‘’The Republic of Italy is the second foreign trade partner of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). This year, our economic exchange will amount to almost 2 billion EUR, which is equal to our trade with Qatar. We are proud of this information and will certainly continue our joint investments,’’ said the Ambassador of Italy to BiH, HE. Nicola Minasi, at yesterday’s Economic Forum ‘’Italy – BiH’’. The Forum, which brought together more than 70 Italian companies that are operating in BiH, was held as an accompanying program of the conference ‘’Italy and BiH: The Balkans and the EU Through the Centuries – 155 Years Since the Opening of the First Consulate General of Italy in Sarajevo’’, which was held on November 28thand 29thin Sarajevo.
‘’UniCredit Bank is the largest company in BiH, and Italian banks are currently covering 30 percent of the banking market in BiH. Also, our big brand Nordica produces a large number of its famous footwear here. The departure of people from this country is a serious problem, and therefore it is necessary to work on the economy because it is the only thing that can keep young people in BiH,’’ Ambassador Minasi added.
The President of the Commission for External Relations and EU of the House of Representatives of the Italian Parliament, HE Marta Grande, pointed out that the authorities in BiH should support companies who are exporting and moving towards the EU. ‘’The entry of BiH into the EU also implies the easier entry of Italian companies into BiH market, and consequently even greater and more intense economic cooperation. We at the Italian Parliament are here because we want to help the relations of our countries in political, economic and every other sense,’’ said HE. Marta Grande.
The Association of Italian Economists ‘’Confindustria’’ (General Confederation of Italian Industry), which is the largest Italian and one of the largest European business associations, gathering 150.000 companies and 5.5 million employees, had a special presentation at yesterday’s forum. ‘’Confindustria has been present in BiH for seven years now, and we represent a safe harbor for our companies that are operating here. Our main task in BiH is to represent the culture and philosophy of the Italian companies, and to simplify communication with all levels of authority as much as possible,’’ said Erich Cossutta on behalf of this Association.
Yesterday’s forum also announced the holding of a major Connext 2020 conference, organized in February by the Association Confindustria in Milan. ’’This year we expect to gather 7000 of our members from the 13 countries in which we operate. We are especially focused on B2B meetings, and we expect 450 companies to be exhibitors and 200 presentations. Foreign companies have the opportunity of free participation, and on this occasion, I invite all BiH companies to join us,’’ Letizia Pizzi from Confindustria’s International Cooperation Office pointed out.
Italian companies in BiH are present in almost all sectors of the economy: metal processing, chemical, textile, footwear, wood, household, and construction industry, and furniture production.