The Central Bank of Bosnia and Herzegovina (CBBH), in cooperation with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), has organised, on Friday the third international research conference entitled ”Challenges for Central Banks in Low-Interest Rate Environment“ which was held virtually this year due to the circumstances brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
This international research conference was held for the third year and it is a result of the cooperation between the CBBH and the USAID through the FINRA project, and this time, it made possible the exchange of opinions of representatives of the European Central Bank, centrals banks of Albania, Bulgaria, the Republic of Croatia and Turkey, and the University in Skopje, the Republic of North Macedonia. The discussion on current subjects took place in two sessions: „Transmission of the European Central Bank monetary policy on the region“ and „Efficiency of monetary and fiscal policies in low interest rate environment“.
In the introductory speech, Governor of the CBBH, Senad Softić, Ph.D., stressed that the period of low nominal interest rates in Europe has lasted for several years, without indications of their increase in short and medium terms. Such situation influences the central bank operations, with the asset investment exposed to low and even negative interest rates. Governor also commented on the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global economy, stating that the role of fiscal policy and other policies in the stabilisation of economic activities in the post-pandemic period are expected to be more significant than that of monetary policy. He pointed out that the CBBH, in this situation, has implemented a responsible and proactive policy and that it would continue to take all possible measures within its monetary regime.
Addressing the participants of the conference, the Director of the USAID Mission to BiH, Nancy J. Eslick, expressed her support for the work and activities of the CBBH. These two institutions have been achieving successful cooperation through the FINRA project for years, especially in the field of economic research, one of the products of that cooperation being a regular international research conference. Director Eslick pointed out that the United States, through USAID, has been a strong supporter of the Central Bank of Bosnia and Herzegovina since its very beginning over 20 years ago, as well as the other key institutions of financial sector oversight.
“Our aim has always been to help maintain the stability of the Bosnia and Herzegovina financial system, protect the deposits of citizens, and increase access to finance by Bosnia and Herzegovina businesses and households for economic growth, more jobs, and higher incomes”, said the Director of the USAID Mission to BiH.