The Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations of B&H, the Foreign Trade Chamber of B&H, the Foreign Investors Council (FIC) B&H and Eda – Enterprise Development Agency, with the support of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) through the Embassy of Sweden in B&H, have organized jointly the 2nd annual conference “How to Provide Better Support to SME Development by All Levels in BiH” in Sarajevo.
The conference was attended by over 100 participants – government representatives at the state, entity and cantonal levels, embassies, international organizations and projects in BiH, regional development agencies, as well as directors of companies and entrepreneurs.
On this occasion, Deputy Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations of BiH, Mr. Mate Franjicevic, said: “We are committed to the path towards the European Union. This path implies harmonization of our legal framework with the legal framework of the European Union, which also includes the entrepreneurship and SMEs. The Small Business Act can be used as a common denominator for the harmonization of our with the EU legislation, but also for harmonization of laws in BiH at different levels of government.”
Deputy Head of Mission and Head of Development Cooperation from the Swedish Embassy in BiH, Mr. Torgny Svenungsson, said: “Sweden strongly supports BiH’s economic integration into the EU and development of a market economy in this country. We are pleased to support this four-year project
“European Small Business Act as a framework of SME strategies and policies in BiH – SBA in BiH”. Within the project, representatives of different levels of government will develop a harmonized legal, strategic and policy framework for development of SMEs. This is important not only for BiH but also for the EU, because it is one of the important requirements for BiH’s accession to the EU. I am pleased that Sweden can support this initiative and I hope to see more similar initiatives in the future.”
Within the conference two panel discussions have been organized, on the following topics:
- “How to achieve a systemic and harmonized support to SME development in B&H”, with the following panelists: Ms. Brankica Pandurević, Assistant Minister (Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations of B&H, Department for Economic Development and Entrepreneurship); Mr. Zoran Savić, Assistant Minister (RS Ministry of Economy and Entrepreneurship); Mr. Adis Fajić, Expert Advisor (Federal Ministry of Development, Entrepreneurship and Crafts); Ms. Amra Abadžić, Head of the Economic Development Subdivision (Government of the the Brcko District B&H)
- ”How to provide better support to exporters and investors”, with the following panelists: Ms. Radmila Zekić, representative of Project Management Office of the Lanaco Company from Banja Luka; Mr. Emir Filipovic, director of the company Spanish Market from Sarajevo; Mr. Kemal Colak, director of the company Promo from Donji Vakuf and Mr. Vladan Nastic, Director of the company Alpro from Vlasenica.
A new framework of support for development of SMEs in the country was presented at the conference. The framework is harmonized with the European framework, on one hand, and enables harmonization of supporting strategies and policies for SME development in Bosnia and Herzegovina, on the other hand. The framework is being built jointly, in collaboration of teams of the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations of BiH, the Federal Ministry of Development, Entrepreneurship and Crafts, the Ministry of Economy and Entrepreneurship of the RS and the Department for Economic Development, Sports and Culture of the Brcko District B&H. Finalization and application of this framework will enable much more intensive, better focused and systematically coordinated and organized domestic and international support to SME development in the country.
The conference showed that, starting from the perspective of SMEs, and with the cooperation of competent institutions, effective policies and instruments of support can be provided. All the suggestions and proposals will be incorporated into development strategies for the period 2021-2027.
The conference was organized within the project “European Small Business Act as a framework of SME strategies and policies in BiH – SBA in BiH”, funded by Sida through the Embassy of Sweden in B&H.