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Austria and Bosnia-Herzegovina to Commence Dialogues

Published: April 18, 2013; 18:28 · (Vindobona)

Bosnia-Herzegovina shows interest in Austrian social partnership model and measures against increasing youth unemployment rate.

Austria and Bosnia-Herzegovina to Commence Dialogues / Picture: © Flickr

As part of his visit to Austria, Senior President of Bosnia-Herzegovina Nebojsa Radmanovic took part in the economic forum “Austria – Bosnia-Herzegovina”. Nebojsa explained that Austria has been the biggest investor in Bosnia-Herzegovina for years. More than € 1bn was invested by Austrian enterprises, President of the Austrian Chamber for Economy Christoph Leitl announced. Austrian enterprises are, according to Leitl, predominant in the financial sector and construction material industry but also market leaders in several other branches. A total of almost 200 Austrian subsidiaries employ more than 6,000 staff members. Also bilateral trade has developed positively and reached a volume of € 731m last year. From the Bosnia-Herzegovina’s point of view, Austria is as trading partner in exports on 5th place and in imports at 8th place.

Radmanovic showed great interest in the Austrial social partnership model and the successful measures in the educational system leading to the lowest youth unemployment rate in Europe. Leitl announced that in this regard, the countries have agreed on an intensive dialogue and exchange of information. The Austrian social partners have agreed to travel to Bosnia-Herzegovina to present the social partner model and the measures for youth employment, and discuss about their experiences in Austria.

The main topic of the forum was business and investment opportunities in Bosnia-Herzegovina for Austrian enterprises. With a corporate and income tax of 10 %, Bosnia-Herzegovina is a low-tax- country. Sigmund Nemeti, economic delegate for Austria, explains that the country has well-trained workstaff and is because of the labor costs competititve compared with its neighboring countries. Because of these factors and several free trade agreements (Interim Agreement on trade and trade-related matters with the EU, CEFTA, Turkey) the country is an attractive business location. Business opportunities are a currently with the development of infrastructure and in the segments energy and environment. Furthermore, industrial modernization will be playing a more important role in the near future.