Košarac – Naessl: Support of EBRD for the tourism sector and SMEs

Košarac – Naessl: Support of EBRD for the tourism sector and SMEs

SARAJEVO, April 30 (FENA) – Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Staša Košarac, spoke today with Director of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in BiH, Manuela Naessl on remedying the effects of coronavirus pandemic on the BiH economy.

The focus of today’s video conference was on EBRD’s support for the tourism sector and entrepreneurship, digitization and assistance to SMEs.

Minister Košarac said that in order to go into the recovery of the economy, he plans to make significant efforts to promote buying of domestic products and would support initiatives in this direction.

He requested that the EBRD provide additional support instruments for SMEs in BiH dealing with trade, agriculture, and especially food production, in order for the companies to digitize as quickly as possible, and become more productive through online platforms.

Minister Košarac supported the EBRD’s cooperation with the entity governments.

The interlocutors also exchanged views on tourism infrastructure. Minister Košarac learned that the EBRD, together with the EU, is preparing additional funds that, in cooperation with commercial banks in BiH, make it available to both the private and public sectors, to improve tourism infrastructure and remedy the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Minister Košarac stressed that the EBRD should consider the possibility to introduce an additional component within its infrastructure projects planned in BiH in such a way that the leading tourism potentials are clearly mapped on the main routes through BiH so that local guests and foreign tourists can at any moment learn of everything that BiH has to offer.

Minister Košarac emphasized that he and the relevant entity ministers discussed the possibility to help as many guests as possible to realize overnight stays in domestic tourist destinations through a voucher program.

Košarac expressed readiness to organize a video conference in the coming period, attended by delegations of the EBRD, UNDP, USAID and other international financial institutions, competent entity ministers and representatives of tourism organizations in BiH to take certain measures and steps in order to help tourism sector, stated the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations of Bi.