Bosnian c-bank governor sees economic growth quickening in 2013.

By bne IntelliNews March 18, 2013
Bosnias small and open economy saw a meagre growth of 0.6% in 2012, similar to the countries in the region, mainly as a result of the EU slowdown, Bosnian central bank governor Kemal Kozaric said at the end of last week. He sees a gradual acceleration of the economic recovery this year, adding a bigger growth cannot be expected before 2014, the central bank quoted him as saying in a statement. He was speaking at an EBRD session in Nicosia, organised by the Cyprus authorities. Kozaric said Bosnia should continue focusing on structural reforms if it wants to create a better investment environment and stimulate job creation as the countrys unemployment rate of 28% remains one of the highest in the region. It should be noted, however, that Kozarics estimate of a milder GDP growth last year is in contrast with the preliminary forecasts of the governments Directorate for Economic Planning, which saw the GDP rather contracting 0.5% in 2012. The c-bank statement also said that since the Nicosia meeting focused on energy production and the role of the EBRD in such projects, Kozaric underlined that Bosnia has not yet developed the full potential of its hydropower and at present exploits only 37% of it. A delegation of the EBRD board of directors arrived on a mission to Bosnia on Sunday, March 17, the EBRD said in statement, adding the directors will meet officials from the state-level and the entities authorities, international officials, civil society representatives, investors and entrepreneurs. They will visit EBRD-financed projects as well. The visit takes place shortly before the EBRD drafts its new 2013-2015 strategy for Bosnia. The Bank has so far invested close to EUR 1.5bn in 100 projects in the country focused on infrastructure development, SMEs and strengthening the financial sector. The central bank said the EBRD invested EUR 125mn in Bosnia in 2012 alone.

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