According to the estimations, Bosnians and Herzegovinians living abroad send more than one billion EUR to their homeland through post offices and banks. That amount is twice as higher when the money given “from hand to hand” is included.
Besides that, the diaspora invests in B&H, participates in a large number of charity actions, and during summer vacations they spend so much that some minor businesses survive on that.
However, the inflow of money from the diaspora decreased in 2015, or at least for the first nine months for which the statistical data are available, in comparison with 2015. Therefore, around 110 million EUR less arrived in B&H.
Although these amounts have been decreasing in the past as well, the experts warn that this trend will stabilize in some ten years from now and, according to them, that is alarming, given the share of remittances from the diaspora in the total gross domestic product of B&H is nearly 13 percent, according to estimations.
“I am not surprised with the fact that the inflow of money from the diaspora is lower and lower, because the circle of those being helped to is narrowing. At first, the diaspora helped everyone, the broader family, neighbors, and now they are helping only the closest ones, parents, siblings. However, it is normal that in 20 years, since the war has ended, people die. It is normal that those families who had someone abroad went there to live with them, and there is also data that 70,000 young people left B&H last year,” explained Namik Alimajstorović, member of the Steering Committee of the World Alliance of the B&H Diaspora.
On the other side, B&H does not offer almost anything to the diaspora. There is no law or ministry for diaspora, no programs, strategies, or projects intended for diaspora. Armin Alijagić, director of Nova perspektiva, warns:
“The diaspora makes up at least one third of the total GDP of this country. That is an enormous share and a great significance in our everyday life and the survival of economy form the total collapse. What we give back to the diaspora is very insignificant. We, as a country, give almost nothing to them, we literally send a message ‘you just come, leave the money, and go,” ALijagić highlighted.
Commenting on the expected trend of lower influx of money from the diaspora, Alijagić said:
“It is inevitable that this influx of money drops. B&H is on the path towards the EU, living standards will rise. When will this decrease begin, it is very difficult to specify, it all depends on economic and political factors. Also, the receivers will become older and older, and young people may not leave the country as much as they did so far”.