A return to the Balkans
Material posted: Publication date: 05-06-2013

The countries of former Yugoslavia are interested in Russian investment, and technology. Held in Moscow, the first business forum "Russia – Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH)" has confirmed that Republic of the former Yugoslavia need Russian investment, technology, and scientific and engineering personnel. Most businesses, transport and energy facilities former SFRY established with Soviet assistance. They now require reconstruction.

The return of Russia to the Western Balkans in the interests of all countries of the former Yugoslavia. With Serbia and Montenegro, our country and the Customs Union (CU) already actively communicate through the free trade zone. In mid-may, Moscow and Belgrade signed an agreement on strategic partnership. To the free trade zone with the CU wants to join and Macedonia, in Skopje are waiting for Russian business and ready to create the most favorable conditions. Slovenia and Croatia are with our country talks on a vast programme of long-term investment cooperation. Finally, all States on the territory of former Yugoslavia (except Kosovo self-proclaimed) visa-free regime with Russia.

Because of the crisis in the Eurozone, Western investors are reluctant to invest in the economy even the most prosperous republics. But it's not just that. In financial and industrial structures of the EU do not want to help competitors, because the restoration and development of industrial and energy potential of the former Yugoslavia will prevent the export of Western goods and services. This is well understood in Belgrade, Zagreb, Ljubljana, Podgorica, Sarajevo, Skopje. And counting on the return of Russia to the region's economy.

Bosnia and Herzegovina is the industrial heart of the former Yugoslavia. Today, according to statistics, the volume of Russian investments in big amounts to 760 million euros, but the potential, according to experts, at least twice. In 2012, the country bought in Russia production at 126 million euros. However, over 80% of our exports amounted to hydrocarbons and products of their processing, however, 15% is Russian equipment. Counter the flow of goods has reached nearly 30 million euros. More than half of the Bosnian-Herzegovinian exports to Russia – pharmaceutical products, 40% – furniture, vegetables, fruits and preserves, the wine.

Today, investments made by domestic businesses in this country are concentrated mainly in oil refining, but, as the Minister of foreign Affairs of BiH Zlatko Lagumdžija, "there are many sectors and industries to expand our cooperation: for example, resort tourism, exploration, service". At a business forum in Moscow it was noted that BiH has large reserves of various raw materials (uranium, mercury, oil, manganese, bauxite), which can be mastered with the participation of Russia.

"Our priorities are to attract foreign investment – metallurgy, mechanical engineering and electrical engineering. Waiting for the Russian business, – told the "File-RF" Zlatko Lagumdzija. – These industries were created in "Tito" period, and we would welcome the restoration of direct contacts with Russia on the upgrade of enterprises. Our country is also interested in refining the draft (1970-ies – A. B.) through the waterway Jadran–Sava–Danube–Black sea. This track is important for the European economy and for the development of relations with neighbours in the Balkans and the CIS countries".

Special hopes in the revival of industry at Sarajevo lay to the "South stream". Zlatko Lagumdzija and the Vice-President trading-industrial chamber of the BiH Nemanja Vasic almost in one voice declared that the participation of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the project will allow her to cover the needs in fuel resources for the most part, and in natural gas – complete. This, in turn, will accelerate the development of energy-intensive industries such as ferrous and nonferrous metallurgy, oil and Dendrochemistry. Here, the calculations show, you may receive a minimum of 50 thousand new jobs. And employment for Bosnia and Herzegovina, for that matter, for any territory with the national administrative characteristics, is the key to stability.

According to the Minister of foreign Affairs, close cooperation with Russia in this direction will accelerate the economic growth of the country. Similar "benefits" from participation in "South stream", was noted at the forum, will gain and other republics of the former Yugoslavia.


Alexei Baliev

Source: http://file-rf.ru/context/2601