At the beginning of March 2020, the global pandemic of the COVID-19 virus began to significantly affect economic trends in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the world, which resulted in a significant reduction in all economic activities in our country. The crisis caused by COVID-19 has severe consequences for the entire economy in all Western Balkan countries, and all countries need to use the available options to cope with the crisis.
“We want to express our commitment to the development of BiH””s economy and society in times of crisis through the implementation of interactive online sessions on the platform of the largest international investment conference in the region – Sarajevo Business Forum,” said Amer Bukvic, CEO of Bosna Bank International (BBI) Sarajevo and the creator and organizer of the Sarajevo Business Forum. The concept is designed to organize a discussion with leading experts through several thematic SBF online sessions, treating specific industries and their sustainability in times of crisis.
“We have identified three key industries that we need to pay attention to – agriculture and food production, energy, pharmaceuticals and medicine production. We want to ask the right questions and try to offer answers and solutions on how to produce enough in these vital industries for the needs of the BiH””s population,” Bukvic added. The goal is exchange of ideas and discussions of experts in these areas to result in a document that will be submitted to the BiH authorities in the form of a proposal as a guide for experts to overcome the economic crisis.
It is necessary to make rapid changes and launch initiatives that should be harmonized with the strategic direction and development goals of BiH as a state, and at the same time it is necessary to consider how to set a new direction for more sustainable economic development.
“Resilience, self-confidence, inclusiveness, competitiveness and openness – these are just some of the key principles that should define a new economic vision and development model. Our economic experts, together with BiH citizens from all over the world, as well as domestic experts, are working intensively on drafting a document that will contain guidelines for overcoming the economic crisis caused by the pandemic,” Bukvic concluded, adding that more than ever change the awareness of consumer habits of BiH citizens and emphasize the importance of purchasing and using domestic products and services, wherever possible.
The 11th Sarajevo Business Forum, which was supposed to be held in April this year, has been moved to the fall, and the organizers have decided to hold online panels that will bring together leading domestic experts from various fields and provide guidelines for domestic economic development in these hard conditions. In addition to the participation of experts in BiH, it is planned to organize a panel on regional integration “One region – one economy”, which is essentially the idea of the leaders of previous Sarajevo Business Forum, which will bring together regional experts and provide guidance on how the region in this situation it is necessary to connect economically and overcome the crisis with joint efforts.