Germans prefer BiH to Croatia for business investmentsAdriatic Journal 19 September 2018
For German entrepreneurs, Bosnia and Herzegovina market is much more interesting than the market of neighbouring Croatia and despite many administrative obstacles, most of them decide to invest in it, according to BiH’s daily Oslobodjenje. Sven Torsten Pothof, director of the German Foreign and Trade Chamber for the territory of BiH and Croatia (AHK), says there are several reasons why this is so. “First of all, we can talk about production costs, which are significantly lower than in the EU countries. Then, there is still a certain number of skilled labour, and the third aspect why companies want to come here is due to low wage costs”, Pothof said to Oslobodjenje. The number of German companies in BiH is growing each year, with current figure of 250, according to the publication. “The biggest problem is the administrative barriers that German companies have to overcome in order to establish branches here. It is positive that they are satisfied with their work here and that there is a tendency of growth for the companies that operate in BiH,” Pothof said. In addition to having their representative offices, German companies in BiH have numerous partners with whom they have been realising multi-million dollar contracts for many years, the paper reports.
Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić attended today’s opening of the World Economic Forum in the Chinese city of Tianjin, after which he met with the governor of the Hebei province Xu Qin and the representatives of HIBIS, a company that owns Železara, the steel factory in Smederevo. Qin said that his province’s government and HIBIS company will do everything they can in order for Železara to operate successfully. Vučić noted that since the acquisition, the factory increased its production capacity by 30%, while its profits grew by 39%, Serbian daily Danas reports. Qin and Vučić also discussed other possible projects, among which a possibility for the companies from Hebei to build an industrial park in Belgrade. Two memoranda of understanding were signed at the forum: one between the government of the Chinese province and the Government of Serbia; and the other between HIBIS and the Government of Serbia, as reported on Danas’ website.
Ana Brnabić, Serbia’s Prime Minister will represent the country at the annual session of the United Nations General Assembly next week, reports Danas online. According to the publication’s sources, President Aleksandar Vučić was due to represent Serbia but is unable to do so because of other duties. The publication also says the date for Vučić’s meeting with the Russian President Vladimir Putin has not yet been confirmed, although earlier it was claimed the meeting would take place this month. In the meantime, some Priština media reported that Kosovo President Hashim Thaci will meet with US President Donald Trump next week, but Thaci’s office declined to comment. The Kosovo’s Indeksonline portal claims that Thaci and Trump will discuss the initiative to correct the border between Kosovo and Serbia, which the United States supports, Danas reports.
Milanka Opačić, MP from the Social Democratic Party of Croatia, has requested to be removed from the party after 28 years of membership, Croatian Vijesti reports. According to the publication, she believes SDP has become marginalised and after a four-hour meeting of the Presidency and the Chamber of Representatives, Opačić decided that none of the conflicting sides have the will to pull the party from the crisis. Reflecting on the party’s important role in the past when it was part of the ruling coalition twice, Opačić said that today SDP is just a pendant for small parties, while her influence within the party has been minimised. “If I were to stay on, I would participate in the party’s further break-up. I don’t want to do that,” said Opačić, the former Deputy Prime Minister of the Government and Minister for Social Policy and Youth. She will continue her political path as an independent representative. When asked whether she would support the government, she replied she did not want to talk about it at this moment, according to Vijesti.