The Sarajevo Business Forum 2019 started today in Sarajevo, attracting a large number of local, regional and world representatives of governments, ministries and business people from over 50 countries of the world.
During his welcome speech, Amer Bukvić, CEO of Bosna Bank International, pointed out that the goal of this year's forum is to pay attention to young people and motivate them to promote their ideas and projects. "It is a great honour for us, after many years of efforts and work, to integrate a large number of young people into the Sarajevo Business Forum, and to give them our full support from the very beginning," said Bukvić.
During the first day, three panels were held, where experts from around the world spoke about political, economic and social development for the benefit of all people in the region. The experienced experts shared their valuable ideas and suggestions for the further development of Bosnia and Herzegovina and counties from the region.
The first panel on Leadership, where key global representatives took a part, spoke about the importance of interconnectivity and the need to realize the vision of the Sarajevo Business Forum "One region-one economy". Among the prominent speakers there were Fuat Otkay (Vice President of the Turkey), Igor Crnadak (Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina), Dr. Mujahid Yusof Rawa (Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department of Malaysia), Lahcen Daoudi, (Minister Delegate to the Head of Government in charge of General Affairs and Governance of the Kingdom of Morocco), and Mustafa Rifat Hisarcikliolu (President of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchange- TOBB from Turkey).
His Excellency, Fuat Oktay, Vice President of Turkey, pointed out that the key for the development of cooperation is concentration on the advantages rather than disadvantages.
"We need to support each other, not to be competitors. The unique vision of the forum "One region - one economy" gives us the opportunity to do it. Turkey is very active in the region and we are good partners with all countries."
The big focus of this year's SBF is aimed at young entrepreneurs, and the panel on the Challenges of South East Europe has just talked about the potential of young people and the challenge of preventing their emigration to Western countries. Panelists here were Dr. Ahmet Davutoǧlu (Former Prime Minister of Turkey), Stjepan Mesić (Former President of the Republic of Croatia), Mohd Redzuan bin Md Yusof (Minister of Enterprise Development of Malaysia), Ivan Ivanisevic (Director General, Directorate General for Multilateral Relations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Montenegro), Sven Petke (Director of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Former Member of Brandenburg State Parliament in Germany, Gjergj Murra (Executive Director of the Western Balkans Fund of Albania).
Ivan Ivanisević, Director General for Multilateral Relations and Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Montenegro, mentioned that young people need inspiration and that they need to get it from domestic entrepreneurs. "The obligation of all entrepreneurs is to motivate young people with their business success with the desire to strengthen their economy in their own country. On the other hand, the obligation of young people is to fight for their place in the economy, because they must understand that they have a dominant role in the future." He also said that the departure of young people from the countries of South-eastern Europe is tempted by a significant event, such as Sarajevo Business Forum. By giving young people a platform to promote their projects at this year's SBF, we see the first step in preventing their departure.
Ousamma Kaissi, Director General of the Islamic Corporation for the Insurance of Investment and Export Credit-ICIEC, was one of the speakers at the panel on Sustainable Development, which also touched upon the theme of the role of youth in this process, but also the role of the private and non-governmental sector in order to ensure stable economy of the state.
"Sustainable development is a global approach and it is the only agenda around which the whole world has come together and agreed. One state cannot survive independently, without help and economic relations with other countries of the world. A major role in achieving a stable economy that will enable the sustainable development of a state has a private and non-governmental sector, which, unfortunately, is not sufficiently involved by state governments when making important economic decisions," Kaissi said.
In addition to Kaissia, Othman El Ferdaous (Secretary of State to the Minister of Industry, Investment, Trade and Digital Economy in charge of Investment from Kingdom of Morocco) spoke at the third panel, as well as Ms. Sandrine Friscia (EIB representative), Prof. Dzulkifli Abdul Razak (Rector of the International Islamic University in Malaysia) and Meliha Muherina (Project Manager of the Center for European Perspective from Slovenia).
This year at the Sarajevo Business Forum (SBF), prestigious awards - "Sarajevo Business Bridge Awards" - were awarded to companies and individuals who, through their business, innovative ideas and youth employment, contributed to the development of entrepreneurship, sustainable development and investment climate in the region.
Based on the expert jury's assessment, SBF awards were presented to winners at a ceremony in the Parliament of Bosnia and Herzegovina during the first day of the 10th Sarajevo Business Forum in the presence of world and regional political and business leaders.
As a leading investment conference in this region, Sarajevo Business Forum attracts a large number of investors each year and represents an excellent platform for presenting businessmen from neighbouring countries. In addition to finding an investor, BBI Bank's goal is to bring businesses from Bosnia and Herzegovina through the Forum with businessmen from the region and to launch new business projects that ultimately lead to the development of the economy. This year's Sarajevo Business Forum attracted over 2,000 participants from 50 different countries of the world. In addition to panels and round tables, during the three-day business-investment conference, about 300 project presentations and B2B meetings will be held.