Countries need to figure out transient work patterns and talent migration sooner than later if they want to tap into the remote work movement.
The generosity being shown to foreign entrepreneurs and freelancers is irking some people in Croatia.
As Skift reported last week, the country has launched a campaign where 10 “digital nomads” will spend four weeks in Dubrovnik to help its government develop policies to better understand the needs of remote workers.
But one local journalist has described the move as hypocritical to Skift.
“Croatia has had a long-term problem, in terms of being too reliant on tourism. It’s a bad ecosystem for entrepreneurs, so this is seen as a slap in the face," said Ivan Brezak Brkan, founding editor and CEO of Netokracija — a media company dedicated to digital business, startups, marketing and culture.
He pointed to a recent protest organised by the Voice of Entrepreneurs Association (UGP) in Zagreb, where people voiced concerns over discrimination towards entrepreneurs and the private sector.
In particular, there’s been little in the way of tax breaks during the pandemic for locals. Digital nomads may have an easier time.
[caption id="attachment_422639" align="alignright" width="300"] Some locals complain that Croatia's digital nomad visas won't help businesses in the country. Picture: Unsplash.[/caption]
“It’s going to be easier for Serbian entrepreneurs or freelancers to work from Croatia as digital nomads than for Croatian entrepreneurs to work from Croatia," Brkan said.
Croatia’s digital nomad visas hadn’t been planned through, he added. “One of the stipulations is you can’t work with local companies. So we’re bringing in all this talent, all this expertise, and they can’t work with local companies to help them?”
Meanwhile, he argued that the focus was on the coast, not the continent. “Digital nomad visas aren’t seen as an economy growth thing — it’s seen as a way to bring in more tourists."
A Crossover, or Crossfire, with Tourism?
Estonia was the second country to embrace digital nomad visas, after Barbados.
About 100 digital nomad visas have been granted, but interest is high, with 10,000 people req