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Ivanov-Ivanic: Solid foundation laid to boost business cooperation between Macedonia and BiH

Macedonia and Bosnia & Herzegovina foster excellent political ties, but what’s missing is a more intensive economic cooperation and efforts must be focused to that end, Macedonia’s President Gjorge Ivanov and the Chairman of the BiH Presidency, Mladen Ivanic, noted addressing Thursday’s business forum in Skopje.

According to them, solid foundations have been laid to boost economic cooperation. They said there was readiness to establish a legal framework so as to bolster trade between the two countries.

Statistics show that Bosnia & Herzegovina is ranked 20th as a trade partner of Macedonia. In 2016, goods worth $155.7 million were exchanged. According to Ivanov, these figures do not correspond with the high-level political, cultural and social relations fostered by the two countries.

“The visit of Mr Ivanic and this business forum is an expression of the preparedness of our countries and institutions to help entrepreneurs. We are here to open new perspectives, to lay down new legal frameworks defining a better cooperation, to address the needs of businesses and to help our nations continue nourishing traditional partnership,” noted President Ivanov.

There is solid ground, he added, to advance economic cooperation between the countries.

Bilateral business cooperation, according to Ivanic, can be extended by allowing the people of Macedonia and BiH to use IDs to travel to the countries, launching direct flight from Skopje to Sarajevo and vice versa, and by joint promotion of goods from Macedonia and BiH at third markets.

“I believe there is room to significantly boost cooperation between Macedonia and BiH. We, as well as you, have a relatively stable currency, both countries are part of the modern world, both countries have relatively stable taxes. I truly believe there is much space for us to cooperate. A better direct connection must be established,” stated Ivanic adding there would be no political stability without economic development.

The two countries in the coming period are expected to ink an agreement for economic cooperation and an agreement establishing cooperation between the chambers of commerce.