From April to the end of June this year, citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina living in Diaspora sent 220 million BAM less in BiH compared to the same period last year, the Central Bank of BiH stated earlier in October.
”Total current transfers in the second quarter amounted to about 904 million BAM, of which about 554 million BAM referred to remittances from abroad, and the rest to other transfers,” it is stated in the information.
Economist Zoran Pavlovic told “Avaz” that citizens of BiH are dependent on money coming from diaspora and that the lack of inflow was expected.
”The only problem is that none of the officials thought about it. Therefore, no measures have been adopted to allow people from diaspora to come this year. The Diaspora did not know whether they could come to BiH or not, they used their vacations in other destinations,” Pavlovic pointed out.
He thinks we dug ourselves a hole we fell into.
”The Diaspora has a problem with the coronavirus like us, so some of the money was not sent to BiH because of that, and, on the other hand, they did not come here on vacation, so they did not bring the money they usually leave in BiH. Especially if we take into account that the Federation of BiH will tax remittances from the diaspora with 10 percent. We are a country where no one thinks in advance,” Pavlovic emphasized.
In this way, he adds, the existence of people living off the remittances of the diaspora has been called into question.
”The problem is serious, just like we are a patient who needs blood and there is none. The question is how we will overcome this financial situation with as many funds as we have. Someone would have to be fired for such omissions,” Pavlovic concluded.
Economist Admir Cavalic says that, depending on the scope, it is estimated that the participation of the diaspora in BH economy of 10 to 15 percent. This is an extremely high share, similar to tourism for Croatia, which means that any changes in this variable have a significant impact on the domestic economy.
The specific relationship with the diaspora and its number make BH economy exposed to numerous risks due to recessionary events. The data already show that there is a drop in remittances, but even worse changes are expected at the end of this year and next year – Cavalic explained.
Cavalic points out that our diaspora behaves like most BiH citizens in times of crisis.
”A special problem refers to the possibility of social unrest, ie endangering social peace. The diaspora is exactly that corrective factor for the shortcomings of domestic social assistance programs,” Cavalic pointed out.