The Association of Italian Businessmen in Bosnia and Herzegovina officially started its work with a formal reception held at the Radon Plaza Hotel in Sarajevo. The goal of the association is, among other things, to monitor all movements related to economic indicators between BiH and Italy, networking of BiH and Italian companies, and assistance to Italian investors in BiH. The founders are the Embassy of the Republic of Italy in BiH, and Intesa Sanpaolo Bank dd Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bosancar doo Bosanska Krupa, RS Silicon doo Mrkonjić Grad, Bytres doo Prijedor and Ella Textile doo Gradiška, who are also the first members of this Association.
Italian Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina Marco Di Ruzza pointed out that “the Embassy strongly supported the initiative to create a platform for the association of Italian companies in Bosnia and Herzegovina.”
“It is in fact a project that can increase synergies between our economic entities and cooperation with the competent authorities in the country, contributing to the further consolidation of excellent bilateral relations between Italy and BiH,” Di Ruzza added.
In this context, the Ambassador reminded that Italy became the first exporting country to Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2021 and that this market has a huge and extensive network of Italian companies that have skillfully established themselves in various manufacturing sectors or through direct investment or joint ventures. with local partners.
“The creation of the Association of Italian Businessmen in BiH is therefore in full coherence with the intensity and dynamics of economic relations between the two countries,” Di Ruzza concluded.
Economic relations between Italy and Bosnia and Herzegovina, due to the complementarity of economic systems, have resulted in the fact that Italy is the second largest commercial partner in BiH, and that there are about 80 Italian companies established by direct or joint investment with more than 10,000 employees. They are mainly focused on the production of clothing and footwear, as well as chemical, mechanical, metallurgical, construction and design activities. Traditionally there is the automotive and textile industries, but in recent years also the IT sector. It is important to mention the Italian presence in the banking sector, which is at a significant level, because about 30% of BiH. banking market is covered with the Intesa Sanpaolo and Unicredit groups.
Accordingly, in order to develop and improve relations between the Italians and Bosnia and Herzegovina. businessmen, promoting and encouraging contacts and cooperation with local, cantonal, entities and state authorities in BiH, the Association focuses its activities on targeted support to the activities of its members and the general development of economic exchange between the two markets. BiH’s natural resources remain underutilized, leaving enough room for investment and new capital inflows in the energy sector, agriculture, livestock, mining, forestry, fisheries, tourism and other sectors.
“On this date, May 11, 2022, the Association of Italian Businessmen in BiH will start its business in the best possible way, given the great response of businessmen who have confirmed their participation in this gathering. I am especially proud to be the President of the Association, whose priority is to identify and interpret the problems and expectations of companies at this specific time when the real cultural revolution began internationally, or more correctly, the revolution is present around the world. “Social and economic trends will have to face new ideas and initiatives, which is a real epochal challenge that Italian companies in BiH will, I am sure, know how to present,” said Giuseppe Franchi, president of the Association.