UNDP supports networking in the automotive industry between companies from BiH and Czech RepublicNov 14, 2017
Development of the private sector and promotion of business cooperation through transfer of knowledge and expertise from the Czech Republic to BiH is a project implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) in cooperation with the Foreign Trade Chamber (FTC) of BiH. The overall goal of the project, funded by the UNDP - Czech Trust Fund, is to establish long-term business cooperation in the automotive industry between companies from BiH and the Czech Republic, based on the analysis of the export potential of BiH companies to the Czech market, as well as by transferring knowledge and facilitating B2B meetings between selected companies from the two countries. To that end, on 7. and 8. November 2017, two consultation meetings were held in Sarajevo and Doboj, attended by representatives of 10 local companies, UNDP, FTC, Chamber of Economy of the Federation of BiH and Czech Invent, an expert agency hired by UNDP.
This project is one of several implemented by the UNDP, with the goal to promote cooperation between BiH and the Czech Republic.
“Bosnia and Herzegovina has been one of the priority countries for Czech development cooperation for a long period of time”, said Ms. Jana Zelingerová, Head of the Department for Development Cooperation, Embassy of the Czech Republic in Sarajevo, and further elaborated the cooperation between the two countries, which is settled in Bilateral Development Cooperation Programme (2010-2017 and a new, updated one starting from next year 2018-2023). As the Czech Republic is a staunch advocate of BiH´s integration into the EU as a way to ensure stability, democratic rule of law and prosperity, it intends, primarily, to accelerate this process by promoting sustainable economic growth, sustainable management of natural resources, good democratic governance, and agricultural and rural development. It also addresses crosscutting issues such as gender equality, climate change elimination and poverty reduction. Apart from larger infrastructure projects implemented by the Czech Development Agency, a great variety of development tools and instruments is used and steered by the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Sarajevo, for instance local small-scale projects, Aid for Trade, B2B projects, expert assignments, demining activities on the ground and under the water, university scholarships, and others in the total amount of 3,2 million euro a year.
“Although the Czech automotive industry is 80% reliant on domestic suppliers, the remaining 20% of goods and services, which are imported, still provide a good opportunity for companies from BiH. Even though BiH manufacturers can offer sophisticated services and products, this is not recognized on the Czech market and BiH is often viewed as a country that can foremost offer cheap labor. Planned action is required in order to change this perception, but also to utilize the fact that the Czech manufacturers, due to operating at maximum capacity, have need of foreign companies”, said Mr. Nedim Ćatović, Rural and Regional Sector Associate, UNDP BiH.
The automotive industry is one of the key driving forces of economic development in the Czech Republic and it is expected that this project will facilitate the transfer of knowledge and positive experience to companies in BiH.