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No Alternative To Regional Cooperation

Nermin Nikšić, Prime Minister Of The Federation Of Bosnia And Herzegovina

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Let’s put our differences aside and work together to recover, raise economic parameters and utilise our comparative advantages – Nermin Nikšić

The legacy of the 1990s, but also global political and economic challenges, have an impact on opportunities in the region. The countries of the region have a common objective of achieving economic progress and raising citizens’ living standards, says Nermin Nikšić, Prime Minister of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, speaking in this interview for CorD’s Connecting the Region.

What do you consider as being the biggest current challenge in the region?

― Our region is unfortunately still trapped in the 1990s, which only complicates the political situation and places a strain on mutual relations. This is naturally also reflected in all other aspects of life and cooperation between nations. I would say that these are our constant challenges. When we add to this the current combination of several external factors (such as the war in Ukraine, the energy crisis, supply chain disruptions, the huge financial packages provided during the pandemic), these challenges only become even more pronounced, as they have led to massive inflationary pressure that has had huge consequences for our economies, like everywhere else around the world.

It is a fact that we must invest additional time and effort in raising and improving the living standards of citizens across the region as a whole. That is our common interest

The leading financial institutions implemented restrictive measures that were intended to reduce inflation. The consequences of those measures, but also some additional factors, have also been reflected in losses and contractions for some of the world’s leading economies. For example, Germany, our biggest export partner, is already in recession.

And this has had a direct impact on reducing demand for our products. I therefore consider that we should put our differences aside and work together to recover, raise economic parameters and utilise our comparative advantages.

How would you evaluate the current level of cooperation and how can it be improved?

― When it comes to regional cooperation, there is no alternative. That’s why I believe that we must raise it to the highest possible level. It is a fact that we must invest additional time and effort in raising and improving the living standards of citizens across the region as a whole. That is our common interest. I believe that each country of the region possesses the necessary tools and resources to achieve that goal. All we need is the will.

When it comes to regional cooperation, there is no alternative. That’s why I believe that we must raise it to the highest possible level

At the end of the day, the citizens of all countries of the region are facing the same economic difficulties and existential problems. That should provide an incentive for additional and improved economic and political cooperation. We would thereby take a positive stride, while – from the perspective of Bosnia and Herzegovina – that would also provide an additional tailwind on our voyage towards the EU.

The goal

I believe that each country of the region possesses the necessary tools and resources to achieve the goal. All we need is the will. At the end of the day, the citizens of all countries of the region are facing the same economic difficulties and existential problems. That should provide an incentive for additional and improved economic and political cooperation. We would thereby take a positive stride, while – from the perspective of Bosnia and Herzegovina – that would also provide an additional tailwind on our voyage towards the EU.

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