The Fourth Economic Forum of Bosnia and Herzegovina was held yesterday, on March 5, 2020 at the Hotel Holiday. The Forum was organized by the Faculty of Economy of the University of Sarajevo and the Economic Institute Sarajevo. This year’s Forum was focused on promoting sustainable development goals, the importance of digital development and the Western Balkans banking sector.
The 2020 BiH Economic Forum was opened by Prof. Dr. Jasmina Selimović, Dean of the Faculty of Economy in Sarajevo, Zoran Tegeltija, Chairman of the Council of Ministers of BiH and Johan Sattler, Head of the Delegation of the European Union to BiH and European Union’s Special Representative. The introductory speeches touched upon resources and qualities that BiH has to offer, and the problems that negatively impact the economy. The event began with discussions on brain drain, the position of youth, emigration, pollution, political instability and the new coronavirus (the first case in BiH was recorded a few hours before the beginning of the Forum) and its impact on the world economy.
The 2020 Economic Forum of BiH comprised two panel sessions:
- SDGs AND WESTERN BALKANS 2020 – NEW NARRATIVE
- WESTERN BALKANS 4.0: GROWING DIGITAL TOGETHER (IMPACT ON THE BANKING SECTOR)
The first panel session was moderated by Professor Dr. Zlatko Lagumdžija, and the discussion focused on the regional economy and the steps the countries in the region can take to improve the economy and the business climate. The panelists discussed the situation in their own sectors, presenting the latest statistics and ways for Western Balkans countries to unite and develop together. Speakers included Jeffrey Sachs, United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on the MDGs, Filip Vujanović, former President (2013-2018) and Prime Minister (2008-2012) of Montenegro, and Fadil Novalić, Prime Minister of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. One of the conclusions from this session is that developing youth policies is important, along with investing in startups and involving young people in decision-making processes.
During the second panel session, moderated by the General Director of the Kakanj Cement Factory, Branimir Muidža, the participants talked about youth leaving the Western Balkans, the challenges in achieving sustainable development goals and the importance of investing in education. Special focus was placed on the digital transformation of business operations and the benefits of digitalization, particularly when it comes to the digitalization of the banking sector. The panelists during the second session were: Jasmin Mahmuzić, Director of the Banking Agency of FBiH; Boško Mekinjić, Member of the Management Board of the Banks Association of BiH; Dino Ibrahimović, representative of the Infobip company; Martina Drvar, Vicegovernor of the Croatian National Bank, Director of Mistral and Amina Karić, Vice President of Operations at Authority Partners. The conclusion of the panel discussion was that education is the foundation of the society and its economy and that digital banking should develop and catch up with the world economy which has seen rapid changes in the past few months.
The Economic Forum of Bosnia and Herzegovina was held for the fourth consecutive year and has so far included more than 1800 participants from the academic community, diplomatic, political and economic sectors. This Forum facilitated numerous partnerships among different sectors, gave rise to new ideas and helped launch new initiatives. It is important to add that the Forum’s organization efforts were supported by young people, students from the Faculty of Economy of the University of Sarajevo.
The Economic Forum was attended by a representative of the Institute for Youth Development KULT.