The third Jahorina Economic Forum was officially opened in the presence of a large number of ministers from the RS, representatives of international institutions (the IMF, the EBRD, the Government of the Republic of Serbia, EIB, MasterCard), diplomatic corps, members of the academic community and leaders of public and private companies. The topic of this year’s forum, which gathered more than 450 guests from 15 countries, is “Regional Cooperation as an Important Lever of Economic Development of Countries from the Southeast Europe”.
The President of the RS, Milorad Dodik, noted that the economies of our regional countries are not enough all by themselves and that he fully supports the idea of a customs union. “Regional development represents the sine qua non of all our relations and our economies will not make a positive movement if we do not ensure mutual progress and development,” said Dodik, and added that the entire region should stop being a place where young people get their education and then go and give their contribution somewhere else.
“We need to work together on our interests, and that is mostly higher standard and a better life for our people. The process of European integration is not simple, but we must strive for this transformation, set straight generation deficiencies and modernize our societies,” stated the Prime Minister of the Republic of Serbia, Ana Brnabic. She also noted that Serbia is the third most important investor in BiH with a total of one billion and one hundred million EUR invested over the past 20 years.
Member of the Presidency of BiH, Dragan Covic, stated that the departure of young people abroad can be reduced only with the increase of investments. “The EU is our future and I believe that all of us in the region are committed to this solution. However, I believe that we must integrate within ourselves first, make networks within us and be ready to welcome everything that is expecting us, “noted Covic and added that he is hoping that the participants of the forum will send clear messages and guidelines on the topic of directions in which regional economies should go.
Some of the attendees of the forum include representatives of the IMF, Nadeem Ilahi, the Director of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in BiH, Ian Brown, the Director of the Regional Representation of the European Investment Bank for the Western Balkans, Dubravka Negre, the Mayor of Banja Luka, Igor Radoicic, the President of the Association of Economists of Serbia, Aleksandar Vlahovic, as well as numerous other high officials.