Bosnia: 'Balkan Davos' offers scope for new investments

By Alma Djokovic

SARAJEVO, Bosnia (AA) – The Sarajevo Business Forum, set to take place on April 25 and 26 in the Bosnian capital, will offer new investment opportunities to the Balkan country, said organizer Amer Bukvic.

Anadolu Agency is the global communications partner for the two-day event, which launches its ninth iteration this year.

Dubbed the "Balkan Davos" after the World Economic Forum, the event will focus on expanding regional economic cooperation and attracting international investment to Southeast Europe.

Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek is also expected to attend the event.

The forum will set the scene for exchange between top government officials and key business figures in Bosnia and other Balkan countries.

Bukvic, also CEO of Bosna Bank International, said more than 8,000 participants from 50 countries will be able to launch new investment projects through the forum.

He added that the forum has helped Bosnia to open its doors to the outside world after the war in 1992.

This year the forum will introduce regional investment projects under the slogan "Single Zone-Single Economy".

Also, the tourism potential of the country will be discussed and efforts will be made to attract investments from Bosnia and Herzegovina's diaspora.

"One of the main objectives of the Sarajevo Business Forum is attracting foreign investors. When you look at the economy of Bosnia, you will see that there is a never-ending race between big losses with big gains," said Bukvic.

He said that the most important step that paves the way for foreign investment in Bosnia was provided by Turkey's 100 million-euro credit line.

"This project is one of the best implemented projects in the international sense and the project has not only benefited big companies, but the most impressive aspect of the project is that it has benefited thousands of people," said Bukvic.

Bosnia and Turkey have been forging closer links in recent years. In 2012, Turkey’s Ziraat Bank extended a €100-million loan to help resettle returning refugees who fled during Yugoslavia breakup, and last year loaned €50 million for small- and medium-sized businesses.

The Sarajevo Business Forum has been held since 2010 in a collaborative effort by Bosna Bank International and Jeddah-based Islamic Development Bank.

* Talha Ozturk contributed to the report from Belgrade, Serbia.

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