BH diaspora is increasing year by year, and with the increase in the number of those who go abroad, the amount of money they send to their families and relatives in Bosnia and Herzegovina also increases.
Data from the Central Bank of Bosnia and Herzegovina show that only in the first quarter of 2023, total current transfers amounted to 1.116 billion BAM, but it is assumed that the figures are significantly higher if “hand-to-hand” transfers are also counted.
About ten percent of the total money we spend in Bosnia and Herzegovina was not earned, but was sent to us by our people from abroad, according to official statistics. According to data from the Central Bank of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the diaspora paid a record 4.9 billion marks to Bosnia and Herzegovina last year, in 2021, 4.3, and in the pandemic year 2020, 3.8 billion marks flowed into Bosnia and Herzegovina from the diaspora” .However, it is assumed that this figure is almost twice as high, because it does not include “informal” and transfers” from hand to hand”.
”If there was no diaspora, life would probably be much more difficult in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Such foreign currency inflow is a transfusion that I receive from my diaspora. We will see how long it will be, but the bottom line is that it is so significant that it is a great shame that we do not have a ministry for the diaspora,” says economist Zoran Pavlovic.
In addition to sending money, BH the diaspora also spends considerable money during the holidays. Maja Mršić from Bijeljina owns a small business and, as she says, the arrival of the diaspora is always felt.
“During the holidays, there are more clients from the diaspora. There are slightly better payment options abroad. They came on vacation to use that time for walking and sightseeing, so maybe that is the reason why our diaspora buys.
Remittances from abroad from our diaspora mostly come from Western European countries, such as Germany, followed by Scandinavia, North America and somewhat less from Australia.
They would hardly be able to survive considering the pensions, pension amounts and salary. It is the diaspora that is currently injecting the most money into this area, and if it weren’t for them, it would be very sad to live here.
Judging by the data from the first quarter, the previous record of remittances from abroad could be broken this year. However, this is not a number to celebrate, and a bitter question remains – who will send money when entire families leave Bosnia and Herzegovina?