SARAJEVO, April 8 (FENA) – President of the Foreign Trade Chamber of Bosnia and Herzegovina Ahmet Egrlić, commenting on the latest forecasts of the World Bank, said that a slight recovery of the BiH economy can be expected this year, as well as continued GDP growth.
In its latest report, the World Bank predicted that Bosnia and Herzegovina’s economy would grow by 2.8 percent in 2021, after falling four percent the previous year due to the crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The growth forecast is realistic given that estimates for the Eurozone and a stronger recovery after immunization of the population are optimistic, and thus our country, which is export-oriented and dependent on foreign markets, will experience a slight recovery. The rate of 2.8 percent is not high and it is far from what we need to return at least to the situation before the pandemic,” said Egrlić for FENA.
According to the latest forecasts of the European Commission, as he added, the largest growth of economic activity in 2021 is expected for Spain, France and Croatia. GDP growth is projected for the EU at a rate of 3.7 percent in 2021 and 3.9 percent in 2022, and for the Eurozone at a rate of 3.8 percent in both years.
“Observing these reports, we can conclude that BiH can expect continued GDP growth. Such a forecast does not mean that we are coming out of the crisis caused by the pandemic because we have service sectors that are on the verge of collapse, but as a gradual recovery brought by export-oriented companies and higher public spending,” added Egrlić.
Forecasts for achieving economic growth of 2.8 percent are not conditioned by any structural reforms, given that, as Egrlić said, our companies often carry the burden and fight for survival, as evidenced by their performance during the last global economic crisis. However, he emphasized, it is true that economic reforms in terms of business facilitation, digitalization, restructuring of public companies and others would speed up the recovery process itself, and justify positive predictions.
Official statistics on the growth of BiH exports in the first two months of this year indicate that the first signs of recovery of the BiH economy are visible, Egrlić told FENA.