Dialogue is unique solution for progress, prosperity, development
Honourable Presidents, Honourable Prime Ministers, Distinguished representatives of national executive and legislative authorities from five continents of the world, dear hosts and representatives of the Marmara Group, Ladies and Gentlemen!
“Mankind is a single body and each nation is a part of that body. We must not ever say ‘what’s that to me if any part of the world is unwell?’ If there is such a condition anywhere, we ought to treat it the same way as if it happens to us.”
These are the very words of great man of the human kind, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. Today, I pronounce these with a good reason, for to see representatives of over 30 countries of the world, gathered at this Summit, really proves his words alive. Cooperation, exchange of views and ideas, support and partnership are the foundations underlying the Marmara Group’s commitments, efforts, life and achievements for three decades now. Dialogue, communication and compromise are merely unique solutions for progress, prosperity and development of an individual, society, nation, and finally – the human race.
In line with that, as the first man of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s executive authority, I am particularly pleased to present here the potentials of my state and all that which makes it worth visiting our part of the Balkans. As a transition country, we are trying to learn from the best, to keep a dialogue open towards all and to appreciate all. We are in search for allies and partners both in East and in West, as in North and in South, because a missing cooperation renders a state in this globalised world an isolated island. Bosnia and Herzegovina is a potential candidate for membership in the European Union. It is a basic guideline, for me personally, as for the Council of Ministers and all other instances of the executive and legislative authorities. This is a zero priority of ours, and in years to come we will require knowledge, commitment and diligent work in order to achieve this goal.
With the major trade and political partners that we have in the EU countries, we also build and foster our relationship with other allies and partners, like the United States of America, Russia, PR China and Turkey. Turkey and Bosnia and Herzegovina have centuries old connection through peoples, customs, culture, language, economy, and many other linking features, and I hold Turkey among the major allies, and I am free to say, also major friends of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The basic advantage to potential investors to BIH is that BIH is a CEFTA member, which secures the customs free export to over 21 million strong market. It should be also noted that Convertible Mark (local BH currency) is tagged to EUR, which ensures its additional stability, and that 95% of BH products are released from all charges for import to the EU.
The potentials of business and economic cooperation do exist in the sectors like infrastructure. Namely, the major project currently in the process of implementation in BIH is the Corridor V c Road and Railway Transport, worth total EUR 4 billion, and it is the axis of development and high quality connection of country’s North and South, i.e. flow of goods and people from Hungary and Croatia and from Bosnia and Herzegovina towards the Ploče Port. Besides this extremely vital project, there is another major undertaking, and that is the construction of Adriatic-Ionian motorway in country’s South, as a link of a road corridor running from Italy to Greece. Along with this project, there is a series of other projects, relevant to the communication sector, such as construction of a number of local and connecting roads, improvement of airports, and rehabilitation of the River Sava fairway.
Another area of business and economic cooperation is the energy sector. The potentials of Bosnia and Herzegovina are reflected mostly in investment opportunities in coal and lignite mines. Other than this, a free water potential is over 4,000 MW. Also, there are significant potentials of wind energy and sun energy, and potentials of biomass power generation from over 1.5 million m3 of forest residues and residues in wood industry. Prospective investments would include oil and natural gas fields at a number of sites, with preliminary analyses estimating it about 50 million tonnes of oil.
In addition to the above, I will mention valuable potentials in textile, wood, agricultural and tourism sectors.
As you may be aware, due to the tragic war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, 20 years ago, many capacities are unused, technologically inadequate and neglected. These “dormant” capacities is rightly what I intend to point at as our major asset, which, with hard working people, Bosnia and Herzegovina has to offer.
Since no new value is achievable without work, and no prosperity is achievable without new value, thus no peace and harmony is achievable without prosperity.
I would like to close my address today by citing once again great man of mankind Mustafa Kemal Atatürk that: “Peace in home means peace in the world”. And it is right from the bottom of my heart that I wish to you everything that is good and prosperous, so that we all together might enjoy well-being and peace.
This is the speech made by Vjekoslav Bevanda at the 17 Eurosian Economic Summit in Istanbul.