Wednesday, January 23, 2008


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (January 23,2008) – A member of the Bosnian Presidency Dr Haris Silajdzic met in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo with Fuad Ali Al Maynaee, the International Department for Humanitarian Affairs Director of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC).They discussed the support given to sustainable return and finding ways to ensure the conditions for the return of 40.000 families or 163.000 refugees in Bosnia to return to their pre-war homes.

Dr Silajdzic thanked the OIC for support given so far and suggested to start a new way when it comes to return process in Bosnia and that,instead of humanitarian aid, help should be given in the form of investment projects related directly to aiding the sustainable return.

During the meeting Dr Silajdzic suggested placing the issue of sustainable return in Bosnia on the agenda of the 11th Summit of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, which will be held in mid March this year in Senegal and in which he shall participate.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (January 23,2008) – “Signing of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) with the EU and approach to the WTO and the present CEFTA membership are the three basic conditions that will enable Bosnia to become compatible at the world market. The present trade deficit will be decreased solely through promotion of business sector”, Ambassador of the EC Delegation to Bosnia Dimitris Kourkoulas stated at a conference “Bosnian Foreign Trade Policy – Development Initiation” held in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo.

The conference was organized by the EU project for Development of Trade Policy and capacity (EUTPP) in cooperation with Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations.

Kourkoulas stated yesterday that the document presented, entitled “Report on Needs Estimate in Trade-Related Sectors”, which analyzes the situation in Bosnia's foreign trade sector, was developed for the purpose of helping the Bosnian Foreign Trade Ministry to develop a necessary development strategy.

On the basis of recommendations from the Report, the EUTPP will support the Bosnian state institutions, especially the Bosnian Foreign Trade Ministry, in the process of creating and implementing foreign trade policy and harmonization of legislature in accordance with the WTO rules and acquis communautaire. The project is 1,45 million Euros worth and will last for one month.

Accoding to yesterday’s estimates, it is necessary to implement certain reforms in the sector of foreign trade policy for the purpose of enabling the Bosnian entrepreneurs to fully make use of the agreements that are yet to be signed with the WTO and with other institutions, as well as for the purpose of increasing the export activities to the CEFTA member countries’ markets and the EU.

Slobodan Puhalac, the Bosnian Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Policy, emphasize that it is too early to expect CEFTA membership effects, but added that some Bosnian companies have been using the agreement benefits rather well.

”The situation is difficult and we need to move on. If EU opens up for us, I hope all our disagreements will be forgotten and we will be able to move ahead”, Puhalac stated.

Representatives of the Bosnian state institutions in charge of creating and implementing the Bosnian foreign trade policy, as well as representatives of international organizations and other organizations’ representatives participated at the conference.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (January 23,2008) – Norway donated 200.000 Euros for the support of the team No. 6, designated for the Special War Crimes Unit which deals with investigations and processing of cases in the area of the eastern Bosnian town of Srebrenica.

At the signing ceremony in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo, the Norwegian Ambassador to Bosnia Jan Braath stated that this donation is forwarded through the Registrars Office and it provides additional help for the Bosnian State Prosecutor’s Office for the crime processing in the Srebrenica area.

”More that 12 years after the war, we are unfortunately in the situation that those who committed war crimes still walk freely through the streets of Srebrenica and other cities in Bosnia. This is not acceptable and it is high time that something is done not only regarding the investigation of these crimes but also on their processing”, stated Ambassador Braath, adding that he personally believes this is important for the genocide victims from Srebrenica, as well as those who are charged of war crimes.

Registrar for special departments of the Bosnian State Prosecutor Dubravka Piotrovski stated that war crimes investigation which occurred in Srebrenica and prosecution of those responsible are the priority for the Bosnian State Prosecutor's Office.

She mentioned that recently the Office of the International Community's High Representative in Bosnia (OHR), on this occasion sent a letter of request for help to international community and that the Norwegian government was among first which answered to this appeal.

The Bosnian State Prosecutor Marinko Jurcevic pointed out that this donation as well as previous one by the Swiss Government shall help in building the capacities for the investigation in Srebrenica. It is expected that this will help to open a prosecutor field office in Srebrenica.

Team No. 6 of the Special War Crimes Unit investigates crimes which occurred in the region of Srebrenica from the beginning till the end of the 1992-1995 Serbian aggression against Bosnia. It is consisted of 8 to 10 professionals working on crime investigation. Donation from the Norwegian Government shall be used to expand the team with expert advisors and investigators.


TOKYO, Japan (January 23,2008) — Former Japan's national football team coach Ivica Osim may attend the friendly against his home country, Bosnia, next week in his first public appearance since suffering a stroke in November, Japan's football chief said yesterday.

"It will be great if he shows up in good condition and waves to everyone," Japan Football Association president Saburo Kawabuchi said.

"He himself says he wants to come. He is positive.I will formally invite him when I talk with him ," Kawabuchi said.

The match between Bosnia and Japan is scheduled for January 30 at Tokyo's National Stadium with Osim's replacement, Takeshi Okada, coaching Japan's national team.

The 66-year-old Osim collapsed at his home outside Tokyo on the early morning of November 16 after watching an English Premier League match, according to the football association. He came out of a coma two weeks later.

Osim has been undergoing rehabilitation at a medical centre in Tokyo since leaving intensive care.Osim has already started walking exercises and watching football matches on television, Kawabuchi said earlier.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (January 23,2008) – Business plan for the area of the Igman and Bjelasnica ski centers on the basis of which these two Bosnian mountains are to become the leading winter tourist and recreation centres in the Southeastern Europe in the period from four to ten years, was presented in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo.

The plan was developed by ORGALIS /BCEOM Consultancy from France and investors for this 1 million Bosnian Marks-worth project are the Sarajevo Canton Ministry of Economy, Trnovo, Hadzici and Ilidza municipalities, the ZOI ’84 Company from Sarajevo, Sarajevo Regional and Development Agency (SERDA) and Sarajevo Canton Tourist Community.

It has been stated at a press conference which followed immediately after the presentation that in order for those plans to be fulfilled, that is, in order for all the activities to be implemented, investments of 207 million Euros have been planned. The money is to be invested by the year of 2025. The biggest investment period is planned for the years from 2010 to 2014. About 135 million Euros should be invested then.

Investments are related to the Babin do, Malo Polje and Veliko Polje area. New hotels should be built and equipment purchased for recreation centres. Also, a parking lot is to be constructed together with business, healthcare and food centre. The existing ski areas are to be expanded; new ski lifts will be built.

In the first phase, as stated by the Sarajevo Canton Minister of Economy Abid Saric, offers of potential donors are collected. Precise date of beginning of construction works is not yet known. It is also expected that the incomes from tourist offer in Igman and Bjelasnica will mount to 7,5 million Euros by 2014.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (January 23,2008) – The Bosnian and Greek Defence Ministers Selmo Cikotic and Evangelos Vassilios Meimarakis signed yesterday in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo Agreement on Cooperation in Defence Sector between Bosnia and Greece.

The Bosnian Defence Minister Selmo Cikotic stated after the signing ceremony that this is an important event which will bring about quality cooperation between the two ministries which have already made and signed plans on military cooperation.

Cikotic stated that the Greek military forces have helped Bosnia in several ways, especially in the defence reform and other safety and political issues, including help to Bosnia’s Euro – Atlantic integrations.

Many Bosnian army officers have been trained in Greece. Their number has been increasing year after year. Greece is also helping Bosnia’s at the redundant military personnel provision fund.

Military cooperation plan for 2008 foresees nine activities in Greece and five in Bosnia. Minister Cikotic stated after yesterday’s meeting that the number of activities will slightly improve.

”We have reasons to believe that the existing cooperation will intensify”, the Bosnian Defence Minister stated.

Cikotic especially emphasized the importance of Greek support in various sectors of regional cooperation, which was most evident in realization of Bosnia’s fulltime membership at the SE Europe’s Defence Ministers’ Forum, as well as in fulfilment of program of obligatory activities Bosnia needs to realize as a NATO PFP member for the purpose of fulfilling conditions for NATO membership.

”This will solve many open issues and create conditions for progress which will make Bosnia become a credible partner”, Cikotic said.

The Greek Defence Minister Meimarakis stated that agreement which was signed yesterday is a base for cooperation between the two ministries in many aspects.

He hopes that Bosnia will soon fulfil all the conditions necessary and become a fulltime NATO member.

Meimarakis also stated that he talked with Minister Cikotic about security situation in the Southeastern Europe and added that the two countries share the same vision of security and cooperation in the region.

The two ministers also talked about Kosovo; Meimarakis emphasized that Greece is directly interested in seeing a blalnced solution to the Kosovo issue, which would strengthen peace and security in the region and which would be acceptable for all.

Answering the question if that means his country is willing to support the Kosovo independence if other NATO and EU member countries do that, Meimarakis stated that his country believes that the solution to the issue should be a result of negotiations, not forceful solutions.

The Greek Defence Minister Meimarakis invited the Bosnian Defence Minister Cikotic to visit Greece.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (January 23,2008) - The FBIH Entity’s trade minister Desnica Radivojevic announced that further prices increases are expected in Bosnia, especially in the food sector. Last week, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) asserted in their macroeconomic analysis for January how the growing prices of food could have a negative effect on Bosnia’s economic growth and the employment perspective.

As the amount of money required to cover food expenses increases, so the amount remaining for other goods and services decreases, they warn, and this eventually leads to reduced spending. This is especially a likely scenario for Bosnia, where spending is the main moving power. Another adverse effect is the reduced ability to pay loans.

If salaries started growing faster than productivity, negative impact will be felt on Bosnia’s competitiveness on the international market, the IMF said. Minister Radivojevic warned that further price rises could follow because of costlier energy. The Bosnian government will need to consider taking certain measures, he said.

The Bosnian Consumer Ombudsman Dragan Doko stated that the constant price increases over the past few months are reason enough for the Bosnian citizens to fear for their future living standard.

Doko thinks it is time to raise the issue of developing a national strategy for the protection of citizen’s economic interest.

He reminded that the December prices in Bosnia were by 4.9 per cent higher than the year before that, on average, with highest increases recorded in the food and non-alcoholic beverages group (10 per cent).

According to the Office of the Ombudsman, the way to protect the economic interest of the Biosnian citizens is by establishing a unified economic environment, encouraging competition preventing monopolies, and by a number of targeted measures (mark-up caps, buffer stock interventions, market control, etc.).