Fostering SMEs growth in BiH requires better policy coordination and improved operational environment

“Small and medium enterprises are major contributors to job creation and inclusive economic growth. The EU has provided more than EUR 40 million to support SME sector in BiH,” said Ambassador Lars-Gunnar Wigemark at the presentation of the findings of the Small Business Act for Europe Assessment for 2016 organised in Sarajevo on 13 June 2016.

The event was opportunity for the discussion on policy challenges to improve business environment and foster entrepreneurship and competitiveness of SMEs.

Ambassador Wigemark added that BiH has recently signed COSME Agreement that will provide new opportunities for SMEs and entrepreneurs to access international markets.

Ongoing EU support to SMEs in BiH amounts to EUR 13 million through the second generation of the IPA programme.

“In order to grow and generate employment, SMEs in BiH need government support to simplify administrative procedures across the country and ensure better policy coordination between the state and entities. Continued and sustainable European Union’s support to this sector largely depends on necessary economic reforms and more efficient and harmonised institutional and policy framework for SME competitiveness,” concluded Ambassador Wigemark.

The event was jointly organised by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the European Commission (EC), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the European Training Foundation (ETF), the South East European Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning (SEECEL) and the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The Small Business Act for Europe Assessment supports the governments in enlargement and neighbouring countries in setting the targets for SME policy developments and strategic priorities to further improve business environment ‘on the ground’ and to foster entrepreneurship and competitiveness. It also engages the governments in policy dialogue and facilitates the exchange of experiences within the region and with the partner organisations.


Relevant publications

SME Policy Index: Western Balkans and Turkey 2016

Bridging skills gap in South East Europe: The case of the food and beverage processing sector

Competitiveness in South East Europe: A policy outlook

Brochure: Competitiveness in South East Europe

Fostering tourism competitiveness in South East Europe