Ambassador Johann Sattler, Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Bosnia and Herzegovina and EU Special Representative in BiH visited Brčko District today and welcomed the commencement of work on reconstruction of Brčko Port, to which the EU contributed financially. The modernisation of the port, in line with the goals of the European Union’s Connectivity Agenda will greatly improve regional cooperation and trade relations as well as the local community.
“Thanks to its strategic and geographical location, the Port of Brčko can be an essential transit point for cargo traffic flows between Bosnia and Herzegovina and the EU. The current infrastructure of the Port is outdated and difficult to access by rail but, after renovation, it can become a hub for connecting the economies of the region. I am pleased that the EU is able to support the modernisation of the Port with €3 million euros in grants. This will bring concrete benefits to the local community and to the entire country, in the form of investment, jobs and new opportunities for business,” stated Ambassador Sattler.
Brčko Port Director, Perica Josić noted that the Port is an important transit point in Bosnia and Herzegovina, adding that “this modernisation project will help make our port competitive, increase the amount of traffic and attract new clients”. Manuela Nesl, Director of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in BiH underlined that the EBRD supports the development of infrastructure in BiH. “In addition to our support to Corridor Vc, it is our pleasure to support the modernisation of Brčko Port and we hope this project will have a significant impact on regional development and easing of trade relations,” added Nesl.
Ambassador Sattler also met with Vojin Mitrović, BiH Minister of Communications and Transport and Oleg Butković, Croatian Minister of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure and discussed progress in the implementation of numerous infrastructural projects in Bosnia and Herzegovina and their relevance for the improvement of connectivity and strengthening the economy of the country and the region. “The focus of our conversation were questions related to further connections between BiH and Croatia, i.e. the EU. In connection to that, we discussed works on the bridges at Gradiška and Svilaj. There are indications that Svilaj should be opened during this summer and Gradiška should be ready by May 2022. There are currently around 15 key infrastructure projects the European Union is funding in the amount of over 250 million euros secured through grants. These are substantial investments that will enable continuation of implementation,” underlined Ambassador Sattler.
The growth potential of Brčko District is visible in the strong agricultural production the region is known for. Agricultural producers, small farms and small and medium enterprises successfully attract EU funds and cooperate with local and European partners. Ambassador Sattler visited the dairy company Sines an EU grantee under the EU4Business project, which has contributed to improvement of the production process and further development of 31 local smallholding farmers in Brcko District.
The European Union continues to be a reliable and strong partner of Bosnia and Herzegovina and provides substantial technical and financial support to strengthening the infrastructural, economic and human development of the country.