The Turkish Ambassador to BiH Ahmet Yildiz thinks that BiH has a special position as a multi-ethnic and multi-cultural country in the center of the Western Balkans, and said that Turkey wishes to have close relations with BIH in every area, including strengthening economic relations.
In an interview for FENA, Ambassador Yildiz noted that the total value of bilateral trade between Turkey and BiH amounted to 350 million dollars in 2011, and in 2012 415 million dollars.
“While these figures do not reflect the full potential of economic cooperation between the two countries, the Turkish government and private sector is prepared to boost the level of economic cooperation’’, said Yildiz.
Turkey wishes to help BiH in its efforts to achieve a strong and sustainable economic growth through all areas and social segments in BiH.
In this context, the Turkish government allocated 100 million euros for favorable loans to small and medium-sized investment projects in order to facilitate returnees in BiH in their search for employment. This amount is allocated from the Turkish Ziraat Bank Bosnia and Bosna Bank International to eligible participants without interest with a repayment period of 10 years.
“The Turkish government encourages the Turkish private sector to continue to invest in BiH. Turkish Export Credit Bank (TurkishEximbank) allocated a credit line of 250 million dollars to investment projects of Turkish companies in BiH for this purpose’’, said Ambassador Yildiz.
Commenting on the engagement of the Turkish firm “Cengiz Insaat Sanayi ve Ticaret”, which is currently building the most important part of Corridor 5C in BiH, Ambassador Yildiz said that the success of this project is the result of huge efforts from investments of the company, and the cooperation of BiH government can serve as an example of improvement in the investment environment in BiH and help to attract other companies’’, added Yildiz.
He also announced that Turkish investors are interested in several areas of the BiH economy that offer potential for faster development, such as tourism is an area where economic relations could develop.
The Turkish Ambassador said that energy is another promising area for Turkish investors, since the significant hydropower potential of BiH rivers represents an attractive opportunity for the realization of projects by foreign companies, including those from Turkey.
“Turkish investors consider BiH a country with perspective on the road in connecting the European market through its integration into higher Euro-Atlantic cooperation, such as NATO and the EU. The same applies for accreditation of its compliance with international standards in the domestic economy and foreign trade through entry into the World Trade Organization. Therefore, the reform of the BiH public sector concerning membership in the EU and World Trade Organization is an incentive for Turkish investors regarding strengthening their belief in BiH as a destination for their investments’’, suggested Ambassador Yildiz in an interview for FENA.