Ambassador Sattler meets representatives of BiH Employers’ Associations

On 24 March Ambassador Johann Sattler, the Head of the EU Delegation and EU Special Representative in BiH met with the representatives of the two Associations of Employers in BiH:  Mr. Adnan Smailbegovic, President and Mr. Mladen Pandurevic, Director of the FBiH Association of Employers, and Mr. Sasa Trivic, President and Mr. Sasa Acic, Director of the RS Union of Associations of Employers.

During the meeting, the participants exchanged views on the impact of the Russia’s invasion on Ukraine in the global and the BiH context, including potential shortages of both final products and raw materials, disturbances in global supply chains and price developments stemming from the lasting invasion-induced crisis that entered into its second month yesterday.

Notwithstanding the difficulties over the past two years of pandemic, and subsequent economic disturbances due to the Russian invasion, representatives of both Associations underlined that the shortage of a qualified workforce and increasing wages are currently the biggest issues that businesses are faced with. These issues must be addressed in order for businesses to overcome the challenges and remain competitive, and active support of governments is needed through appropriate reforms, especially on the second issue.

Participants in the meeting agreed that during such difficult times, the economy needs to be in focus, not politics, and reforms supporting economic activity need to be stepped up, including those related to law enforcement.  To this end, it was concluded that reform efforts to date were insufficient, and produced little to no improvement. Meeting participants agreed to continue discussions and cooperate on promoting and advocating for reforms that would be beneficial to businesses and would also bring the country closer to making progress on the path to the EU. Ultimately, such reforms will translate into improved living standards for all BiH citizens.