The OECD Competitiveness Outlook Report is an initiative of the European Union, which, in the context of the European integration process and improvement of regional cooperation, aims to assist those economies participating in the programme to develop better policies by providing a comprehensive analysis of economic benchmarks and regional competitiveness across 17 policy areas.
Deputy Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Bosnia and Herzegovina Khaldoun Sinno underlined that the EU integration process requires a functioning market economy that is able to withstand competitive pressures in the internal market, and eventually, the economic and monetary union of the European Union. “The BiH economic system must be transformed to ensure continuous competitiveness. Over the coming years the EU accession process will remain the defining agenda for BiH. All reform efforts must therefore be complementary and in full support of the EU accession agenda, and the European Commission’s Opinion will provide crucial guidance in that regard. Accordingly, the EU stands ready to support these efforts,” said Sinno.
With the adoption of the revised Indicative Strategy Paper for BiH for the period 2014-2020, new sectors for IPA II support to BiH have been included in sectors such as agriculture and rural development, environment and energy, with the overall financial allocation of EUR 315 million for the period 2018-2020 also including continued assistance to education, employment and social sector reform, greatly focusing on the reform of labour and employment institutions.
BiH Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations Mirko Šarović noted the importance of the Report and its comprehensiveness: “The Competitiveness Report offers a unique overview of the region, and Bosnia and Herzegovina, analysing the current state of affairs. With over 600 indicators in 17 policy areas, it is the most comprehensiveness guidebook for future reforms. Our goal is to raise the competitiveness of BiH and ensure progress, and this document will assist in planning future reforms,” said Minister Šarović.
Head of OECD South East Europe Division Marzena Kisielewska noted that the Report signifies an enormous effort on the part of all participants, given that more than 1,500 officials have provided input and coordinated the process, “The biggest success is the ownership of the partners because each recommendation has been validated by you. Of course, the most important stage will be the implementation of the recommendations and, accordingly, cooperation at all levels will be of the utmost importance”, said Kisielewska.
The launch events are held in all SEE capital cities and they are embedded into high level conferences that bring together representatives from OECD, the European Commission and high-level government, to turn the policy recommendations of the Report into actual reforms, as part of the Economic Reform Programme, thus bringing noticeable results and progress for all citizens.