In the territory of the Republika Srpska (RS), in the last five years, the labor inspection has ordered that an act on risk assessment in the working environment of only one Chinese company be made.
In the last five years, there have been no controls on the operations of Chinese companies in RS, except for one where there was a labor inspection and an act on risk assessment in the working environment was ordered to be done, this is the information pointed out by the journalist of the Capital.ba portal Darko Momic.
“What is simply unacceptable to me is that billions are given to these companies from the RS budget, these are serious projects, and that no one from the government sends an inspection to see if the money we give is managed properly, whether it is invested properly... That is simply unacceptable, but it should not be surprising if we know that part of those contracts are still under someone, there is a veil of secrecy around them… Something else specific, there are a dozen of these Chinese companies, they are all intertwined, some are at the same address, some are at a different address, but have the same email address or contact, so it is necessary to carry out a serious control of the business of those companies,” Momic points out.
The RS Inspectorate says that information about the work of Chinese companies that allegedly do not employ any workers should be taken with a grain of salt because, as they emphasize, the Labor Law recognizes the possibility that directors have concluded managerial contracts, which is not considered an employment relationship. The Cantonal Administration for Inspection Affairs of Canton Sarajevo (CS) points out that all business entities are under constant supervision.
“When it comes to the competences of the republican labor inspection, we must emphasize that the ownership structure of employers is not a relevant indicator for us, because the Labor Law itself does not make a distinction according to the ownership structure of employers. From time to time we find that they work without an adequate permit, most often in peripheral areas with neighboring municipalities, and when it comes to foreign citizens from other countries, we really haven’t found a case where someone from Turkey and China came without a work permit,” says Dusanka Makivic from the Inspectorate of the RS.
“I must say that our inspections are also carried out based on reports from citizens, i.e. in accordance with our regular plan and program,” says Vildana Brdaric from the Cantonal Administration for Inspection Affairs of CS.
Citizens of China are subject to a visa-free regime based on a bilateral agreement between the two countries, the Service for Affairs with Foreigners of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) points out. They say that there are no problems with Chinese citizens entering or staying in BiH.
“Many of them are also engaged on the basis of a project of national importance, because all ministries, entities, states can declare a project of national importance, so there are many declared projects in RS of national importance and they can be engaged on the basis of that project as well that may be the basis of their stay in BiH,” says Slobodan Ujic, director of the Service for Affairs with Foreigners.
The amount of Chinese investments in BiH as of December 2021 is 9.4 million BAM, according to the Agency for the Promotion of Foreign Investments of BiH.
“It is a rather low amount when talking about the sphere of foreign investments. However, there is room for Chinese investments to increase here,” believes Jasmina Dzevlan from the Agency for the Promotion of Foreign Investments in BiH.
Chinese companies absolutely respect the laws of BiH, believes the president of the Association of BiH and China, Faruk Boric.
“If we think that Chinese companies would lose their credibility because of some small BiH, that is really a wrong idea. China has no special interest in BiH, but views BiH like any other country where there are opportunities to invest, but that is nothing, really nothing special,” says Boric.
According to the data of the Service for Foreign Affairs of BiH, there are currently more than 400 Chinese citizens who have been approved for temporary residence, 256 with approved residence on the basis of an important project, 136 with approved temporary residence on the basis of a work permit and 95 with approved permanent residence.