On 12 January 2023 the Head of EU Delegation/EU Special Representative to BiH H.E. Johann Sattler met with the President, the Director and a group of Members of the Federation BiH Association of Employers. The objective of the meeting was to exchange information on the current developments and ongoing/upcoming initiatives by both the EU Office in BiH and the Association, to overcome the main obstacles to enhanced growth, increased competitiveness and to reverse the trends of emigration and labour shortages. Ambassador Sattler underlined that the granting of EU candidate status to BiH presents newly formed authorities with opportunities to tackle longstanding challenges and implement key reforms.
All participants to the meeting agreed that insufficient economic growth, stagnating per capita income and high official unemployment – accompanied by labour shortages in some key sectors – represent the key challenges that BiH businesses are facing nowadays. Global disturbances that spurred inflation are further exacerbating these problems that need to be addressed as a matter of urgency, including through legislative changes at various government levels. Additional changes are needed to further strengthen the business environment, including through targeted interventions in specific sectors, including wood and dairy industry, transportation services etc.
It was agreed that in pursuing reforms, which need to be inclusive and take into account EU integration requirements, the EU Office in BIH and the employers will cooperate and meet more frequently, in order to discuss and develop reform proposals that would – once adopted and implemented – improve the country’s economic well-being and bring BiH closer to the EU.