Bosnia hopes to have FTA with Malaysia in three years

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  • Thursday, 12 Jan 2017

Workers work in sausages production section in Akova Impex Meat Industry Ovako, which makes halal quality certified products, in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, December 2, 2016. Picture taken December 2, 2016. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

KUALA LUMPUR: Bosnia and Herzegovina, a country on the Balkan peninsula in southern Europe, is optimistic that a free trade agreement (FTA) with Malaysia will materialise in the next three years.

Its Ambassador to Malaysia, Emir Hadzikadunic, said the potential FTA had been on the cards for a while now and hoped discussions on the matter could be expedited.

“There has been no concrete discussion as yet on the FTA and we hope to start negotiations and establish this arrangement soon.

“We are not satisfied with the existing economic relations between both countries as there is a lot more potential for economic collaboration. 

“Our business ties can be improved and we are working on this,” he told reporters during a half-day seminar, organised by the Embassy of Bosnia and Herzegovina on exploring opportunities in that country.

Present was Malaysia External Trade Development Corp chief executive officer Datuk Dzulkifli Mahmud. 

Hadzikadunic said there were several bilateral agreements between both the countries. including agreements on protecting foreign investors and double taxation.

Meanwhile, Dzulkifli said bilateral trade between Malaysia and Bosnia and Herzegovina was likely to grow between 5% and 10% in 2017.

Malaysia’s total trade with Bosnia and Herzegovina amounted to RM14.9mil in 2015 with electrical and electronics products, processed food, rubber products and also optical and scientific equipment making up the list of goods exported. 

Imports included chemicals and chemical products, wood products, textiles, apparels and footwear as well as electronic products.

Dzulkifli urged Malaysian companies to leverage on the strong relationship between both countries and use Bosnia and Herzegovina as a gateway to other European markets including Croatia and Hungary. 

Currently, there are less than 10 Malaysian companies operating in Bosnia and Herzegovina’s real estate and natural resources sectors. - Bernama
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