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Sarajevo Business Forum 2011: Chance for people with ideas!

09. April 2011. | 07:28

Source: Emg.rs

City: Sarajevo

Author: N.D.A Arvanites

Photo: N.D.A. Arvanites

At Sarajevo Business Forum (SBF), second international investment conference organized by Bosna Bank International and Islamic Development Bank Group (IDB) 153 projects were presented during three days worth 14.7 billion euros.

At Sarajevo Business Forum (SBF), second international investment conference organized by Bosna Bank International and Islamic Development Bank Group (IDB) 153 projects were presented during three days worth 14.7 billion euros.

Director of BBI Amer Bukvic during the final discussion today assessed that this-year’s Sarajevo Business Forum was successful and that it opened the new process of analysis and negotiations with investors, whose results will be seen in the next few months.

Within the Forum, president of Islamic chamber for trade and industry Sheikh Saleh Abdullah Kamel said he will do everything for Saudi investors to invest 50 million dollars in BiH until the next Forum.

A Korean company was also interested in investing in the mine and thermal power plant Banovici, and the agreement with Saudi Fund for development was signed today on allocation of 35 million KM loan for building of circular junction in Zenica.

Fuad Kasumovic, deputy Minister of Finance and Treasury of BiH, stated it is the most favorable credit loan for BiH because the Fund does not condition BiH side and participation of local companies in the project is possible as well.

“We applied for two more projects and I hope they will be approved. There is also 18 million dollars for sustainable return and four million euros for Srebrenik municipality”, Kasumovic said.

Protocol on cooperation was signed today as well between the Faculty of Economics in Sarajevo and Union of chambers of commerce of Turkey, memorandum of understaning between Euroasfalt company and a company from Abu Dabhi and memorandum of agreement on cooperation between Adil Trading company from UAE and Farmacija Tuzla.

There are certain initiatives for businesses, i.e. for investments in BiH with some companies from other states such as China and Japan, but the results will be seen until next Forum.

Over 300 local and foreign investments took part as well as great number of guests from Turkey, Serbia, Croatia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Saudi Arabia, Bahren, Qatar, China, Japan, USA, Russia, Georgia, Azarbaijan, Malaysia, United Arab Emirates, and some other states. 

The second International Conference titled Sarajevo's Business Forum 2011 is being held in Sarajevo.

The Sarajevo Business Forum 2011, the second international conference which is to be held from 6 to 8 April in Sarajevo, will promote 153 projects worth 14.7 billion euro.

Most projects come from tourism sector, total of 46, and their value amounts to 528 million euro.

Infrastructure sector will have 31 projects worth 8.98 billion euro, 30 projects from energy sector worth 4.83 billion euro and 26 agriculture projects worth 339 million euro.

Nine projects worth 18.56 million euro will represent wood industry, financial segment will have ​​eight projects worth 33 million euro and three projects will come from education sector worth 10.18 million euro.

Numerous economic and government delegations are coming on Wednesday April 6, 7 an 8, to Sarajevo Business Forum, international investment conference which will be held in capital city of BiH, Sarajevo.

Al Jazeera is the main media sponsor, and the event is covered by around 250 reporters.

An investment pledge worth USD 50 million, which the chairman of the Islamic Chamber of Commerce and Industry made yesterday, is the first concrete result of the 2nd Sarajevo Business Forum.

ICCI Chairman Salah Abdullah Kamel is also a very influential businessman in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf countries, and his pledge refers to the period until the next SBF.

An investment announcement also came from Turkey (EXIM bank’s credit line for infrastructure in BH).

Speakers at opening plenary sessions were stressing that BH is a country of unused potential and many investment opportunities, primarily in the areas of renewable energy sources and organic food production, but also a country where administrative obstacles hinder business and investments.

Sarajevo Business Forum aims at reviving the culture of open dialogue among statesmen and international figures from various countries, as well as presenting Bosnia & Herzegovina and its region to international investors.

The Forum will comprise of two parts. Under its first part, the Forum will present a meeting point for a selected group of statesmen where they will exchange views on the issues related to the civilization dialogue in general, and peace and prosperity in Southeastern Europe in particular.

Under its second compact, Sarajevo Business Forum will be a forum between local businesses, government and international investors aiming at attracting international capital to the country and to the region, which in turn will be instrumental in enhancing economic prosperity and thus peace.

Sarajevo Business Forum thus aims at erasing the remnants of sad recent history of the country and making it once more a center for open interaction between cultures and businesses.

Sarajevo Business Forum was presented as a Partner Conference to US - Balkans Business Summit which took place at the end of March in Baltimore (U.S.A.). Mr. Amer Bukvic, CEO of BBI, co-organizing bank of SBF, introduced the auditorium with SBF and discussed the topic of „International project financing“.

On this occasion, the representatives of Construction Consortium, formed on SBF platform and comprised out of Bosnia and Herzegovina companies, talked with American colleagues about the possibility of joint projects. Lorraine Hariton, Special Representative for Commercial and Business Affairs of State Department, will speak on behalf of United States of America on the forthcoming SBF 2011.

The Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB), comprised out of 356 Chambers, also provided support for SBF. A press conference about SBF and the possibilities of investing in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the whole region was held at TOBB Headquarters in Istanbul with the cooperation of Pglobal, a consultant house from Turkey.

The project „Sarajevo, regional educational centre“was also presented at the conference. Mr. Veljko Trivun, the Dean of School of Economics and Business and his associates held a meeting with colleagues from TOBB University in Ankara and discussed the signing of Agreement on Academic Cooperation.

Forthcoming SBF was also presented at the round table of European Parliament in Brussels, in the organization of Sarajevo Canton Regional Office and Mr. Jelko Kacin, vice president of European Parliament for South East Europe. Mr. Osman Softic, SBF coordinator, presented the concept of the Forum to the participants, and pointed out strong decision to make SBF the “gateway” for investment in South East Europe.

Mr. Softic announced the arrival of many investors and prominent officials from many countries, U.S.A., Turkey, Arabian Gulf Countries, Japan, China, Pakistan, Malaysia and Europe, while pointing out the regional character of the Forum.

Over 150 projects from various fields of economy will be presented at the Forum. Participants of the Round Table were also Doris Pack and Eduard Kukan on behalf of the European Parliament, Thomas Seiler on behalf of European Commission and Elio De Anna, Minister of the International and European Affairs of FVG.

The Forum was also presented in Jeddah at a press-conference organized by Islamic Development Bank. Dr. Ahmad Mohamed Ali, President of the Islamic Development Bank, Sheikh Saleh Kamel, the Chairman of ICC and Dr. Adil A. Bushnak, the Chairman of Bushnak Group, SBF strategic partner, were present on the conference. Sarajevo Business Forum 2011 Promotion was also organised in China, Norway, and United Arab Emirates.

Saudi investors pledged on Wednesday to invest in Bosnia with $50 million starting capital and Turkey said that one of its banks will extend credit lines for infrastructure projects.

Officials from the Middle East and Turkey said they wanted to help development of Bosnia, a Balkan country impoverished during the 1992-95 war where a large Muslim population lives alongside the Orthodox Serbs and Catholic Croats. The Islamic Development Bank (IDB), Al Baraka BARKA.BH banking group and other Saudi investors have formed a joint investment company for Bosnia, said Saudi Arabia's Sheikh Saleh Kamel, the chairman of the Islamic Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

"The $50 million will be our investment by the next forum to enhance the development and investment in Bosnia," Kamel, who is also founder and chairman of Bahrain-based Islamic bank Al Baraka, told a business conference in Sarajevo.

"It is a venture capital to look for the investment opportunities and prepare everything and then bring investors to invest."

Turkey's Economy Minister Ali Babacan said that Turkey was interested to invest in Bosnia and the wider Balkans, and announced that Turkish state import-export lender Eximbank will extend credit lines for projects in Bosnia.

"Eximbank is now fully ready to finance major investment projects in Bosnia, roads, energy and any infrastructure projects," Babacan told the conference. "We believe that companies, investors who act now will get good results."

Rifat Hisarciklioglu, the president of Turkey's Union of chambers of commerce, said now was a good time to invest in the Balkans as all countries were progressing towards membership of the European Union.

Minister without Portfolio Sulejman Ugljanin stated at the “Sarajevo Business Forum” that only through strong economic cooperation can we secure stability and long-term prosperity in this part of Europe, that was rather turbulent until recently.

Ugljanin visited Sarajevo yesterday, where he attended the international investment conference, organised by the Bosna Bank International and the Islamic Development Bank.

Addressing those present during a panel discussion themed “Development and Economic Cooperation in the Region”, Ugljanin stressed that the Western Balkans region is no longer mentioned as a politically unstable area, but as countries with business professionals and experts, ready to cooperate with each other and with the leading countries in the world.

Georgian Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development Vera Kobalia, Governor of the Central Bank of Bosnia-Herzegovina Kemal Kozaric and President of the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey Rifat Hisarciklioglu also addressed the panel discussion.

Ugljanin held a separate meeting with Prime Minister of the Malaysian federal state of Malacca Mohd Ali Rustam.

The Minister presented the opportunities for economic cooperation between the two countries and investment in municipalities that are under the competence of the Office for Sustainable Development of Underdeveloped Areas.

They voiced their interest in advancing the economic cooperation between Serbia and Malaysia.

Sarajevo Mayor Alija Behmen presented Minister Ugljanin with a Sarajevo City Plaque of the City.

Head of investment and support sector of the Agency for Improvement of Foreign Investments in BiH (FIPA) Majda Becirovic has invited foreign investors and participants of the Sarajevo Business Forum, to finance projects in BiH and highlighted numerous investment opportunities.

Saudi Fund for Development extended a 35 million Bosnian marka ($25.5 million) loan for a ring road project in Zenica, central Bosnian, on Friday.

The contract signed by Yousef Bin Ibrahim AL-Bassam, the fund's vice chairman and managing director, and Bosnia's Deputy Finance Minister, Fuad Kasumovic, builds on two other contracts signed with Saudi investors at a business forum this week.

Saudi Al-Shiddi Group formed a joint venture on Thursday with Sarajevo-based construction company Ans Drive, with initial capital of $5 million, to engage in construction projects in Saudi Arabia.

Al-Shiddi Group director Sulaiman al-Shiddi also signed a contract to form a joint venture with Bosnia's largest engineering group Energoinvest, with starting capital of $10 million.

Energoinvest, which has lost projects in Libya worth around 200 million euros ($288 million) because of turmoil there, hopes to make up lost ground with Saudi Arabia and other countries in the Gulf.

Saudi investors, led by the International Development Bank (IDB), last year formed a joint company for Bosnia tasked with preparing prospective projects for investors.

Saudi Arabia's Sheikh Saleh Kamel, the chairman of the Islamic Chamber of Commerce and Industry and founder and chairman of Bahrain-based Islamic banking group Al Baraka BARKA.BH, pledged $50 million for Bosnian projects until the next business forum.

A Turkish association focusing on Bosnia and Herzegovina has held its first meeting in Sarajevo in a bid to increase business and cultural ties between Turkey and the Balkan country, according to a press release.

The Center for the Development of Relations with Bosnia and Herzegovina, or BİGMEV
, initiative aims to be a business and cultural bridge between the two nations, Chairman Muzaffer Çilek said, adding it would undertake the role of a mediator for the business world, entrepreneurs and investors in trade, culture, arts and sports.

“In doing so, we are aiming to meet the right people and do the right projects with the right [target partners] so that we can stand up for what we have undertaken,” Çilek said. “We will choose from feasible projects … while our greatest hope is that our efforts will prove sustainable.”

The BİGMEV trustee committee will meet twice a year. The committee’s second meeting will be held in November in Istanbul.

Among the participants of the meeting were Bosnia and Herzegovina Ambassador to Ankara Dragoljub Ljepoja, Istanbul Chamber of Commerce Deputy Chairman Şekip Avdagiç and Bosnia and Herzegovina Federation Representatives Assembly President Denis Zvizdic, as well as a number of Turkish business leaders.


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