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11th Sarajevo Business Forum kicks off in Bosnia

11th Sarajevo Business Forum kicks off in Bosnia
Balkans has potential to prevail over other regions in positioning companies from Turkiye, other countries, says Turkish trade minister

By Talha Ozturk

BELGRADE, Serbia (AA) – The 11th Sarajevo Business Forum (SBF) began on Wednesday in Bosnia's capital, with Turkiye taking center stage.

Dubbed the "Balkan Davos," the event will focus on expanding regional economic cooperation and attracting international investment to southeast Europe with the participation of delegations from 33 countries.

Turkish Trade Minister Mehmet Mus is one of the event's key speakers this year.

Mus in his address said the Balkans as a region can outperform other regions if they collaborate with companies from Turkiye and other countries.

''The Balkan countries are located next to the European Union, the Balkans as a region can prevail in relation to other regions when it comes to positioning companies from Turkiye and other countries.

“The Balkans will be one of the regions that will benefit from the global rearrangement of distribution chains, as companies move production close to the largest markets," he said.

From the standpoint of geographical positioning, the Turkish minister stressed the importance of distribution chains for global enterprises and global trade.

In terms of international collaboration and trade, he sees the Balkans as a gateway to Europe and its markets, while Turkiye as a gateway to Asia and the Middle East and their markets.

Slovenian President Borut Pahor in his speech said political stability in the Western Balkans is still a condition for economic prosperity and progress.

"Without political stability, there is no economic prosperity. The task of the political leaders of this beautiful country is to organize the country constructively and to create investment opportunities," Pahor said.

He added that he has suggested to many European leaders that Bosnia and Herzegovina be granted candidate status without additional preconditions.

"Now there are fourteen conditions that Bosnia needs to meet. My idea is to give that status to Bosnia without those preconditions, and then for the Bosnia authorities to meet those conditions.

“After Russia's invasion of Ukraine and the change of mood in the EU, I think we need to. Let us take this concrete opportunity to discuss the status of Bosnia and Herzegovina. This is crucial for peace and stability in the entire region," he said.

Over 1,000 people are expected to attend the Sarajevo Business Forum, which had been suspended for two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The event will promote regional investment projects in manufacturing, agriculture, energy, education, finance, infrastructure, construction, the service sector, tourism, and other sectors.

On the occasion, Bosnia Bank International (BBI) Board Member Nedzad Gusic said the main theme of the SBF is "Nearshoring - a Perspective for the Region," i.e. presenting the potential for European enterprises to relocate manufacturing to southeast Europe.

Gusic said Bosnia and Herzegovina and other southeast European countries are in a position where foreign companies will move or establish their production centers.

"On this occasion, the economy of the countries will improve, new employment areas will be created, and thus the migration of the young population will be prevented," he said.

On the first day, the Sarajevo Business Bridge Awards will be presented to successful entrepreneurs in a ceremony.

Anadolu Agency is the global communication partner for the two-day business conference.

Nearly 300 projects from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia, North Macedonia, Montenegro, and Albania will be showcased at the event and is sponsored by BBI, the Sarajevo Canton Ministry of Economy, the Islamic Development Bank, Dubai Islamic Bank, and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank among others.

The forum, which was created with an aim of making the region a single economy, is expecting a record number of participants this year.

It has been held since 2010 in a collaborative effort by Bosna Bank International and the Jeddah-based Islamic Development Bank.​​​​​​​

source: News Feed
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