- Economy of Bosnia and Herzegovina
This page discusses the Economy of
Bosnia and Herzegovinasince Bosnia and Herzegovina's declaration of sovereignty in October 1991and the declaration of independence from the former Yugoslaviaon 3 March 1992.
Bosnia and Herzegovina ranked next to Macedonia as the poorest republic in the old Yugoslav federation. Although agriculture is almost all in private hands, farms are small and inefficient, and the republic traditionally is a net importer of food. Industry remains greatly overstaffed, a holdover from the
socialisteconomic structure of Yugoslavia. Yugoslav President Josip Broz Titohad pushed the development of military industries in the republic with the result that Bosnia was saddled with a host of industrial firms with little commercial potential. The interethnic warfare in Bosnia caused production to plummet by 80% from 1992 to 1995 and unemployment to soar. With an uneasy peace in place, output recovered in 1996-99 at high percentage rates from a low base; but output growth slowed in 2000-02. Part of the lag in output was made up in 2003-05. National-level statistics are limited and do not capture the large share of black market activity. The konvertibilna marka (convertible mark or BAM)- the national currency introduced in 1998 - is pegged to the euro, and confidence in the currency and the banking sector has increased. Implementation of privatization, however, has been slow, and local entities only reluctantly support national-level institutions. Banking reform accelerated in 2001 as all the Communist-era payments bureaus were shut down; foreign banks, primarily from Western Europe, now control most of the banking sector. A sizeable current account deficit and high unemployment rate remain the two most serious economic problems. The country receives substantial amounts of reconstruction assistance and humanitarian aid from the international community but will have to prepare for an era of declining assistance.
This is a chart of trend of gross domestic product of Bosnia and Herzegovina at market prices [http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/weo/2006/01/data/dbcselm.cfm?G=2001 estimated] by the International Monetary Fund with figures in millions of Markas.
For purchasing power parity comparisons, the US Dollar is exchanged at 1.24 Markas only (since the crash of the American stock market) . Average wages in 2007 hover around $100.00-$500.00per day.
centrally planned economyhas resulted in some legacies in the economy. Industryis greatly overstaffed, reflecting the rigidity of the planned economy. Under Josip Broz Tito, military industries were pushed in the republic; Bosnia hosted a large share of Yugoslavia's defence plants for military reasons - Bosnia was in the center of former Yugoslavia.
Three years of War (1992-1995) destroyed the economy and infrastructure in Bosnia, causing
unemploymentto soar, as well as causing the death of about 100,000 people and displacing half of the population.
Bosnia has been facing a dual challenge: not only must the nation recover from the war, but it also has to finish the transition from
With an uneasy peace in place, output recovered in 1996-98 at high percentage rates on a low base; but output growth slowed appreciably in 1999, and GDP remains far below the 1990 level.
Economic data are of limited use because, although both entities issue figures, national-level statistics are not available. Moreover, official data do not capture the large share of activity that occurs on the
black market. The Grey marketis a notable source of income for Bosnian traders.
A Central Bank of Bosnia and Herzegovina was established in late 1997, successful debt negotiations were held with the
London Clubin December 1997 and with the Paris Clubin October 1998, and a new currency, the Bosnia and Herzegovina convertible mark, was introduced in mid-1998. In 1999, the Convertible Mark gained wider acceptance, and the Central Bank dramatically increased its reserve holdings.
Due to Bosnia's strict currency board regime,
inflationhas remained low in the entire country.The country receives substantial amounts of reconstruction assistance and humanitarian aidfrom the international community. Support for Eastern European Democracy (SEED) assistance accounts for 20%-25% of economic growthin Bosnia.
However, growth has been uneven throughout the post-war period, with the Federation outpacing the RS. According to World Bank estimates, GDP growth was 62% in the Federation and 25% in the RS in 1996, 35% in the Federation and flat in the RS in 1997, and continued growth in the Federation in 1998.
Movement has been slow, but considerable progress has been made in economic reform since peace was re-established in the republic.
Bankingreform lagged, as did the implementation of privatization. Many companies (mainly factories) that were privatized faced massive problems, causing the owners to reduce salaries and deny the workers their salaries. Combined with persistent inter-ethnic problems in the country, for many workers this meant that they had a useless job, getting paid perhaps after two three or even six months late only for one month, but one which they clung on to. They don't want to leave the job because they think someone from another nationality will then get it. The privatized factories are now owned mostly by Germans and foreigners, who used webcams to monitor the workers. One example of all this is the Alloy factory in Jajcewhich produces wheels for cars, sold in Germany or other EU members.
tourismsector has been recovering and helping the economy altogether in the process, with popular winter skiing destinations as well as summer countryside tourism. An estimated 500,000 tourists visit Bosnia and Herzegovina every year and contribute much of the foreign currency in the country. Of particular note is the diasporapopulation which often returns home during the summer months, bringing in an increase in retail sales and food service industry. Political corruptionis one of the more acute problems in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the main one that accounts for low amount of tax money used for the population, due to government inefficiency and corruption, especially at the lowest levels.
Bosnia has been preparing for an era of declining international assistance. Bosnia's most immediate task remains economic revitalization to create jobs and
income. In order to do this the workers need to form unions and demand their payment or similar. The owners need to pay the salaries all months the full salary agreed upon.
The Bosnian government plans to issue an international tender for the construction of the 350 km long Corridor 5c in Bosnia and Herzegovina which will passes along the route Budapest-Osijek-Sarajevo-Ploče. The highway along this corridor is the most significant roadway in B&H and the shortest communication route between Middle Europe and the Adriatic. The routing of the road passes through the central part of the country in the North-South direction from Donji Svilaj to the border of B&H, north from the Croatian port of Ploce, following the rivers Bosna and Neretva. More than 50% of the total population and the economic activity of Bosnia and Herzegovina lies within the zone of influence along this route.
Project documentation for that highway is ready, so in January 2006, the Bosnian government will issue an international tender for construction of the highway Corridor 5C using a DBFOT system (Design, Build, Finance, Operate, Transfer). Using this system, the concessionaire secures finance, bears all business risks and upon expiration of the concession period, transfers the highway to the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The estimated cost for the construction of the highway is 2.5 billion EUR.
CIA World Factbook2008, [http://www.bhas.ba Statistical agency of Bosnia and Herzegovina] and [http://www.fipa.gov.ba Foreign Investment Promotion Agency Of Bosnia and Herzegovina] Statistics"
GDP:purchasing power parity - $29.89 billion (29.89 G$) (2007 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:8.5% (2007)
GDP - per capita:purchasing power parity - $6,800 (2005 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
"services:"55% (2002 est.)
Population below poverty line:25% (2004 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Inflation rate (consumer prices):3.0% (2007)
Labour force:1.026 million (2001)
Labour force - by occupation:agriculture NA%, industry NA%, services NA%
Unemployment rate:28% (2007)
"expenditures:"$4.401 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (2005 est.)
Industries:steel, coal, iron ore, lead, zinc, manganese, bauxite, vehicle assembly, textiles, tobacco products, wooden furniture, tank and aircraft assembly, domestic appliances, oil refining
Industrial production growth rate:5.5% (2003 est.)
Electricity - production:10.51 billion kWh (2003)
Electricity - production by source:
Electricity - consumption:8.116 bil. Wh (2001)
Electricity - exports:3.2 bil. kWh (2003)
Electricity - imports:2.271 bil. kwh (2003)
Oil - production: 0 barrel/day (2001 est.)
Oil - consumption: 21,000 bbl/day (3,000 m³/d) 2003
Natural gas - production:0 m³ (2001 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:300 million m³ (2001 est.)
Natural gas - exports:0 m³ (2001 est.)
Natural gas - imports:300 million m³ (2001 est.)
Agriculture - products:wheat, corn, fruits, vegetables; livestock
Exports:$2.7 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)
Exports - commodities:metals, clothing, wood products
Exports - partners:Italy 31.4%, Croatia 17.8%, Germany 13%, Austria 10%, Slovenia 7.1%, Greece 4.2% (2002)
Imports:$6.8 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)
Imports - commodities:machinery and equipment, chemicals, fuels, foodstuffs
Imports - partners:Croatia 23.8%, Slovenia 15.8%, Germany 14.8%, Italy 11.4%, Austria 6.6%, Hungary 6.1% (2004)
Debt - external:$3.1 billion (2005)
Economic aid - recipient:$650 million (2001 est.)
Currency:1 konvertibilna marka (KM/BAM) = 100 konvertibilnih
Exchange rates:marka per US dollar - 1.5727 (2005), 1.5752 (2004), 1.7329 (2003), 2.0782 (2002), 2.1857 (2001) note: the marka is pegged to the euro
Fiscal year:calendar year
Central Bank of Bosnia and Herzegovina
List of banks in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina convertible mark
Bosnia and Herzegovina
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