A group of Ambassadors from EU Member States, accredited to Bosnia and Herzegovina, had a meeting with a business community of Zenica-Doboj Canton in Zenica today, in order to discuss the challenges and opportunities they face as well as necessary reforms which would bring Bosnia and Herzegovina closer to the European Union.
The Ambassadors stressed that Bosnia and Herzegovina should focus on reforms which will increase competitiveness of domestic products and create a better business climate for investors and local businesses. They highlighted data that show that in Bosnia and Herzegovina it takes 40 days to register a business, 181 days to get a construction permits and 125 days to get connected to the local electricity network.
The Bulgarian Ambassador, Angel Angelov, the Italian Ambassador, Raimondo de Cardona, the Slovak Ambassador, Miroslav Mojžita, the Head of the Diplomatic Office of Belgium, Jean-Pierre Biebuyk, and the Spanish Deputy Head of Mission, Toribio de Prado, stressed the importance of Zenica-Doboj Canton in the economy of BiH.
Meeting with business community representatives was one in a number of activities held in Zenica today as part of the Ambassadors’ visit. Together with the Head of the Delegation of the European Union/EU Special Representative, Ambassador Peter Sorensen, the Ambassadors also met with cantonal and municipal authorities, the Rector and students of Zenica University and visited the Techno-Park which has received 400,000 EUR of financial assistance through the EU’s Instrument for Pre-Acession Assistance.
Addressing the media during the visit, Ambassador Sorensen commented that much of the discussion centred on employment and creating a favourable business environment. He noted that the EU’s firm policy is for Bosnia and Herzegovina to move to membership in the European Union. “This is essential and it cannot be overemphasised. But for this to happen, your authorities need to be active, and the citizens and institutions need to do what is necessary at all levels to do their part”, he stated.