Ease business, enable private sector growth – EU Business leadership concludes

The fifth in a series of six Business Leadership Conferences organized by the EUSR Office in BiH brought together over one hundred participants from the business community, NGO sector, local authorities and the academia on 27 January in Sarajevo. The participants discussed challenges and opportunities in the local business environment, the socio-economic reforms, while focusing on success stories in the business sector of Bosnia and Herzegovina and companies that operate or export to the EU market.

Same as the previous conferences in Tuzla, Mostar, Bijeljina and Bihać, this Conference was held with the interactive participation of attendees who were giving direct comments on all aspects of social and economic reforms through electronic voting and surveys, which will result in a comprehensive report. The conference was an opportunity to present the current state of the economy as well as numerous positive and inspiring stories that deserve full attention and prove how individuals and companies can succeed despite the challenging business environment.

Ambassador Lars-Gunnar Wigemark, EU Special Representative and Head of EU Delegation to BiH, expressed his satisfaction with the fact that new businesses and start-ups were presented at the conference. “They offer new jobs, new business environment and better opportunities for the local community, but also for the entire BiH market. Such companies are bright examples of success and should be developed further,” said Wigemark, pointing out that one of the main objectives of the Reform Agenda was to create space for the private sector and its development.

Elmedin Konaković, Sarajevo Canton Prime Minister, emphasized that the Cantonal government worked on reducing the fiscal charges for companies at the territory of the Canton, which resulted in Canton Sarajevo having the least number of these types of taxes in the Federation.

Economic expert Damir Šaljić said that a lot of very good reforms had been implemented, among which very important one was the adoption of transport strategy at the state level.

Goran Miraščić, Advisor to the Prime Minister of FBiH, took the opportunity to share good news for investors. “In the next 12 months and 57 changed laws and other documents, we will establish a “one stop shop”, a single desk for foreign investors where they will be able to register a company and launch the business faster than before,” said Miraščić.

“Upon entering EU market, if we want to make the best use of our greatest resource – the people, this state should create an atmosphere where a person even when he/she loses his/her job starts to see it as an opportunity to create something. Once we create the environment in which loss of job becomes a chance and not a tragedy, we can say that we have succeeded in implementing the reforms. In the last few years we can see that the members of so-called millennial generation are able to very quickly establish well-designed new companies. I would not be surprised if in ten years we found that the “decade from hell” was the decade which has produced a number of new products, services, methods and ideas,” said Erdal Trhulj from Euroasfalt company.

The next, sixth and final Business Leadership Conference, will be held in Banja Luka on  February 9, 2017.