SARAJEVO, December 16, 2010 – The World Bank in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BH) in partnership with the Management and Information Technology Center (MIT) Sarajevo convened today a round-table to discuss competitiveness of BH economy.
The recently published “Doing Business 2011” and “Investing Across Borders 2010” reports of the World Bank Group and the “Global Competitiveness Report 2010-2011” of the World Economic Forum were used to initiate a policy dialogue among a broad set of stakeholders about the overall business environment in BH and its impact on the competitiveness of the country’s economy.
The Doing Business Report ranked BH at 110th place of 183 economies surveyed. Business environment in BH also remains less competitive than those of other countries in the region
Similarly, the Global Competitiveness Report 2010-2011, which ranks countries against 111 indicators divided in 12 pillars, ranks BH at 102nd place of 139 countries surveyed. While this represents progress compared to last year when BH was ranked 109th, BH is lowest ranked of all countries in the region with Serbia being the closest at 96th place. In BH, indicators related to competitiveness of institutions are particularly worrisome, while the best ranked indicators were those related to macroeconomic environment and technological readiness. Business community in BH highlighted that access to finance (as in all EU member states), high taxes, and inefficient bureaucracy are the most problematic.
“Two themes are emerging as key for BH as the economy is recovering: protecting the vulnerable, and competitiveness of BH economy,” said Marco Mantovanelli, World Bank Country Manager for Bosnia and Herzegovina. “Newly elected governments will have a chance to take action on both fronts. To improve business environment and the overall competitiveness of the economy these actions should, among others, include further reducing the time and cost to register a company, and reducing a number of procedures, time and costs of obtaining construction permits,”added Mantovanelli.
The round-table gathered a broad spectrum of government officials, representatives of public agencies, private sector, and academia with the aim to identify priorities that the newly elected authorities in BH should address over the next four years in order to improve the business environment and overall competitiveness of the BH economy.