Amra Tabaković and Vesna Topić, Raiffeisen Bank in Bosnia and Herzegovina The Sarajevo Film Festival is an international film festival with a special focus on the region of Southeastern Europe. It is held in August and showcases an extensive variety of feature and short films from around the world. Sarajevo Film Festival was born 25 years […]
Belma Hadžiomerović, Raiffeisen Bank in Bosnia and Herzegovina, interviewed Emir Kurtic
In February, Sarajevo hosted the third edition of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Economic Forum. One of its organizers, Emir Kurtic from the Sarajevo Faculty of Economics, spoke to Discover CEE about the importance of the forum.
The Economic Forum of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) is an annual gathering of representatives of the BiH executive government, local and regional companies, the diplomatic sector and the academic community. It has been organized in Sarajevo since 2017 and so far, it has attracted more than 1,000 participants every year.
“A central idea behind the BiH Economic Forum is to establish a platform for an open dialogue between representatives of the business community, the academic community and economic policy makers in the country,” says Dr Kurtic. “By organising this forum, the Sarajevo University’s Faculty of Economics is trying to contribute to the development of stronger ties between different interest and influential groups sharing a common business interest in BiH – concrete proposals and guidelines for the creation of future economic policies also set as concrete goal of the forum.”
The program for all three forums held so far was organized in three or four sessions covering key economic topics in BiH.
“Some of the topics covered included reforms, the business environment, the importance of the academic community, public-private partnerships, the rule of law and legal security as a basis for investment and development, the quality of university education, as well as economic cooperation between the Republic of Austria and BiH – this was the central topic of the last forum,” adds Dr Kurtic.
The forum concluded that the definite priority for BiH is to solve its economic issues, while the region needs to establish a set of active reform policies to raise competitiveness via public-private partnerships. “The forum also discussed university education and the employment of young people upon completion of their studies. We need to find a better method of cooperation between employers and universities and to work on developing a more efficient support mechanism for graduate students in their job hunting process. University enrollment policies should account for real sector needs, while universities and representatives of the business community should jointly promote the importance of quality university education,” says Dr Kurtic.
In Dr Kurtic’s opinion, the BiH business environment must be shifted from an economy of seeking support and cheap labor to one that focuses on innovation and the production of highly sophisticated products and services.
“Improvements may also extend to investors by providing them with a more favorable environment,” he says. “This can be made possible only through reforms of the present conditions, thus ensuring the rule of law and sound management in line with top EU standards. We are all aware by now that the road to the EU requires the elimination of any setbacks present in BiH. Key factors to the BiH image improvement would be the security of investments, as well as institutional and political stability.”
When it comes to exports, Dr Kurtic believes that only leading companies are currently in a position to export their products.
“In terms of investment in this country, the situation in BiH has much improved via new technologies, best practices, innovations, research and development investments, new jobs and the creation of market opportunities that foreign companies have brought and will continue to bring to our country. One of key conclusions of the third forum is that the Republic of Austria, as the largest investor in BiH, needs to remain committed to further improving economic and political cooperation with BiH.”
Dr Kurtic also believes that the positive effects of the forum regarding the generation of new investments in BiH reflect in, among other things, the fact that the formal program of this year’s forum included participants from one of the most developed EU countries – the Republic of Austria.
“At the third economic forum in BiH, Austria has re-confirmed its strong commitment to cooperation with BiH. This refers to both the official state level and individual investors. Austrian investments in BiH show a constant increase, as attested by the fact that there are approximately 200 Austrian companies in BiH employing over 7,000 people.”
By Ivona Zametica, Raiffeisen Bank Bosnia and Herzegovina and Gunter Deuber, RBI The entire banking system in Bosnia and Herzegovina (with assets in the range of EUR 15-16 billion) roughly corresponds to the balance sheet of a mid-sized regional lender or larger savings/cooperative bank in a Western market like Austria, Germany or Italy. Therefore, the […]
By Amra Tabaković and Irma Ahmetspahic, Raiffeisen Bank in Bosnia and Herzegovina As in most countries, small and medium-sized companies play an important role in the economic growth of Bosnia and Herzegovina and are essential for creating new jobs. But overcoming obstacles and starting a solid business is never easy. Begex doo Hadžići, a kitchen […]
By Benedikta Schlange, RBI | When visiting Sarajevo, it is best to start the day with a traditional coffee: served thick, foamy and slowly brewed in a copper pot. For Sarajevans, drinking coffee is not necessarily a way to wake up, but a ritual to relax. The best way to enjoy coffee or a cup […]
Karlheinz Dobnigg, President of the Management Board of Raiffeisen Bank Bosnia and Herzegovina, explains why the country is so attractive for investors: Maybe you are interested in…
By Ivona Zametica, Raiffeisen Bank in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Gunter Deuber, RBI | The economy of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) reported decent average real GDP growth of 3.1 percent year-on-year from 2015-2018. Nevertheless, average growth of 3.1 percent is still below the level of some peers in South-Eastern Europe (SEE), and still far below […]
Those who think that banking business and arts may not go together so well will be proven wrong at Raiffeisen Bank Bosnia and Herzegovina. Here, great importance is attached to the promotion of young artists. In the gallery of the bank citizens can see and purchase their works. Learn more about this partnership in our […]
In August, the Discover CEE spotlight is on Bosnia and Herzegovina! Watch out for several blog posts on Bosnia and Herzegovina’s business, culture and success stories. Today, we have the most interesting economic data and cultural facts about Bosnia and Herzegovina at a glance for you. The fact sheet is also downloadable in print version. […]