EAST ASIA AND SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE: CURRENT OPPORTUNITIES AND FUTURE POTENTIAL 

Moderated by Dr Matej Živković, Commissioner, Securities Commission of Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Ambassador Franc But, Head of Department for Bilateral Economic Cooperation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Slovenia

"Sarajevo Business Forum is the leading forum in Europe in terms of connecting the East and the Southeast Europe. Former Yugoslavia was an important economic player, but today, 22 years later, the question is whether the states have been in the same position as the one they had had. The answer to that is mostly negative. Slovenia is small but export-oriented country. Are all of the countries of the East Asia interested in this region? It is obvious that China has been active and ambitious lately. New Silk Road project brings China even closer, and businessmen from the East Asia and the EU can find solutions. "

YB Dato' Dr. Noraini Ahmad, Chairman, MATRADE & Parliament Member, Malaysia

"Relations between Malaysia and Bosnia and Herzegovina have existed for a long time. We started with education and I remember many students who came to our country. We are a trading nation. The largest trading nation in the region. I wish to emphasize the potential of the halal industry, as it is growing and now amounts to 2.3 trillion dollars a year. Worth of the market amounts to 5.5 trillion dollars. We recognized a unique opportunity for the Southeast Europe in the field of pharmacy and Islamic finances. Countries like Brazil and Australia adopt halal industry because of the Middle Eastern market. It is not only about halal certification, but it also fosters economic development and progress. Our cooperation can have a strategic role in this and I am glad that BiH shows interest. "

Muhammad Mahmud Azhar Lubis, Deputy Chairman of Investments, Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board,  Republic of Indonesia

"Bosnia and Herzegovina is a small country, but when you look at the region and the economy, it can be a partner of the ASEAN. The SBF can initiate defining the Southeast Europe as a common market. Distance is not a problem as this is the time of information technologies. We also consider the concept of the regional economy together with India and Australia. We hope that BiH will become the center of the region and access to capital. We encourage people to come here, as well as to our region. "

Dato Seri MD Zabid Abdul Rashid, President, UNIRAZAK University, Malaysia

"We are witnessing the changes in the global economic horizon. It is changing very rapidly, people are losing their jobs because of automation and the young are changing their lifestyle. China’s influence and its plans such as restoration of the Silk Road will also have an impact on this region, including Bosnia and Herzegovina, but some other countries will benefit more. There is potential for development of cooperation between the ASEAN countries and the Southeast Europe. With tourism and medical tourism, BiH can play an important role in offering specialized business services that cannot be found in other parts of the world. Universities have to connect with business people. Spend one year studying in Sarajevo, spend the next one in Montenegro, followed by Kuala Lumpur or Jakarta. "

Dr. Anwar Nasution, Chairman, Board of Bank Muamalat, Republic of Indonesia

"This is a very important conference. This region is too small a market, but it can be good as the entry to the European market. You can learn from the ASEAN on how to go through the transition and use global trade links. Without that, there is no cooperation with Southeast Asia. Region as a whole can be interesting for us, but without it one can hardly justify economic cooperation. We use Dubai to connect with Africa and the former Soviet republics. "


Mr. W.S. Habib, Director General of United Economic Forum, Chamber of Commerce, India

"We are ready to participate in the establishment and the development of this market and cooperate with local investors in the field of real estate. India has the second largest Muslim population in the world. Many investors from the Middle East are here, and our economy is growing rapidly so the opportunity exists. We have very ambitious plans, as 20 million homes will be built as part of the government's “Housing for All” scheme".

Mr. Asif Mahmood, Chairman and CEO, AM 99 Group of Companies, Islamic Republic of Pakistan

"We want to establish strong ties with BiH. Although you have a small population, there is great potential in terms of tourism and other fields. The world is a global village for business. In fact, the motto should be one world, one economy. I came with an offer to establish economic ties, we have land in Pakistan for construction of the Bosnian villa in Pakistan and in our port of Gwadar we will provide free land for the construction of Bosnian shopping center."