Johann Hesse, Head of the EU Delegation’s Operations Section for Economic Development, Natural Resources and Infrastructure, visited on Thursday, 22 September Rajz Bautrend from Hadžići, Milkos from Sarajevo and Alu Co from Hrasnica. The three companies are taking part in the Turn Around Management (TAM) and Business Advisory Service (BAS) projects.
„Bosnia and Herzegovina’s economic performance is crucial for the EU integration process and therefore this project, which is implemented by the EBRD, is helping companies to raise operational standards and improve management capacities. It is also facilitating certification processes,” Hesse explained. „Basically the project is designed to help improve competitiveness and performance in a variety of ways.”
The TAM/ BAS Programmes provide micro-businesses and small and medium-sized enterprises with direct assistance through experienced business advisors and consultants, helping the companies to adapt to the demands of a market economy.
Alu Co from Hrasnica produces traffic signalization and safety barriers. The company’s Executive Board President, Damir Kečo, said that obtaining an EU safety certificate will help Alu Co to become a market leader in Southeast Europe.
„Every company we visited today provided examples of the practical side of EU integration,” said Hesse. „EU standardization is necessary; it’s a daily reality for market-driven companies.” He pointed out that Rajz Bautrend is already using information technology from one EU member state, while Milkos, which is an active market player, needs to secure quality standard certificates compatible with EU standards. Likewise, Alu Co is in the process of obtaining EU-compatible safety certification, which is a key to business expansion, he said.
The TAM/BAS Programmes promote measures to increase energy efficiency in production and reduce environmental pollution. They also support female entrepreneurs and encourage women’s access to middle management and executive positions.
Since the Programme started in 1997, 25 TAM projects have been completed in Bosnia and Herzegovina, utilising 1.4million Euros in funding. The majority of projects have been in the furniture and wood manufacturing industries, followed by the automotive sector, and textile manufacturing.
The BAS Programme was established Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2001 with funding from EU Phare. The BAS grant is a key component of BAS assistance, helping financially constrained enterprises to access consultancy services. Most of the projects focus on the introduction of European Standards in local enterprises. Other key objectives are related to Improving Management Effectiveness and Improving Market Performance.