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BOSNIA AND
HERZEGOVINA


  
  

 

In-depth Business Intelligence

Key Economic Data 
 
  2003 2002 2001 Ranking(2003)
GDP
Millions of US $ 6,963 5,249 4,800 104
         
GNI per capita
 US $ 1,540 1,270 1,240 123
Ranking is given out of 208 nations - (data from the World Bank)

Books on Bosnia & Herzegovina

REPUBLICAN REFERENCE

Area (sq.km)
51,129

Population
4,007,608

Capital
Sarajevo

Currency
Convertible Mark 

President 
Borislav Paravac



Update No: 107 - (28/04/06)

OSCE is a core actor in BiH, says new High Representative Schwarz-Schilling
Christian Schwarz-Schilling, the new International High Representative (IHR) and European Union Special Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, has a tough job on his hands He has underscored the importance of continued close co-operation between the OSCE and his Office to move the country toward full partnership with Europe. 
"We can only move forward in broad policy areas with the support of the entire international community - and in several areas only with the specific support of the OSCE," he told the Organization's 55 participating States at a meeting of its Permanent Council in Vienna, OSCE said. 
"I believe that there is a very clear synergy between the Office of the High Representative/EU Special Representative on the one hand and the OSCE on the other," he said. "I know the strengths of the OSCE and I believe we have the capacity and the disposition to work well together." 
Mr Schwarz-Schilling also proposed the establishment of a joint working group to co-ordinate in a "continuous and productive way" activities in the fields of elections, education, human rights and justice reform. 
"Better co-ordination between my Office's top-down and the OSCE's bottom-up approach in the non-governmental sector, particularly in terms of providing each other with available expertise and resources, could significantly contribute to the development of an informed, active and engaged civil society in Bosnia and Herzegovina," he said. 
Mr Schwarz-Schilling, who succeeds Lord Paddy Ashdown in this post, also pointed to the importance of the outcome of the general elections scheduled for this October. "This will determine the success or failure of Bosnia and Herzegovina's transition to a market economy and its final push for Euro-Atlantic integration, ultimately for membership of the EU and NATO," he said. 
The High Representative underlined that, despite some disappointments in the field of economic reform, the overall trend had been very positive, but said that the benefits of these improvements needed now to be brought to the country's citizens. 
"I believe that firms in this country now have a business environment in which they can compete and prosper, and I intend to work vigorously to further improve this environment, to be the pied piper of investment in Bosnia and Herzegovina," he said. 
Mr Schwarz-Schilling also said that his Office would continue to support the OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina with its continued work in the politico-military dimension, which include assistance with the destruction of excess stockpiles of ammunition as well as small arms and light weapons.

Bosnia Today 
What makes the task of the new IHR particularly daunting is that over ten years after the Dayton Accords and billions of dollars spent or misspent, Bosnia remains a desperately poor place suspended somewhere between war and peace. The economy has continued to be on international life support. 
The peace has been kept but the nation was not rebuilt. The Serbs want to be a part of Serbia, the Croats part of Croatia, while the Bosnian Muslims want a degree of superiority Christians either with assistance from the West or the Islamic world. The present state of affairs is unsustainable. The EU has recently added the carrot of possible membership by announcing negotiations of a Stabilization and Association agreement deemed as the first step towards the EU membership. NATO membership is also mentioned. 
On the 10th anniversary of Dayton, the State Department summoned presidents of all three parties to Washington to celebrate US diplomatic achievements in the field of nation building. In addition they were coerced to negotiate on ways to make the country unified. Assistant Secretary of State Nicholas Burns explained: "Simply put, the Dayton Accords need to be modernized. They served Bosnia well over the last decade, but they were never meant to be immutable or set in stone." It was also built up as a slogan, "from Dayton to Brussels." Needless to say all three parties pursued their own interests. For Muslims that meant abolition of Republika Srpska in order to establish domination over the Christians. The US however, did not clobber the Serbs as the Muslims expected. In disappointment, Tihic, the Muslim representative, accused Burns of being a liar. In the end, the parties signed a commitment to pursue constitutional reform so that Dayton-plus Bosnia will have one president, a strong prime minister and a parliament. 

Islamic Republic Must Be Ruled Out 
The US must stick with neutrality and thus prevent any creation of an Islamic state. Republika Srpska must be preserved. The Serbs and Croats should be assigned anti-terrorism duties to check the spread of Wahhabism and monitor activities of al Qaeda cells. According to Jeffrey Kuhner, writing in The Washington Times, the Croats locked into the federation with Muslims dwindled in numbers slowly departing their ancestral land with less than half a million left. "Those who remain suffer daily violations of their basic rights. The Croatians are dying. If these constitutional reforms pass, it will be the Serbs' turn to be submerged by the growing Muslim majority." There is a powerful argument that a strong centralized state was a cause of the conflict and in all likelihood cannot be a part of the solution. It is mind-boggling why Bosnia needs to be centralized, when a larger version-Former Yugoslavia couldn't be kept together, and Kosovo was taken out of Serbia. 

Death of the Butcher of Baghdad
There is only one subject that matters in Bosnia right now. Everyone is looking back to the horrors of the past.
The death of Slobodan Milosevic, cheating international justice at the Hague, must be a poignant moment for every Bosnian, in one way or another, depending of course on their ethnicity. He was certainly in cahoots with the two major villains of the Bosnian War of 1992-95, if not the initiator of the whole gory story with his inflammatory speeches in favour of a Greater Serbia.
Bosnia is still divided along ethnic lines a decade after the war ended. Dragan Cavic, president of the Bosnian Serb-run half of the country, said "a historic person has left the scene, a person who was disputed, criticized and praised." 
Sulejman Tihic, the Bosnian Muslim member of the country's three-person presidency, said Milosevic "will be remembered as a negative historic person, the most responsible for the bloody breakup of Yugoslavia and suffering of its peoples, including the Serb people."

UN Crime Tribunal may release documents on Milosevic 
The death of Milosevic could yet have a cathartic impact. The UN International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia is considering the release of confidential materials and documents from the case against Milosevic to facilitate the inquiry by the Dutch authorities into his death. 
The Tribunal on March 14th formally closed the proceedings against the former Serbian leader, the main suspect in the genocide of Muslims in Kosovo, but is conducting its own internal probe into his death. 
Milosevic was facing 66 counts in connection with numerous crimes committed in Kosovo, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina from 1991 to 1999 when he was found dead in his cell on March 11th. 
In a separate development, tribunal judges on March 1st convicted Enver Hadzihasanovic and Amir Kubura, both high level commanders in the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, sentencing them to five years and two-and-a-half years, respectively, for crimes committed in central Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1993 and the beginning of 1994.

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FOREIGN TRADE

Trade agreement with Turkey 


The Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB) and Bosnia-Herzegovina's Foreign Trade Chamber signed a joint action plan in Sarajevo recently, ANSAmed reported. 
The ceremony was attended by TOBB Chairman, Rifat Hisarciklioglu, a large group of Turkish business people and Bosnian Prime Minister, Adnan Terzic. Terzic underlined that the action plan will boost trade between the two countries. The prime minister indicated that, after a period of war, BiH had gone through a stage of reforms in the past three years. Terzic said his administration is trying to make investment opportunities in BiH attractive and establish stability in the economy. He added that entry negotiations with the European Union (EU) were progressing well and that those who invested now in BiH would reap benefits in the future.

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