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BOSNIA AND
HERZEGOVINA

 
  
  

 

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


 

Update No: 156 - (25/05/10)

Everybody knows quite how turbulent and tumultuous a place historically Bosnia has been. Just think of Sarajevo, June 28, 1914 - and what happened thereafter.

A new party for Bosnia
The Bosnian Minister of Education consultant, Admir Pozderovic, announced in mid-May in Sarajevo that he has established a new political party, ahead of key general elections in October.

What does this portend?
He is a high-minded man - he said the vision of this party is determined according to the Qur'an and Sunnah. Having been in lofty positions in the former governments of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Pozderovic has had an initiative that has been discussed in Bosnia-Herzegovina and the region broadly.

Founder of the new party, Pozderovic is also the writer of a book called "The Clash of Civilizations in the 21st century and the Victory of Islam according to Muhammad's Predictions". Pozderovic was the minister of Veterans and Fallen Soldiers' Families in Bosnia-Herzegovina until 2008.

New legal procedures
He has been busy with completing the new party's legal procedures to become official and to be able to involve in the general election that will be held in October.

Planning to highlight the Islamic sensitivity in the election campaign, Pozderovic considers starting his campaign with a promise of reform, a betting ban and an offer of free health services without using health cards.

Serb and Croat circles in the country have criticized the party's political tendency. They have asserted that a "shura council", that the new party has desiderated is the logical result of applying of sharia law.

True Path Party has a "shura council" and the party defends it as "it is the application of sharia law that is currently applied in the Islamic Republic of Iran." The party's political tendency has been criticized particularly Serbs and Croats in the country.

Some Serbian journalists argue Turkey with recently changed its Balkan policy, could give financial support for the party.

It is not clear if the Bosnian "True Path Party," will be effective in Bosnia-Herzegovina that is in a political and economic impasse, or if Bosnian Muslims will support the party.

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IMF to the rescue?
If there is one country in the world which is taken under the world's wing, as it were, it is Bosnia-Herzovogina, because of 1914.

There are signs that the assistance given by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to Bosnia and Herzegovina had helped stabilise the economy in a difficult external environment, an IMF mission said on May 18 2010 at the end of a 13-day mission to the Western Balkans country.

The IMF mission, led by Costas Christou, visited Bosnia and Herzegovina to initiate discussions on a second review of the country’s stand-by arrangement with the fund.
Bosnia and Herzegovina has an external debt of about 30 per cent of GDP. In 2009, the IMF pledged 1.2 billion euro to help ease the impact of the economic crisis on the country, which of late has been hit by the slide in the euro, to which local currency the marka is pegged.

An IMF statement quoted Christou as saying that there were signs that the arrangement had helped stabilise Bosnia and Herzegovina’s economy in a difficult external environment.

"Macro-financial vulnerabilities have been reduced, household deposits have fully recovered from their low point in late 2008, the central bank’s foreign exchange reserves have remained stable, and foreign-owned banks have broadly maintained their exposure to BiH," Christou said.

Positive developments so far this year include growth in industrial production in both BiH’s entities, strong pickup in exports, and gains in indirect tax revenue collection, he said.

"Accelerated implementation of policies is now needed to preserve these early gains. All the quantitative targets for end-March 2010, for which information is available, were met but effective implementation of the Federation’s structural benchmarks has been slow."

He said that the authorities were now considering measures to correct these slippages, including by expediting eligibility audits; finalising the privileged pension reform; and taking steps to ensure that the budget allocation for the wage bill in 2010 will not be exceeded.
“Although there is general agreement on the need to improve the government’s financial position, the authorities need more time to reach consensus about how to achieve this objective. In this context, it would be helpful if the State and the Entity authorities were to agree on a common global fiscal framework for 2011-13, for which work has already begun," Christou said.

With the initial signs of the economic recovery under way, it is important that the BiH population’s hopes for better growth and employment prospects are not undermined by policy uncertainty ahead of the October elections.

"Against this background, strong leadership by all authorities will be required to mobilise support for the difficult decisions that may still need to be taken. Perseverance with reforms of rights-based benefits and continued efforts to strengthen the fiscal position will remain critical for the better targeting of social benefits, and for the financial integrity of the public pension systems," he said.

Christou said that discussions with the authorities would continue, as soon as the authorities come to agreement on measures necessary to advance the programme objectives under the SBA.

"The fourth tranche of support, SDR 33.82 million (about 40 million euro), is contingent upon satisfactory completion of this review. This would bring the overall support from the IMF, including the SDR allocation, provided to BiH to about 565 million euro," Christou said.

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