THURSDAY, 12 JANUARY, 2017 KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia External Trade Corporation (MATRADE) organised a TradeTalk@MATRADE titled Exploring Business Opportunities in Bosnia and Herzegovina today, to create a better awareness on export opportunities for Malaysian companies to the country on the Balkan Peninsula. The event was organised with the Embassy of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The highlight of the session was a presentation by His Excellency Emir Hadzikadunic, the Ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Malaysia and as well as a knowledge sharing session by Selia Group.
According to Dato' Dzulkifli Mahmud, Chief Executive Officer of MATRADE, the talk provides avenue for Malaysian companies particularly Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to keep abreast with the latest updates on the Bosnian market. "Apart from increasing the awareness on export opportunities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the session also helped the participants to understand the challenges to export to Bosnia and could better prepare themselves in penetrating the market," he said. Additionally, the talk also emphasised the strategies for Malaysian companies to penetrate the Bosnian market.
With a population of 3.8 million people, Bosnia and Herzegovina has a strategic geographical location in the Balkan region and can be considered a gateway into the other Balkan countries and Europe too. Bosnia has recovered significantly since the war in the early 1990s and its government has implemented various initiatives to rebuild the nation. The country is planning to submit its EU membership application this year to further integrate itself in the global business.
"Malaysian companies are encouraged to leverage on the strong relationship Malaysia has fostered with Bosnia and use the country as a gateway to other markets such as Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia and Hungary," Dato' Dzulkifli mentioned. He added, "There are various areas of collaboration for Malaysian and Bosnian companies to venture into namely in food products (especially halal food), rubber products, electrical and electronic products, hospitality as well as tourism".
In 2015, Malaysia's total trade with Bosnia and Herzegovina amounted to RM14.9 million. Malaysia's exports to Bosnia and Herzegovina were valued at RM2.1 million in the same year while imports totalled at RM12.8 million. For the period of January to November 2016, trade with Bosnia and Herzegovina was valued at RM2.4 million and exports were valued at RM1.5 million and imports at RM1 million.
Among the main exports to Bosnia and Herzegovina are electrical and electronic products, processed food, rubber products and optical & scientific equipment. Major imports from Bosnia and Herzegovina include chemicals & chemical products, wood products, textiles, apparels & footwear, and electrical & electronic products.