BBI VIP Business Club in Banja Luka: New Projects and Investments Will Improve Economy in This Region

Bosna Bank International Ltd. Sarajevo and BBI VIP Business Club organized the round table on "How to Increase the Competitiveness of the Banja Luka Region - Internationalization of Business, Development Opportunities, Finding Investors and Opening New Markets" today in Banja Luka together with the Regional Chamber of Commerce of the Banja Luka Region, the Union of Employers' Associations of Republika Srpska, the City Development Agency of Banja Luka and the Foreign Investors Council.  

The round table was attended by about 60 leading businessmen from this region.

"I would like to thank all the present businessmen and representatives of chambers, associations and agencies. It is a great pleasure for us to have the opportunity to hear the opinions of businessmen from the region of Banja Luka, and we, as the bank, are at their disposal in terms of becoming a part of the development of their companies," said Edina Hasečić, Head of Corporate Business Department.

This round table is yet another one in the series of events organized by BBI VIP Business Club and BBI Bank with the aim of strengthening entire BiH economy and the competitiveness of Bosnian products on foreign markets.

Goran Račić, President of the Regional Chamber of Commerce Banja Luka, presented an overview of the economy of the Banja Luka region together with the new planned projects and their impact on the economy as a whole. Export advantages and potential of the Banja Luka region from the perspective of employers were presented by Dejan Mijić, Vice President of the Union of Employers' Associations of Republika Srpska.

"What we insist on is improving business environment through amendments to the law and improving the business conditions for both the local and international companies," said Sanja Miovčić, Executive Director of the Foreign Investors Council.

Mario Milanović prepared an interesting presentation about development projects of the Banja Luka region on behalf of of the City Development Agency of Banja Luka.

Emil Kučković, Executive Director of the LRC, presented a detailed analysis of economic trends in the Banja Luka region.

"Almost a third of employees in the RS work in Banja Luka. The LRC’s analysis showed that 46,739 persons worked in Banja Luka in 2016, out of 158,070 persons who are employed in the RS," Kučković said.

Data available to the LRC also show that an increasing number of companies in this area are achieving business excellence. In 2014, 295 companies from Banja Luka had a credit rating of 5, while this number increased to 398 in 2016. The leader in the revenues segment in this region is Optima Grupa, with 621.5 million KM earned in 2016, while the record holder in operating profit segment is Mtel, with 81.4 million KM. The revenues of Banja Luka-based companies went up in 2016 (6.13 billion KM) compared to 2015 (5.98 billion KM). Export growth was also recorded, jumping from 498 million KM in 2015 to 515 million KM in 2016.

Today, Bojana Bojat from Žitopeka and Žitoprodukt Group presented her success story. "We are satisfied with the cooperation with BBI Bank. Last year, Žitopeka and Žitoprodukt Group exported over twenty thousand tons to Turkey which was worth more than 5 million euros."

As part of today's round table, the participants were introduced to a new online platform as part of Sarajevo Business Forum which is used for the promotion of companies and business projects as well as for scheduling of business (B2B) meetings. The platform is available through www.sarajevobusinessforum.com website.