By Nevena Šarenac – Sarajevo
The International Forum Bosna is the organizer of the public forum “Economic Challenges in BiH”, which is being held tomorrow in Sarajevo.
The organizers say that BiH society is in a multiple crisis that is caused by an ineffective transition from communism to an illegible democracy and market opportunities, from the destruction caused by the war to the reconstruction and construction of all political, cultural and economic structures.
They think that in the last twenty years decisions were made on systematic changes, and now it is possible to assess them as either correct or incorrect.
Thus, it would be possible to determine the state of the BiH economy now in comparison to the neighboring countries and throughout the world.
In addition to assessing the current situation, it would be possible to identify trends and possible changes in the future.
Commenting on the economic situation in BiH, Professor Mirko Puljić at the Economics Faculty in Sarajevo spoke of the transition and said that it was not successful, stressing that the privatization process was incorrectly managed and ended badly.
“Companies and government assets were sold for worthless certificates. Foreign companies bought local companies for certificates that were valid for up to six assessments. Foreign companies came to a real value for 15 to 20 times at a lower value’’, said Professor Puljić.
He said that the real sector privatized according to a model that was different from the financial sector.
“The financial sector is simply handed over to foreign investors and foreign banks. Foreign banks took over local ones, and the state previously assumed all obligations of the banks. Thus, foreign investors and banks received local banks without any compensation’’, explained Professor Puljić.
According to him, the main challenges for the BiH economy are GDP growth and increasing employment.
“In addition, it should be taken into account to reduce the very high trade deficit and government spending of public institutions’’, thinks Professor Puljić.
He notes that the country cannot rely on any external causes for the current situation in the country.
He says that the crisis is an excuse by the politicians for bad decisions or decisions that were not adopted at the right time.
“Policy makers are to blame for this economic situation. We have to turn inwards, because BiH has raw materials, supplies, excellent human resource capacity, as well as financial resources. I argue that at this point in our country we could find 3,5 billion available funds to encourage economic development’’, concludes Professor Puljić.