The next Business Forum “Unburdening the Economy to Create Jobs” will be held on March 7, 2018 in Biha?.


The Forum, intended for business owners and dedicated to the economy, is organized by the Institute for Youth Development KULT and the Ministry of Economy of the Una-Sana Canton.


The Forum can be attended by business owners, young entrepreneurs, representatives of the government, the academic and NGO sectors and all those who believe they can help improve the BiH economy.


The goal of the forum is to discuss the burdens limiting the growth and development of the economy in FBiH, particularly in the Una-Sana Canton, how they can be addressed, the initiatives and activities intended to encourage employment and self-employment (particularly of youth) and opportunities and obstacles in launching businesses. We will identify problems limiting the growth and development of the economy in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and try to offer concrete solution.


The Forum will include a presentation of research into the allocation of budget incentives for improving the economy between 2012 and 2015, and the initiative of BiH business owners to introduce the VAT cash accounting scheme. These topics will be discussed by representatives of competent institutions, eminent experts in the field of economy, business environment and employment, owners of successful businesses and young entrepreneurs. Participants will engage in a constructive dialogue on how to improve the business environment and employment opportunities in BiH.


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Applications are submitted online through http://mladi.org/myURL/1y, and the number of participants is limited. Participants whose application was accepted will be provided with the agenda at least three days before the event.


The Business Forum is organized by the Institute for Youth Development KULT, as one of the activities of the â€śBH Business Site” initiative implemented by the Institute for Youth Development KULT since 2014, within the Civil Society Sustainability Project (CSSP) managed by the Centers for Civic Initiatives (CCI) and the Civil Society Promotion Center (CPCD), and supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).


Previous business forums were held in Tešanj, Bijeljina, Neum and Tuzla.


 

BY: M.Sc. Ajka Rov?anin, Institute for Youth Development KULT


The Report on Social Inclusion of BiH for 2016, published recently y the Directorate for Economic Planning of the Council of Ministers of BiH, states that employment is one of the basic conditions of social inclusion. The BiH labor market was rated as one with “high levels of inactivity, unemployment and long term unemployment” for the period spanning the past decade. There are some mildly encouraging data about a decrease in unemployment and an increase in employment in 2016 and 2017, dampened by the growing trend of employment abroad, i.e. economic migration.


The lack of work, economic and socio-cultural space results in social exclusion. Not participating on the labor marker is detrimental to an individual’s economic status and can lead to poverty and social isolation. Youth are particularly vulnerable to this. The European Union is aware of this problem, which is why their goals include addressing youth social exclusion, in addition to improving the youth employment rate, providing high-quality education, equality, and training that will allow them to participate on the labor market. 


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What does the BiH labor market look like though? Does it encourage youth to participate and work? Does it take into consideration all the specific features of that populations segment? Is it accessible or it just a path to other countries’ labor markets? How does a regulated labor market contribute to the sustainability, growth and development of the real sector? Unfortunately, domestic economic and demographic data shows that the BiH labor market is not youth friendly, and is becoming increasingly unfriendly to the general population as well.


The World Economic Forum developed a very interesting approach to evaluating the efficiency of the labor market, and published the data for each individual country in their annual Global Competitiveness Report, along with other 11 components of competitiveness. The efficiency of the labor market is evaluated by using 10 indicators. In 2017, BiH was ranked at 123 out of 137 countries (rated with 3.49 out of 7). 


The quality of cooperation between employers and employees was rated as 3.76 out of 7, flexibility of employers in setting salary amounts was rated as high, with 5.46 out of 7. The existing regulations allow employers some flexibility in employing and firing employees (3.33). In terms of severance pay, BiH is ranked very low (123rd out of 137 countries). The ratio of salary and productivity was rated with 3.05. Current competencies of employees in management positions was rated with 2.98.


The capacity of BiH to retain highly qualified workforce is very low (1.80), which places it at the bottom of the list (135th place). The capacity to attract and select foreign highly qualified workforce is also low (1.59, i.e. 136th place). The ratio of men and women in the workforce places BiH as 109th. It is therefore clear that the labor market can be made a lot friendlier to job seekers. When it comes to salary taxes and its effect on policies intended to generate jobs, BiH is rated 2.95. These indicators discourage youth from starting their own business and employing others. With additional burdens, such as having to pay VAT by the 10th day of the month, numerous parafiscal taxes, other fees, etc.


 

Bosnia and Herzegovina has to provide a good life for its citizens, which can only be done by boosting the economy and ensuring a high GDP – this is one of the messages from the participants of the Business Forum “Unburdening the Economy to Create Jobs” held in Neum, November 8, 2017.


Participants of this forum included entrepreneurs, representatives of government, NGOs, the academia and young business owners, who discussed the burdens hindering the growth and development of the economy in the Federation of BiH, with an emphasis on the Herzegovina-Neretva Canton and the Municipality of Neum. They talked about ways of addressing this problem, the initiatives and activities aimed at economic reforms, programs and incentives for employment and self-employment, particularly of youth, and opportunities and obstacles in the process of starting a business. 


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“Economic problems have to be resolved through a cooperative effort of all levels of government, with additional trainings and more funds invested in supporting new businesses, especially for youth, who are our driving force.” – said Živko Matuško, Mayor of the Municipality of Neum.


The forum included a presentation of the initiative to amend the Law on VAT and extend the deadline for paying VAT for small business owners, and results of the analysis of budget incentives for the economy for the period of 2012-2015.


“BiH does not have an environment conducive to developing the economy. There is no environment that can give youth the opportunity to develop their business, and that is precisely why the Institute for Youth Development KULT decided to tackle this challenge of creating a better business environment for youth, and for all citizens in BiH, because that is what will keep them in this country – an environment that allows them to make a living and thrive”. – said Jasmin Beši?, Executive Director of the Institute for Youth Development KULT. 


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The Business Forum was organized by the Institute for Youth Development KULT, under the auspices of the Chairman of the Presidency, Mr. Dragan ?ovi?, PhD, in cooperation with the Federal Ministry of Development, Entrepreneurship and Crafts, and the Municipality of Neum.


The Business Forum was organized by the Institute for Youth Development KULT, as one of the activities of the â€śBH Business Site” initiative implemented by the Institute for Youth Development KULT since 2014, within the Civil Society Sustainability Project (CSSP) managed by the Centers for Civic Initiatives (CCI) and the Civil Society Promotion Center (CPCD), and supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).


 

Ajka Fotografija copy copyBY: Mr.Sc. Ajka Baru?i?, Institute for Youth Development KULT


Ve? skoro pune dvije godine bh. privrednici su neumorni u svojim zahtjevima prema vlastima da se kona?no izmjene sporne odredbe oko pla?anja PDV-a. U tome nisu usamljeni. Podržavaju ih predstavnici iz nevladinog sektora, pa ?ak i pojedini iz vladinog. Ali konkretne promjene još uvijek izostaju.


Sve je po?elo okruglim stolom održanom u Sarajevu u martu prošle godine, kada je Institut za razvoj mladih KULT, osluškuju?i potrebe privrednika, okupio stru?ne sagovornike na temu prijedloga za pla?anje PDV-a po napla?enim umjesto izdatim ra?unima. Tada je struka rekla da bi uvo?enje ovakvog modela bilo opravdano, izvodivo i najviše pravi?no prema privrednicima. Stru?no obrazloženu inicijativu za ovakav model, a podržanu potpisima preko 30.000 privrednika u BiH, Institut je uputio prema Upravi za indirektno oporezivanje i njenom Upravnom odboru u junu 2016. godine. Predloženo je da privrednici plate PDV državi tek kada i oni naplate svoje ra?une od kupaca za proizvode koje su prodali i usluge koje su pružili. I to oni privrednici koji godišnje ostvaruju do maksimalno jedan milion KM. Sve to po uzoru na susjedne Hrvatsku i Srbiju i 22 zemlje ?lanice Europske unije. Odgovor nikada nije pristigao.


Privrednici su se na ovu temu nastavili okupljati na poslovnim forumima u Tuzli, Bijeljini, Tešnju, ali i drugim bh. gradovima i sredinama. Uskoro je pitanje pla?anja PDV-a postalo neizostavna rubrika u dnevnoj štampi i web portalima, u?estao prilog na televiziji i radiju i svakodnevna tema poslovne zajednice. Na svojoj važnosti, problem PDV-a je dobio kada je u martu ove godine poslanik u Predstavni?kom domu Parlamentarne skupštine BiH gosp. Saša Magazinovi? uputio poslani?ko pitanje prema Upravi za indirektno oporezivanje, njenom Upravnom odboru i Vije?u ministara BiH. U junu je odgovor Upravnog odbora Uprave za indirektno oporezivanje razo?arao privrednike, navodivši da sistem pla?anja PDV-a po napla?enim umjesto izdanim ra?unima nije trenutno provodiv zbog, uglavnom, tehni?kih i administrativnih ograni?enja.


Poslije toga, pokušalo se izna?i kompromisno rješenje. Balans – kojim ?e biti zadovoljni i vlasti i privrednici. Takore?i, izlaženje u susret privrednicima. A to je pomijeranje roka za pla?anje PDV-a sa desetog na posljednji dan u mjesecu i smanjenje dnevne zatezne kamatne stope sa 0,04% na 0,02%. BiH je najstrožija u Europi po pitanju roka. Ovaj rok je znatno duži u ostalim zemljama, pa ?ak se odnosi i na duži obra?unski period nego što je to mjesec dana kao u BiH. Opet je upu?eno poslani?ko pitanje - drugo.


U septembru 2017. godine stigla je lijepa vijest za privredu. Predsjedavaju?i Vije?a ministara BiH gosp. Denis Zvizdi? javnim saop?enjem izrazio je podršku inicijativi, odnosno zadužio Upravu za indirektno oporezivanje da u izmjenama Zakona o PDV-u koje su u toku, uvrsti i zahtjeve privrednika koji se odnose na rok i kamatnu stopu.


Me?utim, nešto više od mjesec dana poslije toga, Vije?e ministara BiH je negativno odgovorilo na drugo poslani?ko pitanje. U odgovoru, izme?u ostalog, stoji da ovakva inicijativa nije prihvatljiva iz nekoliko razloga kao što su nužnost promjena zakonskih i podzakonskih akata, promjena poslovnih procesa u administraciji, ugroženo izmirenje obaveza UIO prema poreskim obveznicima u vidu povrata sredstava, ugroženo finansiranje me?unarodnih obaveza tj. servisiranje inostranog duga, troškovi uvo?enja ovakvog sistema naplate PDV-a…


Time je nastala jedna zbunjuju?a situacija, te se postavlja pitanje koliko je ovakva odluka Vije?a ministara BiH ishitrena, a koliko je bilo ishitreno javno saop?enje predsjedavaju?eg, s obzirom da je rije? o dva potpuno kontradiktorna stava. Upravo iz tog razloga, vaĹľno je insistirati na utemeljenosti stavova institucija i predstavnika vlasti na stru?nim analizama, dokazima, argumentima i ?injenicama. Odluke moraju biti stru?no obrazloĹľene.


Danas ?e biti odrĹľana sjednica Upravnog odbora Uprave za indirektno oporezivanje na kojoj se o?ekuje razmatranje izmjena Zakona o PDV-u. Izmjene bi dalje trebale biti upu?ene prema Vije?u ministara BiH.


Utakmica još uvijek nije izgubljena.


 

The position of youth is one of the topics discussed in the book Vision 2020: Reforms in BiH - Towards Its European Future, presented in Sarajevo by the America-Bosnia Foundation and the Center for Transatlantic Relations at the Johns Hopkins University in Washington. 


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Papers published in this book explore different perspectives concerning the reform process, and one of the authors is Ajka Baru?i? from the Institute for Youth Development KULT. 


Her work focuses on the effect of reforms on young people in BiH, youth laws and strategies in BiH, unemployment and emigration. 


The book is available here


 

Negativan odgovor na inicijativu Instituta za razvoj mladih KULT koju je podržalo više od 30.000 bh. privrednika da se rok za pla?anje PDV-a pomjeri sa desetog na zadnji dan u mjesecu, te da se smanji dnevna zatezna kamatna stopa za kašnjenje u pla?anju PDV-a, stigao je samo mjesec dana nakon što je predsjedavaju?i Vije?a ministara Bosne i Hercegovine Denis Zvizdi? javnim saop?enjem istu podržao.


U odgovoru na zastupni?ka pitanja državnog parlamentarca Saše Magazinovi?a, izme?u ostalog, stoji da ovakva inicijativa nije prihvatljiva iz nekoliko razloga kao što su nužnost promjena zakonskih i podzakonskih akata, promjena poslovnih procesa u administraciji, ugroženo izmirenje obaveza UIO prema poreskim obveznicima u vidu povrata sredstava, ugroženo finansiranje me?unarodnih obaveza tj. servisiranje inostranog duga, troškovi uvo?enja ovakvog sistema naplate PDV-a…


Uzimaju li donosioci odluka, prilikom formiranja ovakvih odgovora, u obzir sve nuĹľnosti sa kojima se suo?avaju mali bh. privrednici?


podrska privrednika web


Nismo sigurni koliko je ovakva odluka Vije?a ministara BiH ishitrena, a koliko je bilo ishitreno javno saop?enje predsjedavaju?eg, s obzirom da je rije? o dva potpuno kontradiktorna stava.


That is why the Institute for Youth Development KULT is insisting that business owners' needs and problems be heard, and that attitudes of institutions and government representatives be based on expert analyses, evidence, arguments and facts. 


We expect all parties involved to exert more effort to deal with this issue, whose importance calls for a public debate that can yield a mutually acceptable solution. 


Inicijativa Instituta namijenjena je malim privrednicima, da im se omogu?i da PDV pla?ajuposljednjeg dana u mjesecu, dok bi velike kompanije i dalje pla?ale po starom, odnosno do 10. u mjesecu. Zbog toga nije bilo opasnosti za narušavanje likvidnosti budžeta.


Takva praksa postoji u 22 evropske zemalje, ali i susjednim državama. Inicijativa predvi?a i smanjenja zatezne kamate za svaki dan kašnjenja u pla?anju PDV-a sa stope 0,04 posto na 0,02 posto, jer kako trenutni zakon nalaže, mali privrednici se zadužuju da bi platili PDV do 10. u mjesecu, a pla?anje zateznih kamata prema trenutnim odredbama skuplje je nego kreditno zaduživanje kod komercijalnih banaka.


All of the proposed measures are aligned with the EC Directive  predloĹľene izmjene su u skladu sa Direktivom Vije?a Europske unije 2006/112/EZ, na kojoj se zasnivaju nacionalna poreska zakonodavstva zemalja Europske unije.


Pitamo se zašto onda porezni sistem povoljniji za malu privredu i privrednike ne može funkcionisati i u BiH.


 

Ajka Fotografija copyBY: M.Sc. Ajka Baru?i?, Institute for Youth Development KULT


Proposals, or more precisely demands, of BiH business owners to move the deadline for paying VAT from the 10th to the last day of the month, and reduce the daily interest rate are being acknowledged. Adopted. Finally, after 11 years of the seemingly immutable Law on VAT, business owners in BiH will have more time to fulfil this burdensome but inevitable obligation. This is the promise of Mr Denis Zvizdi?, Chairman of the Council of Ministers of BiH, made in the beginning of September.


He stated that these demands were justified and will certainly improve the business environment in BiH, because moving the deadline for paying VAT will improve the liquidity of businesses, and reduced penalty fees will significantly cut expenses and make business operations easier. More than 30 000 business owners who supported the initiative to amend this law are looking to the Indirect Taxation Authority and the Council of Ministers of BiH. Waiting for their stamp of approval. Waiting for the official procedure to be completed.                                                                                                          


Unfortunately, the process is very slow. Too slow for business owners. They’re asked to be patient. All they can do is wait. Waiting is a lifestyle for BiH citizens. Waiting on reforms. The Reform Agenda. With “mid-term and long-term” results, according to the government.  Waiting for a better tomorrow. But what about a better today? We know who’s the most impatient group in Bosnia. The ones standing in line in front of embassies. Who’s crossing the border. Young people. The youth of Bosnia and Herzegovina. More precisely, BiH emigrants.


A recent survey conducted by the Institute for Youth Development KULT yielded surprising results: youth’s most frequently cited reason for leaving the country was the bleak future that they did not see improving soon. The next most frequent reason is their dissatisfaction with the political situation, corruption, dissatisfaction with the education system, and the preoccupation with nationality, religion and war. Unemployment comes in at number 6. Their expectations for their destination country include: a better future, better education and healthcare system, security, a more regulated system, better quality of life and more opportunities for employment. Those who are preparing to leave are mostly afraid they will miss their family and friends.


What are youth in BiH waiting for, or, more precisely, what are they refusing to wait for any longer? Many things. One of them is the still to be adopted Employment Strategy of BiH 2016-2020, and it’s already the end of 2017. They’re tired of waiting for the promised program to support first employment and self-employment funded through the World Bank. These funds are on hold because entity governments are still trying to meet the required conditions. They are waiting for the Youth Strategy 2016-2020, which has been written but not been adopted. They are waiting for the official list of in-demand professions so they know which faculty to enrol in. They are waiting for more budget funds for their needs. Better conditions for launching their businesses. Jobs. They’re waiting for the government’s commitment. Sincere, proven, visible and honest.


During the recently held America-Bosnia Foundations, representatives of the NGO sector shared their view and assessment of the reforms done by now. They showed their displeasure. They pointed out that statistical data do not necessarily reflect better quality of everyday life in BiH. It was also jokingly said that judging by the implementation dynamic the Reform Agenda 2015-2018 should be called the Reform Agenda 2015-2050.


 

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