Today, Bosna Bank International (BBI), as the organizer of the 11th Sarajevo Business Forum (SBF), signed an agreement with the Ministry of Economy of Sarajevo Canton (CS) on strategic partnership and participation in the 11th SBF. The agreement was signed on behalf of BBI Bank by Ms. Emina Šišić, CEO of BBI and Mr. Nedžad Gušić, member of the Corporate Banking Management Board with Mr. Adnan Delić, Minister of Economy in the CS Government.
With this agreement, the Canton Sarajevo Ministry of Economy will enable businessmen from Sarajevo Canton and Bosnia-Podrinje Canton (BPK) to present their projects to investors from around the world at the 11th Sarajevo Business Forum to be held in the capital on May 11 and 12, 2022. Also, it is planned to prepare and present projects of municipalities from these two cantons. As part of this strategic cooperation, Sarajevo Canton will have its own pavilion at SBF where companies, businessmen and representatives of municipalities from these two cantons will be able to present their products and services, as well as new business ideas and opportunities.
"I am glad that the Government of Sarajevo Canton has recognized the importance of Sarajevo Business Forum has not only for the Canton, but also the state of BiH, and that it has joined this great project of public-private partnership. The 11th SBF is sponsored by the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, with the support of the BiH Ministry of Foreign / Foreign Affairs, Chambers of Commerce and Business Associations. SBF has grown into a platform that unites the private and public sectors, aiming to attract foreign investment to our country. Since 2010, when the first SBF was held - Sarajevo Business Forum has become one of the most recognizable BiH brands, which was also recognized by the Sarajevo City Administration", said Ms Emina Šišić, CEO of BBI.
According to her, this year's SBF focuses on "nearshoring", i.e. moving the production of European companies to Bosnia and Herzegovina.
"By transferring production to BiH, companies from the European Union (EU) are reducing the risk of re-disruption in supply chains, which occurred during the Covid-19 pandemic. It is here that BBI Bank recognizes the chance for the development of BiH economy and therefore at the 11th SBF, in addition to traditionally present investors from the Gulf and Asia, we will invite European multinational companies that would create new business agreements with domestic businesses, establish cooperation on a joint venture, open new factories in our country or increase production capacity existing factories. Bosnia and Herzegovina can and should be a very attractive "nearshoring" destination, where foreign companies will transfer their production, which can lead to huge economic progress, and above all it can stop the outflow of professional, young and capable staff from the country.", Šišić pointed out. She also said that a special team of BBI Bank employees will work on the preparation of projects, which the Government deems to be of strategic importance for the Canton and the state, and in order to adequately present these projects to foreign investors.
Minister Delic stated that the Sarajevo Canton Ministry of Economy expressed its commitment to attract foreign and domestic investments and develop entrepreneurship, with the ultimate goal of improving the overall business environment, by establishing an investment department within the Ministry, amending the Law on Cantonal Privatization Agency. The Agency is authorized to work on the promotion of investment potentials and attracting investments, but also by taking over the organization of Bosnia and Herzegovina's participation in the world's largest exhibition of innovation and entrepreneurship Expo 2020, Dubai. Taking over the role of strategic partner of the largest investment forum in BiH, as the Minister said, is a logical sequence of the above-mentioned activities.
"In the past period, we have made a number of activities to enhance the interest of investors in the Sarajevo Canton, both domestic and foreign investors, with the aim of strengthening the competitiveness of our economy in the local and international market. We have all the necessary predispositions; educated and motivated staff, natural resources, but also a long tradition in the field of manufacturing industry with new branches of the economy that, with proper investment and resource management, can follow modern business trends. We have the opportunity to be the best producers and exporters in the region in the field of food, processing, IT, pharmaceutical, but also several other industries, and yet, year after year we import far more than we export, which means we spend more than we produce. That must change and, we are primarily working on removing barriers that will lead to the improvement of the business environment and the development of sustainable entrepreneurship," said Minister Delic.
He also said that the strategic partnership at SBF is an opportunity to turn to developing awareness of the importance of our own production, as well as turning the economy in that direction.
"Instead of basing our economy on private sector competitiveness and production, we are still an economy based on public sector consumption. In the past period, we have launched a series of activities to change this concept and develop the entrepreneurial spirit, especially among young people; from changes in the legal framework to investing in the development of business zones because we want the Sarajevo Canton to become a competitive investment destination.", said Minister Delic, and repeated that the SBF is the opportunity to continue and intensify these activities.
The 11th Sarajevo Business Forum will be held on May 11 and 12, 2022. Registration of participants and project applications for all interested is available through the official website: sarajevobusinessforum.com.