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BOSNIA AND
HERZEGOVINA

 
  
  

 

In-depth Business Intelligence

Key Economic Data 
 
  2002 2001 2000 Ranking(2002)
GDP
Millions of US $ 5,249 4,800 4,400 109
         
GNI per capita
 US $ 1,270 1,240 1,230 126
Ranking is given out of 208 nations - (data from the World Bank)

Books on Bosnia & Herzegovina

REPUBLICAN REFERENCE

Area (sq.km)
51,129

Population
3,989,018

Capital
Sarajevo

Currency
Convertible Mark 

President 
Zivko Radisic

  

Update No: 092 - (01/01/05)

EUFOR takes over
A ceremony in Sarajevo on 2nd December saw the historic conclusion of the NATO-led Stabilisation Force (SFOR) in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the launch of the European Union's follow-on EUFOR. SFOR has been brought to a successful end almost exactly nine years since NATO deployed forces in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1995 in what was NATO's first peacekeeping operation.
After a presence of some nine years, NATO is pulling out of Bosnia. The alliance's peacekeeping force SFOR first moved into the Balkan nation in 1995 to monitor compliance with the Dayton peace accord - a task which it has been largely successful in fulfilling. Yet, despite the end of the mission, some 7,000 of the original 60,000 troops are to remain to continue the job, only now under the umbrella of a European Union peacekeeping mission code-named ALTHEA. 
Within ALTHEA, the European troops are merely exchanging their NATO "hats" for the European EUFOR beret. The decision reflects the improved security situation in the country. The successful termination of SFOR does not spell the end of NATO's engagement in Bosnia and Herzegovina. While the European Union assumes responsibility for peacekeeping operations, NATO will maintain a headquarters in Sarajevo to assist the country with defence reform, with a complement of 150. It will also carry out some operational tasks, in co-ordination with the European Union. This will include counter-terrorism and assistance in apprehending persons indicted for war crimes.
The 7,000-strong EUFOR mission will be supported by NATO under the so-called 'Berlin Plus' arrangements that provide the framework for NATO-EU cooperation.

Stability
The fact that the Americans have now decided to leave Bosnia entirely to the Europeans says much about the relatively stable situation which currently applies in the country. Things have moved on so far that Bosnia now has a new military apparatus, forged from what were once sworn enemies - the fighting units of the Serbs, the Croats and the Muslims. This operation is not, however, quite yet completed since, for example, the question of who is to command the new armed forces has yet to be resolved. This, too, has provided NATO with a reason to keep a small headquarters in Bosnia so that it can continue to supervise the process.
Now, it becomes the task of the Europeans to safeguard continuing peace inside Bosnia. Should they fail, and the dormant conflict again spark the flames of violence, then NATO still has a rapidly deployable battalion to fall back on. That, too, consists of European troops, albeit that they come from European NATO members, for - as far as the US military involvement is concerned - the Bosnia chapter is now closed.

Sale of Omarska
The Bosnia chapter, however, is not closed for the Bosnians themselves. They are haunted by their gory past.
The site of the infamous concentration camp at Omarska - operated by Bosnian Serbs for Muslim and Croat prisoners - has been bought by Britain's richest resident, steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal, who has interests in Romania and is a confidant of Premier Tony Blair. 
Camp Omarska, where hundreds died, was established on the site of an iron ore mine, one of three in a complex in which Mr Mittal has a controlling share in a joint venture with the local Bosnian Serb authorities. Now, survivors of the camp and relatives of the dead are pleading with Mr Mittal not to reconvert the mine without preserving some buildings and land in commemoration of what happened there.
In letters sent to Mr Mittal, survivors of the camp plead that installations be preserved out of respect for the dead, and to help bring about some reckoning and reconciliation between the Bosnian Serbs and their victim communities. 'You own a place with a legacy,' says one letter, and 'we hope you will look compassionately upon our request so that the past will not be forgotten'.
Mr Mittal also faces the possibility that bodies - mass graves, even - may be found on or near the site. Work has just concluded on one mass grave, exhuming 420 bodies, only two miles away. In 2001, 353 bodies, mostly of men killed in Omarska, were found within the territory of another mine in the complex, Ljubija. 'There is no doubt whatsoever that there are bodies as yet unfound within the mine of Omarska and its vicinity,' said Amor Masovic, president of the Bosnian government's Commission for Tracing Missing Persons.
Mr Mittal acquired a 51% controlling stake in the Ljubija/Omarska mine complex in April this year, with a view to restarting ore production. The remaining 49% is maintained by the RZR mining company, a public sector enterprise owned by the Republika Srpska statelet.
In October, Mr Mittal became the biggest steel producer in the world with a $4.5bn (about £2.35bn) takeover of the American International Steel Group.

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FOREIGN ECONOMIC RELATIONS

Bosnia, Belarus sign two economic agreements


BiH [Bosnia-Herzegovina] Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations, Dragan Doko, and Belarus Ambassador to BiH, Vladimir Aleksandrovic Mackjevic, signed recently in Sarajevo, a trade agreement and an agreement on the promotion and protection of investments, Federation News Agency reported. 
Ambassador Mackjevic was of the opinion that the signed agreements would enhance economic cooperation between the two states. Foreign trade between BiH and Belarus was worth only US$70,000 in 2003.

Bosnian, Finnish leaders discuss economic reforms, foreign investments

Adnan Terzic, chairman of the Bosnia-Herzegovina Council of Ministers, and Matti Vanhanen, Finnish prime minister, established in Helsinki recently that the potential for intensifying the economic cooperation between the two countries was great, the Information Service of the Bosnia-Herzegovina Council of Ministers said, Bosnian Serb radio reported.
The Finnish prime minister expressed particular interest in the activities that Bosnia-Herzegovina was conducting with regard to increasing its competitiveness, with a view to even better conditions for foreign investments.
Terzic explained to the Finnish prime minister the reforms that have been implemented so far which are necessary for the negotiations to begin on the signing of an agreement on stabilization and accession to the EU, and particularly emphasized the economic reforms envisaged by the Bosnia-Herzegovina medium-term development strategies.

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FOREIGN RELATIONS

Bosnian, Croatian, Macedonian, Montenegrin leaders discuss regional cooperation

Chairman of the Bosnia-Herzegovina Council of Ministers, Adnan Terzic, and Croatian President, Stjepan Mesic, concluded the drafting of the agreement on borders between Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia and all that remains are technical details, SRNA News Agency reported.
At the meeting in Cavtat, they pointed out that the drafting of the agreement on property rights is in its final phase, the Bosnia-Herzegovina Council of Ministers said.
Terzic and Mesic assessed the political relations between Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia as good and emphasized the need for resolving outstanding issues in line with existing European standards.
They both judged that the port of Ploce was an important economic issue, which should be resolved to mutual satisfaction.
Terzic, also held talks, in separate meetings, with Macedonian President, Branko Crvenkovski, and Montenegrin President, Filip Vujanovic, with whom he exchanged views about the state of bilateral relations.
During the meeting with Crvenkovski there was an exchange of views about the progress that had been made by Bosnia-Herzegovina and Macedonia on the path to drawing closer to Euro-Atlantic integration.
Crvenkovski expressed his encouragement with the progress Bosnia-Herzegovina had achieved in implementing reforms and reiterated Macedonia's support for Bosnia-Herzegovina on its road to the EU.
The interlocutors assessed that by intensifying regional cooperation the possibility for the speedier accession of Southeastern European states into Euro-Atlantic integration would be enhanced.
Terzic accepted President Crvenkovski's invitation to visit Macedonia at the beginning of next year.
Terzic and Montenegrin President Filip Vujanovic exchanged views on bilateral cooperation and stressed the possibility of improving economic relations between Bosnia-Herzegovina and Montenegro.
They agreed that joint infrastructure projects could significantly increase Bosnia-Herzegovina's investments in Montenegro and that the relevant departments should work in that direction.
Terzic took part in the regional economic forum for Southeastern Europe in Cavtat entitled, "Competitors and partners on the path to the EU," where Terzic announced that a competitiveness council will soon be formed in Bosnia-Herzegovina, a body which already existed in countries in the region. 

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