opens up a whole raft of interesting trade opportunities with other EU countries. There are now no restrictions on importing and exporting goods within the EU. It also offers an interesting proposition for foreign investors – you now have the chance to compete for part of the €1bn of EU Structural Fund each year that’s been earmarked to promote entrepreneurship. One of the most beautiful countries in Europe just got a lot more attractive for business.
Croatia gives you access to highly skilled, educated people that speak your language: 49% of the population are English-speaking, 34% are fluent in German and 16% in Italian. It’s also considered to be one of the most competitive and affordable workforces in Europe. So if you can create the jobs, Croatia has definitely got the talent to fill them.
Croatia sits at the sweet spot between Western and Eastern Europe and the Med. All the major international airlines land here – from British Airways and Aeroflot to Air France and Emirates. Anywhere you want to do business in Europe is only three hours away, or less. Which basically means that you have 500 million potential European customers on your doorstep. All in all, Croatia is a place whose time has come. And while our friends from The Grand Tour chose to enter this Adriatic jewel entirely unscripted, there’s no doubt that Croatia gives you a great chance to write your own success story.
Watch episode 4 now, exclusively on Amazon Prime Video