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Western Balkans Touted as Future Market at Jahorina Economic Forum

The seventh Jahorina Economic Forum, held on the scenic Jahorina mountain in Bosnia and Herzegovina, has convened over 600 participants to discuss the Western Balkans' potential as a key future market

The seventh Jahorina Economic Forum opened with fanfare on the scenic Jahorina mountain in Bosnia and Herzegovina, gathering over 600 participants including experts, officials, and distinguished guests. The forum, spearheaded by Milorad Dodik, the president of Republika Srpska, centers on the long-term developmental trajectories of the Western Balkans.

Dodik underscored the region’s economic resilience and noted a significant salary growth exceeding seven percent in Republika Srpska. He also highlighted the geopolitical challenges impacting local economies, advocating for regional cooperation initiatives like the “Open Balkan” to foster integration and address political complexities.

The forum, which has become one of the most significant regional events according to its president, Goran Račić, discusses the integration of a market of 18 million people and the strategic utilization of EU funds designated for growth plans. Despite numerous agreements with the EU, Račić pointed out that great powers still exert substantial influence on the ground.

Highlighting economic successes, Dodik mentioned the notable increase in Republika Srpska’s gross domestic product from 16 billion KM last year to an expected 19 billion KM. He stressed the importance of increasing the minimum wage to stimulate demand and support domestic product growth.

Staša Košarac, Minister of Economic Relations and Foreign Trade of Bosnia and Herzegovina, expressed pride in the forum as a brand of Republika Srpska, showcasing it as a hub for foreign investments and regional economic discourse.

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