As a part of the last day of the Sarajevo Business Forum 2019, a round table was organized discussing the Regional Platform for Attracting Foreign Investors, aiming to summarize SBF 2019 and to provide specific guidelines for further growth and development of Bosnia and Herzegovina economy.
Edin Mehić, founder and CEO of Kolektiv, in his introductory speech pointed out in the need for a platform that would connect businessmen and investors emphasizing following:
"Bosnia and Herzegovina is a country that in many business segments represents the perfect investment country. We need to focus on creating more platforms where domestic businesspeople can promote. Sarajevo Business Forum is one of those platforms and the fact that numerous business partnerships have been successfully implemented here is just the proof that this is the best way to improve the economy."
Mr. Mohamed Hedi Al Mejai, Director of Investments Department at Islamic Development Bank, talked about steps taken by IsDB to invest in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and stated that the first step was the establishment of Bosna Bank International d.d. aiming to facilitate the investment processes.
"The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has seen great potential in Bosnia and Herzegovina already in the early 2000s. In addition to natural resources, geographic position and climate, its greatest potential are people. Entrepreneurs from Bosnia and Herzegovina want to progress and want to develop not only for themselves, but for the whole country, and they just need to present their projects."
Chris Gabriel, CEO of FLYBOSNIA, talked about necessary steps to be taken in order to attract investors.
"For the past two days we have talked about many topics and we have had many foreign investors at the Forum. Investing interest is definitely there and that is a great fact. However, I want to point out that it is necessary to work in Bosnia and Herzegovina at key points in order to reach the agreements concluded in the SBF. The administrative procedure is one of these points. For example, the company's registration requires about 9 months, while in other countries it can be done online within 48 hours. These are the things we need to focus on. There has never been more opportunities. Now is the right time to act responsibly. "
Fatma Cinar, Head of International Banking of Kuveyt Türk Participation Bank, emphasized that the money for investment was ready by both UN and states’ governments. "There is a need for more events like these, where investors and entrepreneurs can meet. Young entrepreneurs should be in focus, because they have innovative ideas and better understanding of technology and digitalization, what is the impetus for a better future," said Cinar.
Hasan Šehović, President of World Diaspora Association of Bosnia and Herzegovina, emphasized the participation of diaspora in investing in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
"The power of Bosnia and Herzegovina lies in its citizens, whether they live in Bosnia and Herzegovina or not. At present, we have about 2 million people born in our country who live in 65 different countries around the world. We are hard-working and capable nation that unfortunately is hindered by a complicated administration preventing our faster development. It is necessary to create an investment fund and to form the Ministry for Diaspora, in order to use the money that is being transferred daily from our diaspora to the right places."
All participants of round table agreed that the economic transformation of Bosnia and Herzegovina has already begun and there is interest and investment opportunities. It is now necessary to focus on facilitating administrative procedures to accelerate this process.
Today, B2B meetings have continued between businessmen and investors, which make up the essential item of the Sarajevo Business Forum.
Sarajevo Business Forum is organized for the tenth year in a row by Bosna Bank International d.d. in cooperation with the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) and other partners, under the auspices of the Presidency of BiH.