Bosnia and Herzegovina Basic Information

By | July 21, 2022
Basic data
Capital Sarajevo
Population 3.53 million
Language Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian
Religion Islam (51%), Orthodoxy (31%), Catholicism (15%)
State system parliamentary republic
Head of State Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Šefik Džaferović, Milorad Dodik, Željko Komšić)
Head of government Zoran Tegeltija
Currency name Convertible Mark (BAM)

Bosnia and Herzegovina Basic Information

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Economy 2021
Nominal GDP (billion USD) 59.4
Economic growth (%) 5.7
Inflation (%) 1.6
Unemployment (%) 34.4

Bosnia and Herzegovina (BA) is a middle-income country with a transitioning economy, located in the heart of the Western Balkans region. The country has a great wealth of mineral resources (brown and black coal, iron ores and non-ferrous metals, exploration of potential deposits of oil and natural gas) and the potential for the development of renewable energy sources.

It has a tradition of industrial production (mining, energy, metallurgical, chemical, engineering and woodworking industries), but its competitiveness was weakened by the armed conflict in the early 1990s and the unfinished process of economic transformation.

BA is a parliamentary republic with a highly decentralized constitutional system. The central government has only limited powers and most of the competences in the field of economic policy are in the hands of two autonomous entities, but many decisions and regulations are also issued at lower levels (cantons, municipalities). BA strives to obtain the status of a candidate for EU membership, but the process of preparing for membership and harmonizing legislation with the EU is slow.

BA is a traditional market for Czech companies in the field of energy and equipment for the mining industry. Opportunities also exist in other areas such as renewable resources, technologies for water management and wastewater treatment, machinery and equipment for the furniture and woodworking industry, agriculture and food industry, or digital technologies. Trade exchange in the automotive sector is developing intensively – the production of automotive components is of increasing importance in the economy of BA.

When considering the opportunities that exist, it should be taken into account that BA is a complicated market with complex legislation and administrative procedures. The risk of corruption is increased and cases of clientelism are frequent. Companies encounter cases of impaired payment morale.

Basic information about the territory

Subchapters:

  • System of governance and political tendencies in the country
  • Foreign policy of the country
  • Population

The system of governance and political tendencies in the country

The official name of the country is Bosnia and Herzegovina (BA). The country’s system of governance is highly decentralized. The national government has limited powers that include foreign policy, customs, monetary policy, immigration and, to a limited extent, transport and communications. Other areas are the responsibility of the two entities that make up the BA, i.e. the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republika Srpska, respectively. of the Brčko Autonomous District. Check computerminus to learn more about Bosnia and Herzegovina political system.

The most important actors in the field of economic policy are individual entities. In addition, the larger of these, the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, consists of ten cantons that have their own governments and parliaments with economic and social powers. The consequence is that different tax and labor legislation or investment incentives apply in different BA regions.

The complicated system of governance and the complex search for consensus among political entities contribute to slow progress in implementing the necessary economic reforms and preparing for EU membership.

Foreign policy of the country

BA strives to obtain the status of an EU candidate country. Its relations with the EU are governed by the Stabilization and Association Agreement from 2008 (entered into force in 2015). From the perspective of regional cooperation, BA’s membership in the Central European Free Trade Area (CEFTA) and its participation in the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC), which unites the countries of Southeast Europe, are important. The RCC Secretariat is based in Sarajevo. Check relationshipsplus for Bosnia and Herzegovina defense and foreign policy.

BA has observer status in the World Trade Organization (WTO) and is in the final stages of negotiations for membership. BA is a member of the Partnership for Peace initiative and was invited to participate in the NATO Membership Action Plan.

Population

BA has a population of million. It is a multicultural and multi-religious country. According to the constitution, BA has three constituent nations, which are Bosniaks (50.1% of the population), Serbs (30.8% of the population) and Croats (15.4% of the population).

A large diaspora living abroad, numbering about million people, claims origin in BA. Countries with the largest Bosnian-Herzegovinian community include Croatia, Germany, Austria, Serbia, USA, Slovenia, Switzerland, Sweden, Australia and Canada. Among the biggest challenges facing BA today is the continued emigration of the population of working age abroad.

In terms of religion, the majority of the population subscribe to Islam (51%), Orthodoxy (31%) and Catholicism (15%).