Istrian economy is very diverse. Istria is traditionally the most visited tourist region, so that it realized 27 % of all arrivals and 35 % of all nights in the Republic of Croatia in 2003. It has a well-developed processing industry, construction industry, trade, sea fishing and fish growing, agriculture, and transportation. According to the number of economic subjects and according to financial indicators, the leading activities are processing industry, tourism, and trade.
In the field of industry, the most developed branches are shipbuilding, production of construction material (lime, cement, brick, stone), tobacco products, furniture, electric machines and appliances, parts for the automobile industry, glass, processing metals, plastic, wood, textile, and the production of food.
Great attention has been given to the revitalisation of agriculture in the previous few years, which marked a big improvement in wine- and olive- growing, and in the system of ecologic food production.
In the last decade, unemployment rate in Istria has been moving between 10 and 14 %; while it amounted to about 8 % in 2003. In the merchandise exchange of the Istrian Region, processing industry has the largest share-almost 90 %; and half of it is made up by shipbuilding. A positive trend of the economy business of the Istrian County was also recorded according to the consolidated financial result for the period between 1999 and 2002, which shows a significantly faster growth of incomes in relation to expenses.
The Istrian Region is carrying out a systematic construction of entrepreneuring infrastructure through programmes of co-financing, motivational crediting, establishment of supportive institutions, construction and equipment of business zones, promotion and education. The Region is the winner of the acknowledgement of the Croatian Employers' Association for 2000 and 2002 for the largest contribution to the encouragement of the development of entrepreneurship.
Istria is a region moving upwards on the scale of development cycle. Strategic geographic position and good traffic connections between Europe and the Mediterranean, preservation of natural resources, stability of regional politics and the collaboration with numerous regions abroad make Istria an attractive destination for foreign investments.
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