BEAR Initiative was launched in September 2013 within Municipal Cooperation Agreement. The three municipalities saw their opportunity to attract more investments, create more workplaces and support further economic progress through mutual economic cooperation.
Conference presented potential for investing in Teslić, Tešanj and Žepče and possibilities of their economy and it gathered businessmen and investors from BiH, representatives of embassies and international organizations, foreign chambers of commerce in BiH.
Organization of this event was supported by the German Association for International Cooperation (GIZ) and Office of German Economy in BiH (AHK).
Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to BiH Christian Hellbach said the initiative is positive and he stated there should be more of these initiatives where municipalities work together in one project and present possibilities for investments to investors and business entities.
He also emphasized he was pleased that GIZ contributed to the project, which is fighting against great problem which is also present in BiH, unemployment.
Asked what is an obstacle to foreign investors to invest in BiH, he said it is some kind of insecurity, legal insecurity, complicated procedures and firstly corruption.
”This country and its people are truly wonderful and they deserve much more”, said Hellbach.
Regional Coordinator of GIZ for the Western Balkans Brigitte Heuel-Rolf emphasized that local development is something that is necessary for development of BiH and that GIZ is focusing on encouraging public-private partnership and dialogue between public and private sector.
She said that initiatives such as BEAR should come to life in other municipalities in BiH as well.
Municipal Mayors of Teslić Milan Miličević, Tešanj Suad Huskić and Žepče Mato Zovko said the main aim of the project is to increase number of investors, local and foreign ones, all with the ultimate aim of creating new workplaces.
Municipalities offer different sectors for investments, from timber, metal to tourism.
They find workplaces can solve all other problems.