Greek aluminium exports dominate Bosnia-Herzegovina market

Greece was the 18th most significant trade partner of Bosnia-Herzegovina in 2015, with Greek products and services accounting for 1.1 pct of total imports in the country, while trade transactions between the two countries steadily record a positive balance since 2004, with a significant increase in the last few years, the Greek embassy’s economic and trade affairs bureau in Sarajevo said in a report.

Greece’s main export product to Bosnia-Herzegovina, for one more year, was aluminium and aluminium products. Greece is the top exporter of aluminium to Bosnia-Herzegovina in the last four years, with the value of exports of aluminium products totaled 50.9 million euros in 2015, accounting for 56.78 pct of total exports to the country.

The report said that although trade transactions between the two countries were steadily rising, only a handful of Greek enterprises have established a permanent presence in the country. Imports from Bosnia-Herzegovina totaled 5.1 million euros in the January-November period in 2016, while exports totaled 85.4 million euros, leaving a trade surplus of 80.3 million euros to Greece.

The report said there were room to further expand trade relations in the sectors of aluminium, building materials, clothing, footwear, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, food/beverage, construction, energy, tourism and consultancy services. There were also prospects for joint ventures in the sectors of wood processing, paper, raw material processing, leather/footwear, livestock, dairy products and farm processing.

The Greek embassy said that exports of Greek cotton have risen spectacularly in the last three years as the clothing/leather/footwear industry in Bosnia-Herzegovina suffered from a lack in raw materials. The value of cotton exports totaled 2.1 million euros in 2015, from 2.9 million in 2014 and 282,365 euros in 2013. Cotton exports totaled 1.2 million euros in the January-November period in 2016.

Greek investments to Bosnia-Herzegovina are limited, with around 15 Greek enterprises having established activities in the country, led by Coca Cola HBC, Alumil and “Kolligas” a Greek wood processing company. Greek investments to the country totaled around 2.2 million euros in the period May 1994-June 2010, and only 8,134 eurs in the period January 2009-September 2014.

Greek consultancy companies such as Planet, NAMPA and Exergia began operations in the country in 2014, while ICAP Group opened a branch in the country’s capital in the same year.

In 2016, Intracom Telecom expressed interest to expand its business activities in the telecommunications and IT market of Bosnia-Herzegovina.