Croatians urged to open subsidiaries in BiH

BiH Foreign Trade Minister Mirko Šarović says Croatian companies should open subsidiaries in BiH – if they want to retain their markets in the country – once Croatia joins the EU, reports

Šarović on January 29 expressed his concern that Bosnia will lose access to the Croatian market, and vice versa, once Croatia joins the European Union on July 1.

The minister recalled that in 2012 Croatia imported goods worth 1.125 billion EUR from BiH, while BiH exported products worth 600 million EUR to Croatia, mostly agricultural products.

But once Croatia joins the EU, BiH trade relations with its neighbour will come under a new regime.

This is because Croatia will start applying the EU standards and controls and will leave the Central European Free Trade Agreement, CEFTA, which kept the markets of its members open to each other.

“Some products from Croatia will become more expensive,” Šarovic noted, “though BiH can use that chance to attract foreign investment.”

Šarovic said if Croatian companies wanted to keep their old markets and customers in BiH, they should consider opening subsidiaries in Bosnia and sell their goods at lower prices there than they would cost as imports.

“If that happened, and if Croatia used the raw materials and the labour force in BiH, that would help us a lot,” Šarović said.

“Croatia would not only keep the BiH market that way, but also that of all the countries in CEFTA,” Šarović added.

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