The Bosnian President Haris Silajdzic said yesterday that Bosnia’s investment potential is significant but that resources will begin to diminish and rise in price in the coming years if investors do not hurry.
“In two or three years, investing in Bosnia will be very expensive so we invite Turkish investors to act quickly,” President Silajdzic said in Ä°stanbul at a joint meeting of the Turkish-Bosnian Business Council (TBBC) organized by the Turkish Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEÄ°K) at the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB) Plaza.
President Silajdzic also said Bosnia and Turkey have very good relations but that this is not apparent in the economic area as there is a wide gap in trade between the two countries.
“We have had talks on the political dimension in Ankara and we mutually think that economic relations should be improved,” he said, adding that this could be achieved by more investment in Bosnia.
Turkey ranks among the top 10 countries that invested in Bosnia from May 1994 through the end of last year. In comparison, Austria topped the list of investors in Bosnia with 1.294 billion Euros.
Milan Lovric, co-president of the TBBC, said the amount of foreign direct investments in Bosnia has increased dramatically, to 1.6 billion Euros last year from 564 million Euros in 2006.
“Our country is small but has big potential,” he said regarding the country, which covers approximately 51,209 square kilometers of land and has a population of 3.8 million.
In 2006, Bosnian nominal gross domestic product [GDP] reached 9.78 billion Euros. Real GDP growth was 6.2 percent, continuing the underlying trend of growth of around 5.5-6.0 percent,” he said.
Lovric said the most attractive investment areas in Bosnia are energy, timber, tourism and chain stores that sell electronics targeting the youth, whose buying power has grown.
President Silajdzic added that an agreement with Turkey signed in 2005 to eliminate double taxation was approved in Bosnia on July 28 of this year.