Bloggers given unparalleled access to the forthcoming Malaysia Global Business Forum - Bosnia

The bloggers will be given unparalleled access to the forthcoming Malaysia Global Business Forum - Bosnia, for the first time in Malaysia.

The keynote speaker, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad (Malaysia's former Prime Minister) is an avid blogger himself and will be the keynote speaker during the forum. Dr. Haris Silajdzic, President of Bosnia-Herzegovina has also confirmed his presence and will lead the Bosnian delegation to the Malaysia Global Business Forum, scheduled 8 – 11 November, 2009 at Borneo Convention Centre in Kuching, Sarawak (one of Malaysia's states located in Borneo).
Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad will be delivering the keynote address with other speakers include:
Amer Bukvic – CEO Bank Bosnia International – who is recognised as Europe’s leading Islamic banker
Amer Jeralgic – CEO of Elektrpravada, Bosnia’s largest and most profitable company which is equivalent to TNB and is involved in the energy and mining sector
Sam Osmanagic – Discoverer of the Bosnian Valley of the Pyramids and Bosnia’s Indiana Jones
Tarik Dodic – Secretary General of Foreign Trade Chamber Bosnia who is leading a strong delegation of Bosnian business leaders

The forum will be focusing on various sectors such as Higher Education, energy and power, biotech, agro-tech, Halal, Islamic Banking, tourism, and more.

As for the bloggers who wish to attend and cover the event, will have the following access:
  • Dedicated stage for bloggers to blog from during the main session
  • Access to all press conferences
  • Access to VIP speakers
  • Access to break out sessions for industry specific sessions
  • Broadband access to upload live
  • Pre and post-event access
To register as a blogger, or for more details, please send your contact details and blog site to either azizul@asiaprc.com or diyana@asiaprc.com


Malaysia Global Business Forum — Bosnia Herzegovina to be held in November

A forum aimed at exposing and exploring business opportunities in Bosnia-Herzegovina will be held in Malaysia from Nov 8 to 11.

The Malaysia Global Business Forum — Bosnia Herzegovina, organised by Glenreagh Sdn Bhd, will be held at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK).

Glenreagh managing director Nordin Abdullah said yesterday Bosnia-Herzegovina had been reported as one of the faster growing economies in South Eastern Europe, with a steady growth of five per cent per year since 2000.

“Bosnia-Herzegovina is one of the most stable countries in Europe. In addition, it will enter the European Union (EU) in a few years.

“Bosnia-Herzegovina is the gateway to the European market. However, there is not enough business going on in Bosnia-Herzegovina by Malaysian companies,” he told a press conference held at BCCK yesterday.

He pointed out that ‘halal’ food and renewable energy were the two key areas that businesses in Malaysia could consider in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

In order to further enhance that strong relationship between Malaysia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, various joint ventures between the two nations had been established, said Nordin.

For instance, Nordin said, the cooperation could be seen in the area of higher education, information technology and transportation.

“Besides, Bosnia-Herzegovina is a culturally diverse country which is very similar to Malaysia. I believe that the cultural similarity would be an advantage for Malaysian businesses,” he said.

The four-day forum would see the presence of heads of states and trade ministers while the most prominent figure would be former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, said Nordin.

He explained that Dr Mahathir who during his tenure as the prime minister had been instrumental in providing the much needed support for Bosnia-Herzegovina and its people.

“Among the renowned speakers and presenters expected at the forum is Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who will be the keynote speaker at the dinner.

“From Bosnia-Herzegovina are Bosnia Bank International chief executive officer Amer Bukvic and Foreign Trade Chamber of Bosnia-Herzegovina secretary general Tarik Dodic,” he said.

For further information on the Malaysia Global Business Forum — Bosnia-Herzegovina, members of the public can visit the official website at www.malaysiaglobalbusinessforum.com

Also present at the press conference was BCCK chief executive Trevor McCartney.


BH Telecom signs a 3G deal with Ericsson worth € 4.4 million

BH Telecom, the largest operator in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Ericsson signed new contracts amounting to 4.4 million EURO. The contracts are related to the extension of 3G network, as well as to the upgrade of the core network of BH Telecom. The extension of 3G network confirms the satisfaction of BH Telecom with the cooperation with Ericsson, in the initial phase of introduction the 3G technology. The contract covers the delivery, installation and integration of the equipment, i.e. it is made on the turn key principle. The realization of the above projects starts immediately.

Gordana Kovačević, MSc EE, made comments on the above signed contracts: „I’m very pleased, that on the basis of further extension of BH Telecom 3G network, we shall enable the offering of the advanced 3G services to the considerably larger number of Bosnia and Herzegovina citizens. This achievement is the result of the strategic commitment of BH Telecom to introduce new technologies, and simultaneously it confirms the excellent cooperation between the two companies”.


Bosna Bank International starts financing purchase of agricultural land

Bosna Bank International (BBI) created a Security Food Program within which it is offering financing purchase of agricultural land. Financing is intended for interested individuals and corporate entities at favorable profit rates and simple procedures of the submission and processing of applications.

BBI decided to create the Program and financing after an analysis of recognized research agencies, which anticipated huge worldwide shortage of food in the following two years.

Within the Program, interested customers will also be able to receive financing for construction and refurbishment of agricultural facilities, purchase of agricultural mechanization, equipment, tools, trunks, seeds, etc. Bosna Bank International will also start activities in order to provide the interested applicants choice of better and more favorable land and help them in connecting with food producers and farmers, who could again help the applicants in changing of the land they bought into fertile soil.

That way, BBI not only provides the clients with an opportunity to secure their own piece of land but to invest in actual value as well.


Promo, Bosnian supplier of prefabricated houses, signs major contract in Iraq

Promo from Donji Vakuf, Bosnia, has become the exclusive partner in the construction of prefabricated buildings for the needs of Iraqi investors.

By signing the Memorandum of interstate cooperation with the Iraqi ministry of transport and communications, Promo - the leader in manufacturing of prefabricated buildings in the region, has become the exclusive partner in the construction of prefabricated buildings for the needs of the ministry.

- In early November this year, along with representatives of Hidrogradnja (othre Bosnian company), we shall visit Iraq. We expect to specify the details of the project, which would mean the construction of residential and holiday homes, school facilities, kindergartens, sports facilities and various support facilities - highlights Kemal Colak, CEO of Promo.

In his words, this contract will engage full production capacity of the company and will bring about increase of work force. The first deliveries should begin in the spring of 2010.


Freeborn Development Group (FDG) planning to invest in Bosnia

President of the American investment company Freeborn Development Group (FDG) Mr. John Freeborn presented the plan for potential investment to the representatives of the business community and the authorities in Brcko, Bosnia, a few days ago.

FDG was also represented by Ibrahim Vajzovic from Brcko, who is a senior consultant at FDG.

"Despite the present recession, there is money that can be invested. I managed to convince American investors to come to Bosnia and experience this favorable business climate" - said Vajzovic.

He added that they held a series of successful meetings and presentation of investment plans in several Bosnian citiez, such as Brcko, Sarajevo and Tuzla.

"We are interested in projects in various fields of economy, ranging from several hundreds of thousands of dollars, to several tens of millions. It's hard to talk about the final amount, because it depends only of the quality of the proposed projects "- explained Vajzovic.

Vajzovic said that they will take a dozen proposed projects with them for further analysis, and that they will be discussed in the next few months.

"We will conduct thorough analysis and we plan to return in October with proposals and the investment plans. We are interested in projects in the field of agroculture, meat production, wood processing, construction and mechanical engineering, but the list is not final" - said Vajzovic.

Italian investors purchase Bosnian IT-brand

Bosnian IT-brand "IT Computers", was purchased by an Italian investor, said Nihad Softic the CEO of IT Computers.

"The brand "IT Computers" will in this way remain on the Bosnian market, and the new Italian owner will set a new direction," Softic said.

In his words, a contract with the Italian investor was signed last week, details about the contract and the investor's identity will be announced next week.


2,5 billion EURO investment in Bosnian energy sector

Elektroprivreda BiH is in the process of investment in new production facilities and renewable energy sources, as well as absorption of coal mines it recently acquired - said Jerlagić Amer, CEO of the company.

"By the end of 2020 we plan to build new hydro, wind and thermal power plants with combined power of 1800 MW amounting to annual production capacity of more than eight TWh. The value of these investments is 2.5 billion euros," he added.

"Investments in the rehabilitation of existing and construction of new facilities, in three coming years will amount to 700 million euros," said Jerlagić during his the welcoming address to the participants of international colloquium CIGRE, that started in Sarajevo today.

Construction of new power plants, he says, is a prerequisite for development and positioning of Elektroprivreda BiH as leader in the region of south-eastern Europe.

Elektroprivreda BiH Sarajevo is the largest power producing company in Bosnia with 1670 MW installed capacity, annually producing 6.5 TWh of electricity, of which one third is exported or sold to other companies within Bosnia. Annual income of the company is 450 million and it supplies more than 670,000 customers.

Bosnian food producer - Klas - maintains strong export

"To the US we mostly export Bosnians cakes prepared according to traditional recipe. Thus, our cakes can be found in shops in the New York City, Chicago and Saint Louis. It is interesting to see that demand for our products has not decreased in the distant Australia either, "says Benjamin Vukotic, deputy CEO for sales and marketing.

We have large demand for our cakes in Croatia while consumers in Denmark, Sweden, France and the Netherlands love our frozen traditional Bosnian bread (somun) that is widely used in many fast food restaurants.

Among the most attractive products outside Bosnia is pastry, flour, especially our brand "Golden powder" and raspberries. Raspberries, grown, processed and packaged in Bosnia are mostly exported to Belgium, while biggest purchasers of flour are to be found in Sweden, and Montenegro.


Microsoft Innovation Forum held in Sarajevo, Bosnia

New Microsoft technologies and products were presented to the representatives of Bosnian governmental institutions, business life and media today in Sarajevo. Speaking about this important gathering of experts and managers, head of Microsoft in Bosnia - Mrs. Lejla Zukić-Krivdić pointed out that innovations are an inseparable part of this corporation.

"How important the market of Bosnia is for our corporation is illustrated by the fact that the head of the Microsoft Europe, Mr. Jan Muehlfeit, visited this event. In addition to his presentations he will also participate in a very interesting panel, together with eminent representatives of the Bosnian business and the academic community"- added the director of Microsoft in Bosnia.

Procurement notice from Bosnian Telecom - your chance to sell

BH Telecom Joint Stock Company Sarajevo has announced in the „Official Herald of B&H“ No. 38/09 from 18 May 2009 and on www.bhtelecom.ba/poslovni­_odnosi.html the following:

Procurement Notice on GSM Installation Material by Open Procedure No. : 03-7468/09

Subject to Procurement:

LOT 1 - GSM installation material: cables, connectors and roxtec for the GSM base stations

LOT 2 - GSM installation material: installation equipment for GSM base stations

Place of Delivery: Place of delivery is according to Tender Documents.

Tender Submission Deadline: 15 June 2009 Up to 14:00

Tender Procedure: Open procedure.

Orderer/Purchaser: BH Telecom Joint Stock Company Sarajevo, Obala Kulina bana 8, 71000 Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Tender Documents: Protocol Office (every working-day from 08:00 to 16:00).

Payment for Tender

Documents: Yes, 35.00 KM / 18.00 EUR

Web site: www.bhtelecom.ba/poslovni_odnosi.html

Contact: amina.zekic@bhtelecom.ba or fax: +387 33 22 45 36


73% exports growth make 2008 most successful year ever for Bosnalijek

2008 was the most successful business year ever for Bosnalijek, Bosnian big pharma company.

The company achieved growth in exports of 73 percent on annual level thus increasing it's share in total income from 25 percent in 2007 to 35 percent in 2008. Bosnalijek also maintained the leading position on Bosnian market.

The Board plans to pay part of its profit to shareholders.

The Supervisory Board has adopted a business plan of Bosnalijek for 2009, which anticipates continued sales growth on domestic and foreign markets. Continued global expansion is also envisaged. Planned revenues from sales amount to 112,7 million KM (ca 55 million €), an annual growth of 5,20%.

Since the beginning of 2009 Bosnalijek has launched eight new products on Bosnian market.


Bosnialijek, Bosnian pharma company, expands its operations in Algeria

The quality of Bosnalijek's products and 59 years of experience are Bosnalijek's competitive advantages in Algeria, said Dr. Kamel Guesmi, director of Bosnalijek's representative office in this African country.During his recent visit to Bosnalijek, Dr. Guesmi confirmed that Bosnalijek, regardless of strong competition, would secure its place on the Algerian market.

The World Health Organization (WHO)
has recognized only The Algerian National Drug Laboratory on the entire African continent. This country has very specific regulatory constraints and competitors from all over the world -especially from Jordan, Saudi Arabia, China and India.

''Bosnalijek can offer a high quality product which meets the requirements of the Algerian Ministry of Health, and in contrast to competition, can offer case study results, such as the ones for the drug Lopril whose chances on this market are great''.

According to Dr. Guesmi, Lopril, i.e. Enzypril is going to be a great success on the Algerian market where 3 million of inhabitants are affected by hypertension. Bosnalijek's products, Enzypril and Rhinostop, are currently going through a registration procedure in Algeria, which should be completed within a six months period.

Apart from having a great market for drug placement, Algeria also offers possibilities for the transfer of technologies and know-how in the field of pharmaceutical production. Namely, according to the current regulations in force in this country, the manufacturer is obliged, two years upon registration of its products, to start the production of these very products in Algeria.


Presentation of the Bosnian auto cluster in Duisburg, Germany

Recently the Organization of Industrial and Economic Chamber (IHK) of Duisburg, organized a workshop on the topic of “(Still) Undiscovered Markets in Souteast Europe”.

The emphasis, was placed at the automobile industry in Southeast Europe. Representatives of German commercial branch offices in Bosnia presented macroeconomic state in the country while representatives of Bosnian Auto cluster pointed to the potentials of these state in the accompanying automobile industry. Although global crisis in Germany still causes certain worries - the predicted economic growth for this year should be -5.0%, the interest for this region was still very good.

It should be emphasized that representative of Autocluster BiH and coordinator of Network Autoclusters SEE, in which clusters from Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Macedonia and Bosnia are included, had a very positive meeting with a representative of newly formed NEW (North Rhine and Westphalia). This cluster is developed on similar basis as Network of Autoclusters SEE, because it encompasses 8 independent and functioning automobile clusters from this German province. The meeting has shown that there are similarities in concept of development and enough meeting points for future possible joint activities.

Prime Minister lectures in Vienna on topic "Bosnia – Chances in the Economic Crisis"

Vienna, May 19 – PM Nedzad Brankovic, on invitation of the Political Academy of Austrian National Party, Institute for the area of Danube and Central Europe (IDM) and World Public Forum “Dialogue of Civilizations” held a lecture yesterday at the Eschenbach Palace in Vienna on the topic “Bosnia – Chances in the Economic Crisis”.


Bosnian MIMS-group joins Clinton Global Initiative

Representatives of the MIMS-group attended closed preparatory working meeting with directors of companies that are members of Clinton Global Initiative, in Washington. MIMS-group recently become a member of this prestigious organization as the first Bosnian enterprise to do so.

The meeting was chaired by President Bill Clinton and moderated by Mr. Kemal Dervish, until recently director of the UNDP and current Vice-President of the Brookings Institute. Among others the meeting was attended by Mr. Muhtar Kent the CEO of Coca-Cola and Patricia Voertz, the CEO of Archer Daniels Midland, the largest company in the world in the field of Agriculture.


Japanese interest in highway construction in Bosnia

On the margins of the annual meeting of the Board of Governors of European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), held in London, Bosnian Foreign Minister Sven Alkalaj met with the Head of the Delegation of the Japanese Agency for International Cooperation (JICA) Mr. Hiroto Arakawa.

Minister Alkalaj and Mr. Arakawa exchanged opinions on current and future cooperation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Government of Japan.

Arakawa has expressed a special interest of Japan to participate in the grand project of highway construction through Bosnia on the international Corridor 5C, and with this in mind, agreed that concrete cooperation in this project should be agreed upon by the Embassy of Japan in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Intensifying economic cooperation between Bosnia and Jordan

Bosnian Presidency member Željko Komšić and Jordanian King Abdulah II met in Amman and agreed that, in addition to the excellent cooperation on the political level and exceptional friendly relations, the two countries need to intensify economic cooperation between for which there are great opportunities in all economic areas.

King Abdulah II confirmed the return visit of the Jordanian Royal Couple to Bosnia during August.

The press release states that Komšić participated in the work of two-day Summit of the World Economic Forum in Amman and the session "The Union for the Mediterranean", where new possibilities and modalities of cooperation between Mediterranean countries were discussed.


The 30th fair of building, civil engineering and architecture in Sarajevo in May

The fair "BUILDING AND RECONSTRUCTION" is a yearly event marking it's 30th anniversary this year. It's considered as one of the best economic events in the Region, through which novelties in the world of building, civil engineering and architecture are being presented. This year the even will take place 19-22 May as "Centar Skenderija" in Sarajevo, Bosnia.

The fair combines the following fairs:
34th International fair of plastic and rubber - "PLAGRAM"
31st International fair of building and accompanying building industry
19th International fair of crafts, tools and machines
13th International fair of heating, cooling, air-conditioning plants and sanitaria - "INTERKLIMA"
8th International fair of installation, lighting, electro technique and industry electronic - "INSTAL"
4th International fair of commune equipment and equipment for environment protection
2nd International fair of commercial vehicles, transport, logistics and supporting industry
1st Fair of Real Estate, investment and development. - ''SAREX''

In the past 13 years, over 9000 Exhibitors & Co-exhibitors were presented on "BUILDING AND RECONSTRUCTION", and in 2008. this manifestation gathered over 500 Exhibitors & Co-exhibitors on 18000 sqm of exhibition space.

More info here.


Bosnia has excellent wind power potential

Bosnia has excellent resources for using the wind power and it is one of its chances to attract foreign investments, generate jobs and increase its GDP.

These were some of the messages heard at today's presentation at the German embassy in Sarajevo, during which the ambassador of Germany to Bosnia - Joachim Schmidt - awarded the Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations of Bosnia and Herzegovina the electronic wind map.

As the ambassador Schmidt said, it is a document based on meteorological data collected during 30 years, which allows assessment of the wind situation for each area of Bosnia.

Ambassador Schmidt has further stated that the total wind energy potential in Bosnia is about 2000 MW, but it is considered that around 900 MW could be utilized.

It was also announced that the study showing how the possibilities of connecting proposed wind mill parks to existing electric grid, roads and other infrastructure will be presented by the end of the year.

"Bosnia has excellent resources. Use the resources that are available" - said Dr. Sander, an international expert in wind energy.


Bosnia Bank International VIP Club holds presentation in Zenica, Bosnia

Bosnia Bank International Club, a business club that was founded by BBI two years ago to help connect the Bosnian businessmen with the businessmen abroad with emphasis on liquid markets of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC), will be presented to local business people in Zenica on Wednesday 13th May.

BBI VIP Business Club gives its members the opportunity to enter into direct contact with all companies and financial institutions from abroad that Bosnia Bank International has business relationships with in order to, through these links, help it clients on foreign markets and attract foreign investment to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Presentation of the BBI VIP Business Club will be held on 13th May at 13:00 in the "Hotel Zenica" in Zenica.


UniCredit Bank opens new credit line for Bosnian enterprises worth 45 million euro

On the meeting with the Bosnian Minister of Finance and Treasury Dragan Vrankić, director of UniCredit Group Alessandro profumo said that there was great interest for investment in infrastructure and energy projects in BiH. Profumo also announced signing a new contract with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, worth 45 million euros and the intended starting of credit line for lending to small and medium enterprises in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

US Vice-President Joe Biden is coming to Bosnia on May 19th

SARAJEVO, May 6 – US Vice-President Joseph Biden will arrive to single day visit to BiH on May 19th; Fena finds out today from diplomatic sources in Sarajevo.

According to these sources, Biden will meet in Sarajevo with BiH Presidency members, BiH CoM Chair Nikola Spiric and HR/EUSR Valentin Inzko and his Deputy Raffi Gregorian.

There is also a possibility, according to the sources, that Biden will meet at the US Embassy with leaders of more important political parties, but that this meeting still has not been confirmed.
The White House has announced earlier that Biden will visit SE Europe around May 18th.
- Vice-president will visit SE Europe in the week of May 18th. He will visit BiH, Serbia and Kosovo; it is said in that announcement.

Source: FENA

Bosnian Energoinvest sold licence to Korean Iljin Electric Ltd.

SARAJEVO, May 7 - Energoinvest d.d. Sarajevo concluded the Contract with Korean company "Iljin electric Ltd." on selling the license for production of the plants of EMOP type, which moves the newest generation of the high voltage SF6 switches of the Energoinvest production type SFEL.

Further sales to the Korean company, as well as joint development projects within energy filed have been announced. The representatives of Iljin Electric Ltd will visit Energoinvest for further talks in July.


Indexes at Sarajevo Stock Exchange witnessed growth in April

All indexes of the Sarajevo Stock Exchange experienced growth in April.

The Sarajevo Stock Exchange Main Index (SASX-10) rose by 9.67 percent compared to the previous month.
The investment fund index (BIFX) rose by 5.88 percent while Value Index SASX-30 rose 6.55 percent.

The mostly traded stock was the one of "Bosnalijek" dd Sarajevo rising by
18.35 percent. It was closely followed by "Sarajevo osiguranje" dd Sarajevo, whose stocks rose by 13.07 percent.

When it comes to Investment Funds the biggest increase
was noted by Stock Fund IF "BIG Invest. Gr." d.d. Sarajevo whose shares rose by 17.73 percent.

On the other hand funds IF "Bosfin" d.d. Sarajevo and "Herbos Fund" d.d. Mostar, had it's stocks fall by
4.89 and 7.04 percent respectively.


Bosnia, IMF agree 1.2 bln euro 3-year deal

SARAJEVO, May 5 (Reuters) - Bosnia and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) agreed a 1.2 billion euro ($1.61 billion) deal over three years to lessen the impact of global economic crisis, Bosnia's Prime Minister said on Tuesday.

The agreement was postponed from the last week to give Bosnian officials more time to pin down technical details and government guarantees about the implementation of policies requested by the lender under the arrangement.

The agency has stepped up its presence in the Balkans as nearly all states are entering recession and many seeking its help, although they had hoped the region could avoid the worldwide downturn.

The National Fiscal Council has projected an economic contraction of 1.5 percent in 2009 and flat growth in 2010. The IMF's latest forecast for Bosnia this year was a 3 percent contraction of GDP.

Širbegović group signs agreement of understanding worth 100 million € with Malaysian HDC

Faruk Širbegović, CEO of Širbegović Group, has today signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Malaysian HDC on cooperation on the project of the first "Halal Park" in Bosnia. The deal was signed in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The plan is to locate "Halal Park" in a business zone of Širbegović Group in Gracanica, Bosnia. Current value of the project is estimated to around 100 million € with projected profits of 500 million € a year. Within two years, needed for Halal Park to achieve it's full capacity, several thousand new employment opportunities will be generated.

"The potential for food production in Bosnia is currently estimated to be around 4 billion €" - said Faruk Širbegović, and added: "Malaysia and Bosnia have for long enjoyed good relations, and we are delighted to extend our cooperation in this manner. We invite our Malaysian counterparts to seize all those tremendous business opportunities that Bosnia has to offer. This project also presents the possibility for Malaysian companies to take advantage of the Bosnian "Halal Park" as a platform to enter the EU market."


Tourism big chance for Bosnia says Al Fahim - President of Dubai Pearl Group

Abdul Majeed Ismail Al Fahim, was one of the consultants at the beginning of the work of BBI Bank in Bosnia, the first and currently the only bank in Bosnia, which operates on the principles of Islamic banking. Al Fahim, in an interview for the "Leader" says that the support and the establishment of banks in Bosnia was done with the intention of promoting the concept of Islamic banking to Europe through Bosnia.

Even if he only stayed in Bosnia for a day, Al Fahim said that he had a sufficient view from the plane to see that the investment potential of Bosnia is huge and that it is only a matter of time before it is detected and exploited, especially in the tourism sector.

"I know a lot of people from Bosnia, and I have read about that country, but I did not expect it to be so beautiful. I am very impressed with landscapes that I saw, with the mountains that surround your valley. I think that the mountains are great opportunities for tourism development because I believe that many people will come to them to rest and enjoy the snow. The whole region can become a strong tourist destination. This is a great opportunity for your country. You have a lot of thermal springs, which can also be connected with tourism, but also treatment and all that should be used" - said Al Fahim.

"As far as I know, Bosnia has great human resources. I have experience with one of Bosnians who ran one of my factories in Abu Dhabi. When he went for hollidays we really felt his absence, and we hardly waited for him to return. So I have a good opinion of employees from Bosnia" - said Al Fahim.


Breaking News! Bosnia about to privatize 12 biggest enterprises

Agency for Privatization (APF) will announce a public call for expressions of interest for participation in the privatization of 12 major state companies, in mid of this month . This public call serves as a proof of the readiness of the Government to begin the privatization of large state-owned company that has been largely awaited for years.

All interested parties will be invited to present a letter of intent and show interest in participation in the privatization of 90 percent "BH Telecom", 50 percent "of Croatian telecommunications" and 90.33 percent of "Agrokomerc".

Public invitation will also include 67 percent of capital of "Energoinvest" and "Hidrogdanja", 67 percent in "Sipad export-impor"t, and the same package of shares in the "Unis".

On the list for privatization are also 39.91 percent of the "Sarajevo Tobacco Factory(FDS)", 19.85 percent of "Bosnalijek" and 45.49 of "Sarajevo-insurance."

The remaining 22.12 percent equity in the "Energopetrol", and the majority package of shares from 51 percent in "Remontni Institute" from Travnik will also be offered.

APF ask the interested bidders to provide letter of intent including information about which enterprises that are interested and the manner and method of participation in the privatization. On the basis of all the information it receives, AFP will determine the dynamics, the method and other conditions of privatization of 12 companies.


Bosnia opens for state owned banks

In a bid to fight rising interest rates the government of Bosnia adopted The Law on Deposit Insurance on 29th April 2009 practically allowing the establishment of state-owned banks.

Changes in the legislation, if accepted by the Bosnian Parliament, will allow the banks in which the state owns more then ten percent of shares to participate in deposit insurance, which will put them in equal position with the private banks.


Rise in foreign investment to Bosnia in Q1

In the first four months of this year, despite the worldwide economic crisis, Bosnia noted the increase in inflow of direct foreign investments, which amounted to 126,419,578€.

Foreign Investment Promotion Agency of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FIPA) conveyed today that the largest recorded investors for the first four months of this year were from Austria with 35,675,114€ and Slovenia with 16,064,116€.

"Taking into account the world economic trends and the overall situation, foreign investments for the first four months are promising. Efforts to present Bosnia to world public as a country with a favorable environment for investment has given the results", says the press release.

According to data from FIPA, total foreign investment in Bosnia, since May 1994. until May 2009. amounts the total of 5.6 billion €.


General Electric eyes investment opportunities in Bosnia

The representatives of the US „General Electric“ and „KazTransGas AG“, which already signed a Memorandum of understanding with Zenica Municipality on construction of natural gas based Power plant, visited Zenica, where „General Electric“ expressed the strong interest to joint and participate in this project, proposing to introduce the latest technology which „Genrel Electric“ posses and apply in the similar plants all over the world.

On other previous occasions representatives of GE have had discussions with decision and law makers on different levels in Bosnia, regarding investment in other projects in energy sector.

More info here.


Bosnia aiming to become the center of European halal business

"Food manufacturers in the Halal segment are large European companies that export their products to Indonesia, Malaysia and other Muslim countries. We intend to recruit larger European manufacturers to move their production, warehousing and logistics to our planned Halal hubs in Bosnia. On the other hand we are also working with companies from Muslim world that ship their goods to Europe to use the same hubs for that. Our goal is to become the center of halal business in Europe" - explains Salkić.

The project for halal hub in the town of Gračanica is already finished, and there are several other possible sites for the rest of the planned hubs. The organization "Halal Europe", that
Salkić is leading, is going to work on the halal awareness in all of Europe in the coming period.

Arrangements in Malaysia next week
Delegation consisting of several Bosnian businessmen, representatives of foreign chambers and the Agency for halal certification from Tuzla will stay at the World Halal Forum, which will be held in Kuala Lumpur
at 4th and 5th May.

"The agency will, most probably, sign a protocol on the construction of laboratories for testing of halal products, and probably an additional one about establishing of halal Academy. The business community of Malaysia will sign the protocol regarding the possibility of building halal hubs in Bosnia" - Salkić says.


Big opportunities for Bosnia in Halal tourism

At the time of global economic crisis one of the few areas that does not decline, is the world's halal market. The BiH Agency for Halal Quality certification emphasize that this is one of the most important and fastest growing markets in the world, with turnover of more than 270 billion euros. The Agency states that Bosnia has a large potential in the area of halal industry since the country currently supplies only food and pharmaceutical products.

Bosnia's contribution to the halal markets of the EU and Arab countries consists mainly of meat and meat products, confectionery, water and natural juices, teas and creams. However, the great potential not only for Bosnia lies in halal tourism.

"We have information that many people from Islamic countries wish to visit Bosnia" - says Valdet Peštalić, Head of the Department for Education of the Halal Certification Agency. He reiterates that halal certification of hotels, restaurants and resorts is a prerequisite for success in this business, and in this case, rooms and apartments should be adjusted to the requirements of halal consumers. He emphasized that the Agency has already received the first requirements for certification of tourist facilities.

The global demand for halal products and services is growing
year after year. It may be noted even at professional trade fairs, especially those in Malaysia.

"We usually talk about halal food, but it includes various other products and services. That is a big demand for halal cosmetics, medicines, clothing, footwear, furniture, and this principle is present in the tourism, catering, shipping, banking and other branches" - says Peštalić.


Bosnian MIMS acquires leading Croatian business daily from Swedish Bonnier

Contract of ownership has been signed today in Zagreb with the Swedish Bonnier media house, which has thus ended its operations in Croatia, as announced in the beginning of the year.

"We are pleased to take the leadership of Business.hr, the newspaper established as a serious brand at the market. We are convinced that there is a lot more potential in it. Despite the crisis in the publishing world, we believe that with reorganized operations Business.hr can become successful and profitable media project, "said new Chairman of the Board of Business.hr Damir Čičak.


Biodiesel refinery opens today in Tuzla, Bosnia

The production of biodiesel will start in Tuzla (north-eastern Bosnia) today. The Center for Development and Support, owner of the plant, will sell it's biodiesel to Tuzla city transport enterprises (GIPS) for use in it's buses. In production, used edible oil, supplied by cake-production factory "Gusto e Sapori" will be used.

"This facility is a pilot project and during the first year 72 tons of biodiesel will be produced. To do this we need 72,000 liters of used edible oil. The technology is such that one liter of oil turns into one liter of biodiesel with the addition of certain additives" - says Zahirović.

The vehicles using biodiesel will have to spend five per cent more biodiesel but given its lower price - five to 10% lower compared to ordinary diesel - it will not constitute a problem, Zahirović says.


Volkswagen producing electric vehicles in Bosnia

EcoCarrier is the name of the new electric car model that soon enter production at Volkswagen plant in Vogosca, near Sarajevo, Bosnia. The car is for commercial purposes and will be sold to European markets.

which stirred the interest of Volkswagen was developed by the German company EcoCraft Automotive.

Jan Masak from Volkswagen in Bosnia said that this innovative vehicle is primarily intended for commercial use or use at airports, in public enterprises and similar.

"I still do not want to go out with details" - he said, "but what I can say is that we will soon have a great presentation which will, among others, be attended by the leaders from Volkswagen's headquarters in Volfsburg, Germany. This is a big and important project".

Maximum speed of vehicles will be electronically limited to 75 km per hour and it will be available with different types of batteries allowing driving distance of up to 80 kilometers on single charge.


Credit Rating of Bosnia and Herzegovina Remains Stable

Standard & Poor's, the International Credit Rating Agency, published the first annual report on credit rating of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

In the context of global financial and economic crisis and downgrading rating trends of many governments, sustainability and stability of BH credit rating remaining at the same level, ‘B+' with stable outlook, assigned to BH on 22 December 2008, represents an encouraging and positive sign.

Clearly slowed down, but still on medium-term potentially strong economic growth, as well as European integrations perspective, with the priority relating to foreign debt servicing and monetary stability based on the currency board arrangement, constitute rating stability factors of BH, which, combined together, mitigate risks of global crisis market effects and impact on financial stability and public finances of BH. Risk in the financial sector of BH, although present, is of small intensity compared with the region.

At the same time, in the context of significantly prudential analytical approach by rating agencies, the report provides prudent projections of economic growth and analysis relating to the serious political and economic challenges that BH is facing.

Acceleration of structural reforms would increase economic growth and export potential, and would also lead to the credit capability improvement. Considering that complex political and institutional system leads to frequent political blockades and makes decision-making process more difficult, further institutional capacity building and dialogue improvement in relation to the constitution are key issues.

Monetary policy with the currency board arrangement has been assessed as powerful security and stabilizing mechanism in the financial crisis, and strict prudential measures, such as maturity match roles and adequate reserves, contribute to the banking system stability.

Upgrade of BH rating will directly correspond with the reforms dynamics and progress in the institutional capacity building and EU accession process and sound macroeconomic policies.


International tourism and travel fair in May

First International tourism and travel trade fair is going to be held In Ilidza near Sarajevo between 21st and 25th May. The trade fair will be on organized by the Bosnian Association of Hoteliers and Restaurateurs.

During the fair, symposiums "The continental tourism, and development programs" and "Bosnian tourist product, branding and market verification" will be held.

Trade show premises will be in the Cultural and sports center Ilidza, Hollywood Hotel, and the Thermal Riviera Hotel Terme. Exhibitors will have 20,000 square meters of exhibition space at their disposal.

Design, construction and equipping of hotels, restaurants, manufacturing and distribution of consumer goods, camping and sports equipment, hunting, fishing and horticulture will be presented at the fair.

The fair will offer an opportunity to take part in several specialized events such as: International competition of catering workers "HOREC Gastro-Fest", the Festival of knowledge and skills of catering school students, first meeting of catering workers of Bosnia, HOREC Wine Fest and HOREC Beer Fest.

For more info please click here.

Production down in Q1 with March witnessing rise

Some new stats on industrial production in BiH where published today by Bosnia and Hercegovina's Federal Office of Statistics.

Industrial production in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina in March 2009 less for 14,6% in relation to average monthly production of 2008, and less for 5,9% in relation to March 2008 and rose by 7,2% in relation to February 2009.

Total industrial production in period January – March 2009 in relation to same period 2008 less for 10,9%, industrial production in field of Mining rose by 6,1%, Manufacturing industry less for 20,0%, Electricity, gas and water supply rose by 1,9%.

Viewed according to main industrial grouping in period January - March 2009 in relation to same period 2008, increase in production was posted at energy for 4,8%, decline was posted at intermediate goods except energy for 28,6%, capital goods for 32,0%, durable consumer
goods for 34,4%, non-durable consumer goods for 3,9%.

For more info please click here.


Raiffeisen bank opens new Bosnian headquarters today

Raiffeisen bank BH opened it's new headquarters today in Sarajevo. The bank invested around 50 million KM in a new building that encompasses the first "Drive-in" zone with access to and use of counters and ATMs from the car.

Also, the 24-hours-area customers will be available to use two ATMs, a day-night Treasury, boxing and running for info terminal with printer. This ten-floor building is located in the street of "the Dragon of Bosnia bb".

The director of the Bank - Michael Mueller said that the construction of second building is under way and should be completed in about a year making the total investment of around 80 million KM.

At a news conference held before the opening ceremony, a member of the Management Board Dino Osmanbegović pointed out that during the past year, capital of Raiffeisen Bank increased by 28 percent.

For more info please click here.


VIDEO - Bosnia poised for oil find

Here you can watch a video broadcasted on Al-Jazeera that show potential major oil fields in Bosnia. It lasts for three minutes and shows several places where oil is bobbling to the surface.

More info about potential oil findings in Bosnia can be found in our two previous articles, namely Opportunities in oil business in Bosnia and Five companies apply for oil prospecting in Bosnia.

To watch video please click here


Sirbegovic (Širbegović) group revenues up 10% in 2008

In 2008 Širbegović group generated revenues of 87 million KM, which is approximately 10% more than the previous year. Particular growth was achieved in the production and placement of steel structures, about 40% compared to 2007. Realized profit on the level of the Group amounts to approximately 7 million KM.

Despite the current financial crisis, the group was able to retain its employees. The current seasonal workforce will get a chance for permanent employment in the coming expansion to Libyan market.

In the business year of 2009 the group is planning to achieve the same revenue as in 2008 at it's current markets. In addition to that Širbegović group expects additional revenues of 25 million on the Libyan market.

More info can be found here.

Seminar on interest-free Islamic banking held in Sarajevo, Bosnia

Two-day seminar on Islamic banking in the organization of the Islamic Bank for Development and Bosnia Bank International was held in Sarajevo on 8th and 9th April.

Foreword was provided by the Governor of the Central Bank of Bosnia and Herzegovina Kemal Kozaric. "We are aware that Islamic banking is unknown in Bosnia although BBI, a bank that operates according to Islamic principles, operates here since 2000. Recently the Faculty of Economics has also started graduate studies on Islamic banking. We are witnesses to the global economic crisis that puts Islamic banking in the foreground, because the banks that are operated by Islamic principles have not accrued losses.

This seminar will help us better acquainted with the methods of Islamic banking. Islamic banking is the new source of wealth for Bosnia and BBI has shown that, although domestic legislation is not adjusted for that type of business."

First day of the seminar speakers were Dr. Salman Syed Ali, economist with IRTI (Islamic Research and Training Institute of the Islamic Development Bank) and Dr. Muhamed Obaidullah, a professor of Islamic finance in the Islamic Research Center King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Seminar was, in addition to employees of BBI, attended by representatives from the Banking Agency of FBiH, FBiH Ministry of Finance, the Bank Association of BiH, the Agency for Supervision of Insurance Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Commission for Securities, the Banking Agency of Republika Srpska, the Registry of Securities, the Ministry of Finance and Treasury, and several faculty for the economy of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Presidency, and the press.

More info can be found on the website of Bosna Bank International.

Bosnalijek's (Bosnia's biggest pharma company) sales up 22% in 2008

KPMG B_H has completed audit of Bosnalijek d.d. financial statements for 2008. Total revenues were 108,3 million KM of which sales of products amounted to 107,1 million KM and net profit of 8,2 million KM.

In addition to selling its products in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bosnalijek d.d. sold its products on 19 international markets, with the rate of growth of 22%. Earning per share was 1,26 KM.

Total assets at the year end were valued at 157 million KM and have increased by 2% in relation to the previous year. Current assets amounted to 71,2 million KM while fixed assets amounted to 85,7 million KM.

Total liabilities of Bosnalijek d.d. at the end of 2008 were 49,5 million KM, of which long term liabilities amounted to 7,7 million KM and short term liabilities amounted to 41,8 million KM.

Equity value was 107,5 million KM, with an increase of 8% in relation to the previous year.

Audited annual financial statements can be dowloaded here.


Bosnian construction companies form join venture

Joint company founded by the construction companies, present on the German market should begin its work 1st July this year. This was confirmed by the secretary of construction sector in the Economic Chamber FBiH, Dzenana Avdic, for the biggest Bosnian newspaper "Dnevni Avaz".

Potential founders of the joint venture have a deadline for confirmation of entry to 25 April, when the Constituent Assembly to be held in mid-May.

Establishment of the company is a project of BAG group, which operates at PKFBiH, and so far have received 22 signed statements on the accession of the co-ownership relationship in the new company.

Avdic said that builders establish a company to help provide new jobs and protect the economic crisis.


Qatar expressing interest to invest in Bosnia

During the visit to BH, Qatari delegation which has been profoundly informed on BiH potentials and opportunities particularly in the field of agriculture, food, pharmaceuticals and wood industry and energy, expressed a great interest to invest in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Following bilateral meetings between institutions and companies of two countries, will be organized the meeting of the Qatari and BiH Joint Commission with intention to summarize and analyze identified potentials, received information, and overall impressions, in order to consider and harmonize viewpoints of two sides and to define most appropriate forms of future cooperation and approaches to potential investments.

More info here.


The first condominium in Balkans opens soon in the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo

Bosmal City Center, the first condominium in this part of the world, is being constructed in the Hrasno district of Sarajevo. By condominium we mean a modern, private residential building with monitored entrances, reception, luxurious apartments and common areas serving the residents. Access to the residential and common areas of the object shall be restricted to the residents only, where their privacy is absolutely guaranteed. Common areas encompass lobbies, saunas, pool for adults and children, and a nursery.

The Center offers 306 residential units, with 8 penthouses and 298 apartments, organized in 14 types, with areas ranging from 80 to 220 sq. m. Nine high-speed elevators connect to the garage-commercial area of the center. The residents will be absolutely secure, with special security service responsible for constant monitoring of the whole object, with 200 surveillance cameras on duty, sensors and other modern equipment.

The communication areas in the center, commercial areas and the underground garage with 400 parking lots are monitored from the reception point.

Reaching a height of 118 meters, Bosmal City Center is the tallest residential building in the Balkans. Tallest business building in Balkans is Avaz Twist Tower also situated in Sarajevo.

A restaurant will be located at the highest point of the building, giving a panoramic view of the town, including the historical districts as well as the new part of town and its surroundings.
The commercial area will be open to the public, with two restaurants and a meeting bar, supermarket, hair and beauty saloons, dental practice, ambulance service, ophthalmologist’s and optician’s, leather goods boutique, art sales, jewelry shop and other exclusive boutiques. All the facilities within the center are inter-linked with a hundred-meter long promenade.

For more info and pictures please click here.


Software engineers wanted - several positions

Currently there are several Nordic IT-companies planning to either open their branches in Bosnia or partner with local IT-companies in different ways. I do not know exactly when it is going to happen but it is in the works.

Job description - software testing, application design, software development. Both experienced and newly graduated are welcome.

Those interested in potential position with those companies should send their CV's and Cover Letters to me (haris.alisic@gmail.com), including their target income. Please mark your mails with "IT POSITION IN BOSNIA".

Please bear in mind that there are no promises and that companies might change their mind and scrap their plans.


Tallest building in Balkans opens soon in Sarajevo, Bosnia

The Avaz Twist Tower will be the new headquarters for Avaz, the popular Bosnian newspaper company.

The new tower went under construction in 2006 and it is expected to be completed some time in 2009. The Avaz Twist Tower will hold the record for being the Balkan's tallest tower and one of the most interesting towers in Europe. It is made up of a twisting glass facade and will be 142 meters tall with a 30 meter antenna reaching a total height of 172 meters.

Before the Avaz Twist Tower, the Bosmal City Center twin towers held the record for being the tallest towers in the Balkans, standing at a height of 128 meters. Avaz's current headquarters have been turned into a hotel and offices. 

To see pictures of the building please click


BBI Center opens in Bosnia's capital Sarajevo

BBI Center opened it's gates to public yesterday on 6th April 2009. It encompasses offices, shops, restaurants, different beauty saloons, clinics, huge parking space and lots of other things.

Investor in BBI Center is a BBI Leasing & Real Estate Ltd. Sarajevo, whose founders are the Islamic Development Bank, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Dubai Islamic Bank and Bosna Bank International dd Sarajevo. The total charter capital amounted to nearly 40 million KM (ca 20 million €).

Bosnia Bank International was established on 19 September 2000 as the first bank in the region that operates on the principles of Islamic banking.

To see some pics of the centre, from construction to grand opening, please click here.


BASF opens regional headquarters in Bosnia

Company BASF Construction Chemicals BH opened the regional headquarters for the Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania and Kosovo in Sarajevo yesterday. 

The headquarters' new building encompasses a laboratory for testing the quality of concrete. This will enable the continued support of implementation and monitoring of the development of innovative products and technologies, work on the optimal results and spending during the application of existing products and technologies. 

Director of the Department of Central Europe Herbert Frankenstain pointed out that BASF recognizes Bosnia as the leading market in the region with great potential in the construction sector, and that is why the company decided to open this laboratory.