Sweden - Southeast Europe News Site

Sweden - Southeast Europe News Site

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to the news site of the Chamber of Commerce for Sweden - Southeast Europe in cooperation with Business Sweden and Governments and Organisations in SEE.

Swedish Trust Fund to grant €9.5mn to Bosnia’s Federation for water supply project

Bosnia and HerzegovinaPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Sun, February 08, 2015 10:39:52

Bosnia’s Federation government said it has agreed to accept a SEK90mn (€9.5mn) grant from the Swedish Trust Fund under an agreement signed between Bosnia and the European Investment Bank. The money will be used for water supply and sewerage projects in several municipalities.

In 2011, the Swedish Trust Fund provided to the Federation another grant, worth some €3mn, under agreement between Bosnia and the World Bank. The purpose of the grant was to fund a project for building a waste water treatment facility in Mostar. (bne Intellinews Feb 4)



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Swede appointed new Head of EU Delegation and Special Representative to Bosnia Herzegovina

Bosnia and HerzegovinaPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Sat, January 24, 2015 21:13:01

The EU Special Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina from 1 March 2015 will be Swedish Lars-Gunnar Wigemark according to information from the European Council. Wigemark will also take over the role of the Head of the European Union's Delegation in Sarajevo. He succeeds the danish Peter S›rensen, who had been in the position from 1 September 2011.

"European Union is committed to supporting Bosnia and Herzegovina on its European path. Mr Wigemark's expertise will be an important asset for our engagement in BiH as well as for the EU's external action" Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, said after the appointment by the Council. Lars-Gunnar Wigemark is currently serving as the Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Pakistan and has 30 years of experience in the Swedish and European diplomatic services. He has held a number of foreign postings, including Moscow and Washington DC, and has worked on a wide range of issues hereunder heading the Unit for Security Policy in the Commission and in development cooperation and management.










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Scandinavian Designers Discover Bosnian Handicraft in Stockholm 2-6 February

Bosnia and HerzegovinaPosted by Uvner Business Consulting Tue, January 13, 2015 13:03:50

Stockholms Auktionsverk, the world’s oldest auction house (established 1674) has generously dedicated its entire magnificent building at the heart of Stockholm to Monica Förster and Zanat for its inaugural exhibition: “Sarajevo Sessions: Scandinavian Designers Discover Bosnian Handicraft.” The exhibition will coincide with the Stockholm Furniture Fair and will be featured in 550 m2 of gallery space.

In addition to Zanat’s new award winning Bosca furniture line--designed by some of the leading names in Scandinavian design and architecture: Monica Förster, Harri Koskinen, Gert Wingårdh & Sara Helder—and heirloom furniture pieces produced between the two World Wars by the Niksic family (owners of Zanat), the exhibition will feature the artistic photography of acclaimed Bosnian photographer Almin Zrno, exploring Bosnia’s breathtaking architectural, natural, and historic landmarks.

A gala cocktail reception will inaugurate the exhibition on February 3rd, with hundreds of invited guests around the world. For more information about the exhibition, the inaugural cocktail reception, or organized press events, please contact Trendgruppen PR at: info@trendgruppen.se or Zanat at: press@zanat.org



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Meet Bosnian fruit and vegetables exporters in Gothenburg

Bosnia and HerzegovinaPosted by Uvner Business Consulting Sun, March 23, 2014 13:51:32
In an attempt to increase business cooperation between Sweden and BiH, six exporters of fruit and vegetables will travel to Gothenburg 8 - 10 April, to meet with the selected importers/distributors. The primary goal is to open the exports of fresh fruit and vegetables to Sweden, but also to explore the possibility for increased sales of processed products (frozen and pickled). Anyone interested in joining in to this B2B meeting between Bosnian and Swedish companies involved in the fruit and vegetables trade can get more information here or by sending an email to fbegovic@bosniafarma.ba.




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System Verification donated computers to a Bosnian school

Bosnia and HerzegovinaPosted by Uvner Business Consulting Sun, March 09, 2014 20:30:33

The Swedish IT Company System Verification, who recently started a subsidiary in Sarajevo, has handed over 15 new computers and a projector, worth approx 20 000 EUR, to the school Osnovne škole in Kozarac in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The charity project is one of the company’s social initiatives to create a brighter future for children who have limited resources.
”It is very fulfilling being able to donate new computer devices to this school. Now the children have much better opportunities to improve their computer skills, learn how to program and they can in coming years start their own businesses within for example the application industry. We are happy to contribute to a brighter future for this country and its children”, says Hamdija Jusufagic (seen far right in photo), founder and CEO at System Verification who was appointed Business Leader of the Year 2013 in Sweden.







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Santa came early to a child center in Mostar this year

Bosnia and HerzegovinaPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Sun, December 22, 2013 23:47:15

The Children in the Child and Youth Center ”Los Rosales” in Mostar must have thought that Santa Claus came unusally early to them this year when they were visisted by people from the far north bringing them several presents. A large donation of 16 personal computers was given to the Center from the Chamber of Commerce Sweden – Southeast Europpe and the municipality of Enköping (a small town just north of Stockholm). The donation was presented to the Child and Youth Center by the Chairman of our Chamber of Commerce, Martin Ancons.

At the ceremony the Director of the youth center, Ms Aida Milavic, expressed her gratitude particularly to Mr Ancons, mentioning him as a great friend of Mostar and a person with a very good knowledge of Bosnia Herzegovina.

The Chairman of Mostar´s Chamber of Commerce, Mr Dalibor Milos, made a short speech in which he stressed the importance that official authorities and organisations must recognize their social responsibility to help ”Los Rosales” in their daily operation.
Read more in a Bosnian newspaper here.
Below a photo from the youth center with the donated computers together with a picture of Mr Ancons, Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce Sweden – Southeast Europe.







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600 applicants took on the Swedish Challenge in Bosnia

Bosnia and HerzegovinaPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Sun, December 22, 2013 23:21:14

As we have reported earlier, the Swedish Challenge was launched by SIDA and the Swedish embassy in Sarajevo with invitation to enterprises to compete for financial support for business ideas being implemented in BiH.

The project was launched during a very limited time frame. The first call for proposals started at the end of summer 2013 and was concluded on 30/11-2013. The call for proposals exceeded all expectations in terms of number of applications as well as with regards to quality. About 600 applications were successfully submitted in less than two months. The winners will be announced early next year.

The responsibility to set up the IT infrastructure to handle the web based part of the project was given to SEEBA, a member of the Chamber of Commerce Sweden-Southeast Europe. Åsa Trulsson, responsible program officer at SIDA, says: ”Cooperating with SEEBA has been a positive experience and the IT-system fulfilled our expectations and has functioned exemplary.
Read more about the Swedish Challenge in the SEEBA website here.





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Congratulations to Hamdija Jusufagic, Swedish Entrepreneur of the Year 2013

Bosnia and HerzegovinaPosted by Uvner Business Consulting Mon, October 14, 2013 16:49:49

Hamdija Jusufagic, founder and CEO of the Swedish Quality Assurance (QA) company, System Verification AB, has been awarded the prestigeous prize, Entrepreneur of the Year 2013. In their motivation, the organiser, Företagarna (The Swedish Enterprise Association), says: ”Hamdija Jusufagic is an entrepreneur who has built up an enterprise with a strong focus on knowledge and development. He identified early the market needs and developed his business continuously, resulting in a stable growth. His inclusive leadership style has contributed to the fact that System Verification today has become the largest QA company in Sweden”. Företagarna continue to praise the award winner for running a company built upon cultural diversity, now with 18 nationalities among the employees.
Hamdija Jusufagic was born in Sweden although he has his roots in Bosnia Herzegovina. This year he has begun his company´s expansion abroad by starting a subsidiary in Sarajevo.
System Verification is a member of the Chamber of Commerce Sweden – Southeast Europe.
In the picture below Hamdija Jusufagic can be seen second right. Left Annie Lööf, Swedish Minister of Enterprise.

System Verification´s subsidiary in Sarajevo inaugurated

As we have reported here in our news earlier, System Verification established it´s subsidiary in Sarajevo this year. The inauguration took place on Sept 19th in the presence of the Swedish Ambassador, HE Mr Fredrik Schiller, pictured below top left together with Hamdija Jusufagic. Seen bottom left, together with two lovely ladies, is a happy Edhem Gigovic, Managing Director of System Verification BH d.o.o. in Sarajevo.











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The Challenge – a Swedish initiative to support small enterprises in Bosnia

Bosnia and HerzegovinaPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Wed, September 25, 2013 09:47:25

The Embassy of Sweden in Sarajevo is launching The Challenge – an invitation for companies to compete for financial support for their business ideas.

The purpose of the Challenge is to support the private sector in BiH by providing grants to project proposals that deliver both commercial benefits for the private sector and developmental benefits for the population in BiH, for example in terms of job creation and income improvements. Thus, the grants will give enterprises the opportunity to implement innovative and commercially viable business ventures in BiH. The fund will award grants to provide partial funding, of up to 50% of accepted proposal budgets (with a maximum grant size of EUR 30 000), to registered Bosnian and Swedish micro and small enterprises operating, or setting out to operate, in BiH. It is expected that the selected project proposals will be implemented within a 12 month period.

There will be a total of three calls for proposals during the period 2013-2015. The grants will be given for a one-year period in the normal case. In total an estimated SEK 4,5 million will be provided in grants. The first call for proposals will be in October 2013.
For more information about the selection criteria and how to apply, click here.
----------------------------------------
Are you a Swede interested in doing business with Southeast Europe? Or someone in that region having business relations with Sweden? Then you are very welcome to join our forum at Linkedin here.





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World Bank donates PCs to non-profit organizations in Bosnia. Apply by Sept 20

Bosnia and HerzegovinaPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Fri, September 06, 2013 10:53:01

The World Bank office in Bosnia and Herzegovina invites charitable/non-profit organizations active in Bosnia and Herzegovina to apply for a donation of used computer equipment. The equipment will be donated to one or more organizations on an ‘as-is, where-is’ condition, with no warranty or guarantee from the World Bank. The following equipment will be donated:
•16 desktop computers without monitors (Lenovo ThinkCentre M58)
•10 laptop computers (Lenovo X200, T400 and T410)
•5 UPS (APC 500-620 VA)
All computers have: Intel Core2Duo, 4 GB RAM, 160 GB HDD and Windows Vista preinstalled.
Read how to apply in the World Bank web site.







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How to increase business cooperation between Sweden and Herzegovina discussed in Mostar

Bosnia and HerzegovinaPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Sun, July 28, 2013 16:51:58

The Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce Sweden – Southeast Europe, Mr Martin Ancons, was recently invited as guest at a meeting with the Chamber of Commerce of the City of Mostar. The meeting was held in the INTERA Technology Park and was a continuation of the close cooperation that the two Chambers of Commerce started earlier this year. At the meeting Mr Ancons discussed with local Mostar businessmen how to increase the cooperation between Sweden and the Mostar and Herzegovina region. Mr Ancons informed the members of the Mostar Chamber of Commerce on how to be successful in business relations with Swedish companies. He also touched upon the fact that there are a high number of successful businessmen from former Yugoslavia now living and working in Sweden, a fact that opens up opportunities for companies from this region. Mr Ancons also mentioned that there presently seems to be a tendency for Swedish companies to move projects and manufacturing from Asia to Europe and herein lies a great opportunity for companies in Southeast Europe. A full report from the meeting can be found in the website of the Mostar Chamber of Commerce (in Bosnian language).
Mr Ancons second from left in the picture.

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EU must be prepared to honor its commitments

Bosnia and HerzegovinaPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Wed, June 26, 2013 19:26:30

"The Balkans is approaching the historical year of 2014. Eyes
are going to turn to the region where 100 years ago the great European war
started with the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo. But
2014 could also be a historic year in the process of European integration", write
the Austrian Minister for European and International Affairs Michael Spindelegger and Swedish Minister of Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt in a joint statement published on the website of the Embassy of Sweden in Sarajevo. Read the full statement here.

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Swedish IT company opens subsidiary in Sarajevo

Bosnia and HerzegovinaPosted by Uvner Business Consulting Wed, May 22, 2013 08:56:02

System Verification AB, the largest independent quality assurance company in Sweden, has opened a subsidiary in Sarajevo, Bosnia Herzegovina. The aim is to offer the same service quality as today in Sweden, although at a lower price.

System Verification has today offices in Malmö, Gothenburg, Stockholm and Copenhagen. So why Sarajevo this time? ”The choice of Sarajevo is a combination of good access to very high IT competence at a comparatively low cost”, says Hamdija Jusufagic (pictured below), CEO of System Verification. ”But there is another reason also, namely the fact that my parents came to Sweden from Bosnia Herzegovina and this is a way for me to give something back to their country by creating jobs here.”

The base for the company´s establishment in Sarajevo is a cooperation with Alfa Laval, who since many years have outsourced their testing activities to System Verification at a value of 45 MSEK over three years. A part of these activities will now be carried out in Sarajevo.

System Verification will only employ own staff in Sarajevo. Edhem Gigovic, a Bosnian himself by birth, who has worked as test manager in the Swedish head office for five years, will move to Sarajevo to become the head of the new office. Four more employees are already on board.

”Our ambition is to offer more customers the same opportunity, which means that we plan to expand our operation with more employees. But we will only use own staff, that is a quality assurance for our customers”, says Hamdija Jusufagic.

The address to the new Sarajevo office is Trg. Solidarnosti 2, 71000 Sarajevo.
System Verification is a member of the Chamber of Commerce Sweden – Southeast Europe.
A pressrelease in Swedish can be downloaded here.

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Swedish medtech company enters Bosnia

Bosnia and HerzegovinaPosted by Uvner Business Consulting Sat, May 11, 2013 10:28:55
Bactiguard has signed an exclusivity agreement with Proma doo Sarajevo, one of the strongest established medical suppliers in Bosnia, already representing one of the world market leaders in Health equipment, Swedish Getinge group. Proma will sell Bactiguard´s complete portfolio for infection control, including urinary, intravenous and respiratory catheters.
“Bactiguard is very proud to be able to enter the Bosnian market. The spring of 2013 has been very successful for our portfolio with our unique solution for health care associated infections, HAI. Bactiguard is now present in over 25 countries. We hope we can reduce the number of HAI’s in the Bosnian Hospitals together with our new partner Proma doo Sarajevo” says Christian Kinch, CEO of Bactiguard. Read the full pressrelease here.

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Swedish wood industry get together in Sarajevo

Bosnia and HerzegovinaPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Thu, April 11, 2013 21:28:35

SEEBA (South Eastern European Business Agency) i samarbete med Sveriges Ambassad i Sarajevo inbjuder till ett tredagars företagsbesök till den dynamiska trä- och möbelindustrin i Bosnien och Hercegovina 13-15 juni 2013.

Inbjudan vänder sig till företag verksamma inom allt från timmer och massa till möbler och prefab-hus samt relaterade service- och grenindustrier. Vi vill med besöket erbjuda dig som företagsrepresentant en inblick i den bosniska trä- och möbelindustrin, med företagsbesök, seminarium och kunskapsutbyte – allt i syfte att visa på handels- och investeringsmöjligheter för svenska företag.

Bosnien-Hercegovina är till 53% täckt av skogsmark och träindustrin utgör ca 10% av BNP. Här beräknas finnas runt 340 miljoner m3 skog, varav 135 miljoner är barr- och 205 lövträd, inte minst den bosniska boken. Flera av Bosniens ledande företag är verksamma inom skogs- och träindustrin och arbetar med allt från skogsbruk till förädling och står för ca 20% av den totala bosniska exporten. Träindustrin är diversifierad med tillverkning av möbler, golv, plywood, papper, finsnickerier, lastpallar, dörrar och prefab-hus. Tillgången till träsorter av hög kvalitet, det industriella kunnandet, samt det fördelaktiga löneläget gör sektorn till en attraktiv affärs- och investeringsmöjlighet.

För mer information besök http://swebihwood.com

Brief English summary: “SWEBiH Wood Horizons” is a three-day event that will offer a range of activities for Swedish companies looking to deepen their understanding of the dynamic wood industry in BiH, while both BiH and Swedish companies will have the opportunity to network and conclude business deals. The event will include site visits, B2B meetings, company presentations, seminars, case studies, and more. The purpose is to stimulate information sharing and the exchange of knowledge, with the ultimate goal to reinforce trading bonds between the two countries.



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Sweden Complains to BiH Government for Changing Rules of Telecom Policy Midway

Bosnia and HerzegovinaPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Mon, February 25, 2013 17:39:44

Sweden, through its Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina, recently reacted strongly in a letter to the Bosnian government regarding a sudden and un-advertised change of Telecom policy, resulting in severe negative effects for a Swedish telecom company (and most possibly others) about to invest and start operation as a Virtual Mobile Network Operator (MVNO) in BiH.

An MVNO is a mobile operator that builds his own switching and customer care system, but hires air time in one or more of the incumbent operator´s radio network. Obvious benefits are better utilization of the incumbent´s network and more competition, resulting in lower prices and better services for the end users. A real win-win situation. In BiH there is another interesting advantage with a ”neutral” operator as an umbrella over the three other ethnically influenced incumbents, which would most likely diversify the use of the networks among the ethnical groups.

So when the Telecom law of 2010 invited operators to apply for a licence to run an MVNO in BiH, a highly competent and experienced Swedish telecom company set out for starting up as an MVNO operator. They sent in an application fully compliable to the specifications made up by CRA, the state´s regulatory body, they registered a company in BiH and started a search for local technical and marketing expertise . A number of people worked hard to start to transfer telecom and marketing know how from Sweden to Bosnia.

Then the Bosnian government suddenly changed the rules of the game, stating that the three existing operators will remain alone on the mobile market until further notice. How come?

Such an act is definitely not what you expect from the government in a country aspiring for EU membership and in dire need of foreign investments. In such a situation you are instead expected to open the market and welcome competition. And most important of all – stick to the rules! Who would otherwise dare to invest in a market?

The Swedish government, who is in support of the EU enlargement in the Balkans, is carefully monitoring Bosnia´s progress in the process of fullfilling the EU requirements. The Swedish Ambassador consequently reacted very strongly upon the Bosnian government´s change of rules mid game and sent a letter to the Minister of Communications and Transport. In the letter the Ambassador writes ”At the end of the day, of course, it is the end-users in BiH – i.e. its citizens and businesses – that suffer the most. Consumers should be able to pick the most cost-effective and affordable product. A range of EU laws and regulations underscore this fact.”

The main objective of the Chamber of Commerce Sweden – SEE is to promote trade between Sweden and countries in the Balkan region. We have an obligation to report to our members about business opportunities as well as obstacles and risks and therefore choose to publish the letter with permission of the Swedish Ambassador to BiH, H.E. Mr Bosse Hedberg.

Let´s hope that the government of BiH will understand the message, so that future foreign investors from Sweden and elsewhere can feel confident that laws and regulations will be honoured also in Bosnia and Herzegovina. A country that probably needs its investors more than most others.

The letter from the Ambassador of Sweden can be viewed here in English and here in Bosnian language.

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Bosnia EU integration likely to be delayed

Bosnia and HerzegovinaPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Sat, December 08, 2012 12:21:23
Enlargement Commissioner Štefan Füle told the representatives of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo at the 27th of November that they have not been able to honour their main commitments for the country’s progress towards EU integration. “There is still no political agreement on the implementation of the Sejdić/Finci ruling. A model for a coordination mechanism of all levels of government in EU matters has not been submitted. It is clear that this will delay the EU integration of your country,” Füle said in a Commission communiqué. Read more in the Linked2Balkan news here.

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Malmö - Banja Luka without a stop

Bosnia and HerzegovinaPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Tue, November 27, 2012 21:37:33
Wizz Air will launch flights from Malmo to Bosnia and Herzegovina’s second largest city, Banja Luka, next summer season, according to news from Linked2Balkan. The two sides are finalising an agreement which will see the low cost airline enter the Bosnian market for the first time. “If they are willing to launch year long flights we will put tickets on sale in January while the flights will launch in April”, the acting CEO of the Airports of Republika Srpska company, Davorin Mihić, says. Wizz offered Banja Luka flights from Luton, Malmo, Eindhoven and Dortmund to choose from, with the airport selecting the service from Sweden as it considers it to be the most viable out of the offered destinations.

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"Lonely Planet" recommends Bosnia

Bosnia and HerzegovinaPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Sun, April 22, 2012 14:57:17

Bosnia and Herzegovina is becoming a more interesting touristic destination every year which is shown in the fact that the most famous tourism website “Lonely Planet” has recommended BH as a destination that tourists definitely have to visit.
One of the segments highlighted is adventure tourism with possibilities of a beautiful rafting experience in the rivers Una and Neretva.
A small number of countries can say that they have such huge potentials for the advancement of adventurous tourism like BH. More on BH-news.com.

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The Death of Yugoslavia

Bosnia and HerzegovinaPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Thu, April 05, 2012 12:45:44

Today, the 5th of April 2012, it is 20 years since the breakout of the war in Bosnia. Was that also the death sentence of Yugoslavia or did it come hundreds of years before Yugoslavia even was born?
If you are interested in this part of the history we recommend you to view the BBC documentary "The Death of Yugoslavia". It was first shown already 1995 and is rated as one of the best and most spectacular TV documentaries ever made.The documentary consists of six parts and covers amazing interviews with most of the main players in the conflict.

You can access all the documentary parts here or start the first video immediately by clicking on the picture below.

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Welcome to Sarajevo Business Forum 2012

Bosnia and HerzegovinaPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Thu, March 15, 2012 20:49:30

Sarajevo Business Forum 2012, the 3rd International Investment Conference will take place on 16 - 18 May. The forum will be held under the patronage of Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina and in close cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
This year´s Forum will particularly feature projects in infrastructure, energy, tourism, agriculture, finance, construction and education.
Companies and organisations from not only Bosnia and Herzegovina but from the whole region will be present at the forum, so anyone with the interest in doing business in the region should take the opportunity to participate.
Click on the picture to read more about the forum, sponsorship packages and how to participate.

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Welcome to Swedish Trade Days and Business Matchmaking in Sarajevo

Bosnia and HerzegovinaPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Wed, August 17, 2011 20:30:04

The Swedish Trade Council, the Embassy of Sweden in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Chamber of Commerce of Sweden and Norway will on 24-25 October, 2011, organize a seminar in Sarajevo with focus on matchmaking opportunities for Swedish companies active in the manufacturing industry and the environmental sector, which are interested in exploring the market of BiH.

The seminar will allow participating Swedish companies an insight in the economic situation in BiH, the needs and long-term investment plans within the sectors of environment as well as potentials within the manufacturing industry. The Swedish company representatives will be given the possibility to network with officials, key persons and decision makers from the industry in BiH and present their companies, products and/or solutions to important decision makers and potential business partners in BiH. The overall purpose of the event is to create a platform for dialogue and exchange of knowledge between Swedish companies interested in opportunities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, local stakeholders and potential partners, as well as funding agencies and organizations of relevance. The event aims at raising the image of Sweden and to highlight Swedish companies’ intentions to intensify their trade relations with BiH.

More information about this interesting event and how to participate can be found here.



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BH Navigator - first mobile tourist guide of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia and HerzegovinaPosted by Uvner Business Consulting Sat, June 04, 2011 15:10:59

BH Navigator is primarily intended for foreigners visiting Bosnia Hercegovina, but also for millions of BH diasporas who visit their home country every year. The first application is for Iphone phones, and now the rest of us wait eagerly to get it on our Android phones as well. Click here to get to the website.

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Bosnia´s economy grew more than expected

Bosnia and HerzegovinaPosted by Uvner Business Consulting Mon, March 14, 2011 13:30:01
According to Reuter´s Bosnia's GDP grew 0.9% in 2010, which is more than the earlier estimate of 0.5%. "This growth clearly shows the country is back in a positive zone," central bank governor Kemal Kozaric told reporters in Sarajevo. Kozaric added that he still expects the economy to grow 3% in 2011.

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Bosnien 15 år efter Dayton

Bosnia and HerzegovinaPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Wed, December 15, 2010 00:25:13

Idag tisdag, är det 15 år sedan Daytonavtalet, som avslutade kriget i Bosnien,
skrevs under. Bosnien har fortfarande svårt att komma på fötter efter kriget. Etniska spänningar blockerar utvecklingen, men nu skymtar några ljuspunkter som inger hopp.
Bosnienkriget startade i april 1992 när Bosnien-Hercegovina bröt sig
loss från Jugoslavien och utropade sig som självständig stat. Områdets
serber under ledning av Radovan Karadzic gjorde uppror och fick stöd
av den jugoslaviska armén. Kriget blev det längsta och blodigaste
under Jugoslaviens sammanbrott med 100 000 döda. Massakern
i Srebrenica och belägringen av Sarajevo är de värsta krigshändelserna
i Europa efter andra världskriget. I och med att Daytonavtalet
förhandlades fram på en flygbas i Ohio i USA tog kriget slut. Avtalet
skrevs under den 14 december 1995. Arkitekterna bakom Daytonavtalet
var den amerikanske förhandlaren Richard Holbrooke och Carl Bildt,
som då var EU:s höge representant. DN ägnar ett helt uppslag i måndagens tidning till sammanfattning och intervjuer inför 15 årsdagen av Daytonavtalet. Läs artikeln här.

När detta skrives har vi precis nåtts av nyheten att mannen bakom Dayton avtalet avlidit på årsdagen av avtalet.

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Banja Luka Energy Days Nov 22-24

Bosnia and HerzegovinaPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Mon, October 25, 2010 20:03:07

The European Union is leading the global fight against climate change, and has made it a top priority. Its ambitious targets are spelt out in the EU Climate Action and Energy Package , which commits Member States to curb their CO2 emissions by at least 20% by 2020. Signatories of the Covenant of Mayors contribute to these policy objectives through a formal commitment to go beyond this target through the implementation of their Sustainable Energy Action Plan (SEAP).
In the framework of the SEAP implementation the City of Banja Luka plans to organize Energy Days. This event encourages the active participation of consumers, enterprises and decision makers in the process of designing intelligent energy production and consumption. It will be comprised of:
1. The Conference "Banja Luka Energy Days 2010"
2. The Exhibition "Banja Luka Energy EXPO 2010", and
3. Presentation of the Quick Impact Project
Click here for more information about the Banja Luka Energy days. Those interested in participating in the Energy Exhibition should take contact with
Jesper Norman, Svea Kanal Ltd., jesper@sveakanal.com Phone +46 708 26 06 73

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EBRD plans $150m-250m in Bosnia infrastructure projects in 2010

Bosnia and HerzegovinaPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Mon, March 15, 2010 11:50:56
According to B&H Business Daily, EBRD plans to invest into BiH over 2010 the sum of 150 to 200 million Euros for infrastructure projects, in particular in the sector of transport.

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Paddy Ashdown in Financial Times: "Bosnia’s cold peace is under serious threat"

Bosnia and HerzegovinaPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Sun, January 03, 2010 21:43:38

The 14th anniversary of the 1995 Dayton Peace Accords passed unnoticed in November. The collapse of a US-EU diplomatic initiative in Bosnia-Herzegovina last month went virtually unreported too, as has the fact that Bosnia’s cold peace is under serious threat.

Bosnia may seem less significant than it used to be to the US and her allies. Pressing challenges in Afghanistan and beyond need great attention. But the risk of a failed state taking root in Europe cannot be ignored by Europe or in Washington. Read the full FT article here.

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Belgrade-Sarajevo railway reopens after 17 years

Bosnia and HerzegovinaPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Mon, December 14, 2009 21:38:52

Something for those of you interested in train nostalgia:
The old rail link has re-opened between the capitals of Serbia and Bosnia, almost 17 years after it was cut during the conflict in the former Yugoslavia. The line between Belgrade and Sarajevo was damaged in the fighting between Serbs, Croats and Bosnian Muslims. The journey time is now two hours longer than it was before the war, as the track is in such poor condition.

Sunday's first train had only 17 passengers in its three carriages, nine of whom planned to travel to Sarajevo. Railway officials say they hope the line, once popular with skiers and businesspeople, will attract more people during the winter holidays.

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Presentations at the Bosnia Business Forum

Bosnia and HerzegovinaPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Sun, November 08, 2009 21:36:31

The Business Forum November 5, arranged by the Chambers of Commerce for Sweden - Southeast Europe in cooperation with the Embassy of Bosnia and Herzegovina was very successful and interesting according to many participants.

Here are two of the presentations given at the forum which you are welcome to download:

Prospects for co-operation betwen Bosnia & Herzegovina and Sweden

Investment opportunities in Bosnia and Herzegovina

For more information please see the report below.

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Bosnia Business Forum filled up the Foreign Office Conference Center

Bosnia and HerzegovinaPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Sun, November 08, 2009 20:29:41

“This is probably the largest business delegation ever to visit Sweden from Bosnia Herzegovina” said Ms Maria Åsenius, State Secretary for EU when she addressed the audience last week. An audience with a mix of Bosnian company representatives who were here to find business partners among their Swedish counterparts and vice versa.

But Ms Åsenius also had a message from the Swedish government to Bosnia Herzegovina: “Move on with reforms”, she said, “otherwise there is a clear risk that Bosnia will fall behind in the EU integration. And foreign investments is increasing as a country comes closer to the EU”.

Good reasons to invest

Ms Slavica Korica, Executive Director of Bosnia´s Foreign Investments Promotional Agency, then did her best to prove that Bosnia Herzegovina is a great place to invest in. And there is no doubt that the country has come a long way in stabilizing the economy, as could be seen from Ms Korica´s presentation:

The most stable currency in SEE (1KM =0.51 EUR)

The lowest inflation in SEE

“B2” credit rating with the stable outlook by Moody’s Agency

Foreign ownership in private banking sector in BiH is 86%

Mr Enes Aliskovic, Director at Bosnia´s Export Promotion Agency then went on by presenting the business environment and the legislation framework for doing business in B&H and the prospects for cooperation between our two countries.

Four business sectors

Mr Henrik Winterstam of the Swedish Trade Council informed the audience about the four most interesting business sectors in Bosnia according to the STC research.

- IT and broadband

- Construction

- Environmental and energy efficiency

- Heatings, cooling, ventilation

Open Trade Gate – a help to export to Sweden

Mr Martin Fröberg from NBT, National Board of Trade, talked about Open Trade Gate, a Swedish programme for helping some countries to export to Sweden. The programme consists of information, seminars and identification of trade barriers and all services are free to certain exporting countries/companies and financed by the Swedish government.

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Ethnic tensions create severe problems for Bosnia´s electrical power system

Bosnia and HerzegovinaPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Wed, November 04, 2009 15:00:00

After hundreds of millions of euros spent on reconstruction after its ruinous civil war, Bosnia-Herzegovina’s postwar electrical transmission system has started to succumb to inter-ethnic political tensions.

The managing board of the Balkan country’s sole power supply company, paralysed by ethnic divisions, has failed since last year to make new infrastructure investments or keep up with routine maintenance.

Sarajevo’s power supply has faltered several times in the past two months, a problem rarely seen since huge postwar reconstruction work paid for primarily by the European Union.

In one instance, the main hospital in the Bosniak, or Bosnian Muslim-dominated, capital city last month endured a day-long power cut because of poorly maintained power lines from a Serb-run power station.

“This is after we’ve invested half a billion marks [about $365m, €250m, £225m] to create a strong grid here,” Valentin Inzko, the international peace supervisor and EU envoy in Sarajevo, told the Financial Times. “Some people want the transmission grid divided, but two smaller grids simply could not function properly." Read more of the FT-article here.

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Plavsic back in Belgrade

Bosnia and HerzegovinaPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Tue, October 27, 2009 17:10:13
Radovan Karadzic's successor as Bosnian Serb president left Swedish prison on Tuesday and arrived in Belgrade after winning early release from her sentence for committing war crimes. The International Criminal Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague convicted Biljana Plavsic in February 2003 but last month granted an early release, a decision criticised by Bosnian Muslim relatives of victims of the 1992-95 war but celebrated by Bosnian Serbs. She was the only woman convicted in The Hague of war crimes during the 1992-95 Bosnian war, Europe's worst fighting since World War Two. Read more here. (NY Times)

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Carl Bildt and other EU and US officials surprise Bosnian leaders with "bitter pills" at meeting in Sarajevo

Bosnia and HerzegovinaPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Sat, October 10, 2009 23:15:49

According to Deutsche Welle High-ranking US and EU officials met with feuding Bosnian leaders behind closed doors Friday to try to end the political paralysis of the volatile country. The western leaders presented a difficult compromise plan.

The meeting at the EU base near the Sarajevo airport was sealed off to the public and even the leaders of Bosnia's Muslim, Serb and Croat factions were not introduced to the plan before the informal start of the talks over dinner on Thursday evening.

Sweden's Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, who was a United Nations envoy to the Balkans from 1999 to 2001, chaired the session, with US Deputy Secretary of State Jim Steinberg and EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn in attendance, along with seven of the most influential Bosnian political leaders.

The plan offers "bitter pills" to each of the ethnic groups, according to media reports, aiming to strengthen central Bosnian institutions and to wrest power from the nearly-sovereign entities, the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina of Muslims and Croats and the Serb Republic.

The new central authorities are to be given more authority and the entities should be given a more limited power of veto. The present three-member collective presidency should be replaced by a single president, with two vice-presidents, sources said.

In return for this compromise, the international community has offered to withdraw its high representative in Sarajevo, who has co-governed Bosnia with elected authorities since 1995, keeping a controversial right to veto laws and sack officials.

An agreement could help Bosnia regain the impetus for the drive to EU membership, Rehn was quoted as saying earlier. The EU has feared that Bosnia's political paralysis could leave the country lagging behind its neighbors, who are queuing up to join the bloc.

Western officials in Sarajevo were not hopeful for a quick agreement. Bosnia is home to roughly 4 million people, half of them Muslims, one-third Serbs and 15 percent Croats. A war devastated the country between 1992 and 1995, and the country is still wracked with internal conflict and corruption. A massive, multi-billion-dollar international effort in peacekeeping, governing and reconstruction has done little to alleviate the conditions.

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Bosnia Risks Losing IMF Arrangement

Bosnia and HerzegovinaPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Tue, June 23, 2009 13:01:40
Sarajevo, June 23, Balkan Insight.com: The International Monetary Fund, IMF, has delayed decision on its €1.2 billion stand-by arrangement for Bosnia and Herzegovina, as the country has failed to implement agreed cuts to its excessive public spending. Losing available IMF support, failing to make good on crucial reform promises and caving in to lobbying from social groups will spell certain financial collapse and social and political chaos in Bosnia, experts told Balkan Insight on Tuesday.
Read more here.

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The Serbian Republic is trying to renegotiate Dayton agreement according to the High Representative

Bosnia and HerzegovinaPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Sat, June 20, 2009 15:28:23

Prague, The New York Times— The international community’s envoy in Bosnia moved Friday to invoke extraordinary legal powers over the country after Bosnian Serb leaders passed legislation that he said undermined the Dayton peace accords, which ended Bosnia’s brutal war in 1995. Aides to the envoy, Valentin Inzko, said the decision to assert special legal authority was necessary to hold the fragile multiethnic country together. Mr. Inzko invoked the special authority, which will take effect on Saturday, to rescind the legislation approved by the Bosnian Serbs’ National Assembly, the aides said.

The European Union and the United States are determined to maintain the Dayton agreement, which divided Bosnia and Herzegovina into the Muslim-Croat Federation and the Serbian Republic, with a decentralized political system that appears to have reinforced rather than healed ethnic divisions.

The Serbian Republic “is trying to renegotiate Dayton through political means, and this is extremely dangerous for the country because it was the Dayton agreement that ended the war,” said Frane Maroevic, a spokesman for Mr. Inzko, who is known as the high representative. “The international community cannot sit idly by and let this happen,” Mr. Maroevic added.
Read more here.

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