Representative offices of the Republika Srpska (RS) in the world are doing their job well, and we are expecting them to attract new investors in the coming period, says Zlatan Klokić, the Minister of European Integration and International Cooperation of the Republika Srpska.
According to him, one of the impending goals is a particular mapping of human resources across the diaspora, i.e. of all those who can be helpful for the Republika Srpska, because it is a potential that is underexploited.
This Government has been working for a hundred days. What was done during that period and what has been done in your Ministry?
The most important activity of the Ministry during the first 100 days of the Government was answering the 655 follow-up questions from the Questionnaire of the European Commission. It should be noted that the Republika Srpska was the first in BiH to verify the answers. The Prime Minister and I gathered all heads of the representative offices in one place. The results achieved thus far were presented, as well as guidelines and tasks for the future. We are satisfied with the institutional representation of the RS in the world, but we are expecting the heads of the representative offices to attract new investors in time ahead. During the first hundred days of work we also established a division for cooperation with the diaspora and we are expecting a lot from it.
What are the tasks of the newly established division, what is it going to do?
The establishment of this division will strengthen the link between the RS institutions and diaspora representatives in the world, but specific results of the newly established division will become evident in the coming months. Adoption of a strategy for cooperation with the diaspora has been planned, to define the objectives of the implementation of that cooperation, including adoption of an action plan. Specifically, one of the goals will be a particular mapping of human resources across the diaspora, i.e. of all those who can be helpful for the Republika Srpska. The diaspora is a potential that is underexploited. In the coming period, we are expecting to exploit this potential better through economic forums abroad.
You mentioned that heads of the representative offices presented their results. How many representative offices in the world are working on attracting investments?
The representative offices abroad are carrying out many activities for the needs of the Republika Srpska on presenting and promoting its interests abroad, with strengthening economic cooperation and attracting foreign investments certainly being the priorities in their work. The activities on creating economic benefits for the RS are daily and of varied nature, such as organizing business encounters, supporting outreach aimed at finding business partners, supporting participation in international fairs, business gatherings and other events, and promoting investment potentials and specific projects in order to encourage companies to invest in the RS. It should be noted that investment decision about any country depends on a number of factors where the activities of our representative offices abroad is only one in the range of the factors.
Is there a positive example?
A recent positive example is the representative office in the Russian Federation, which provides support on the implementation of strategic investment projects in the RS in cooperation with Russian companies, such as Gazprom’s project of construction of a liquefied natural gas plant in Zvornik. The representative office in the US provided active support to representatives of the US company NCR in their business engagement in the RS. A NCR center was established in Banja Luka during the past period, and now they are announcing new employment. The representative office in Austria is currently conducting activities on opening a display and sale space in Linz, Upper Austria, for products of the RS construction sector, where businessmen will have the opportunity to establish business contacts and cooperation with businessmen from Austria, Germany and Czech Republic. The representative office in Serbia each year supports participation in several economic fairs held in Serbia. Naturally, other representative offices are also endeavoring, within their capacity, to provide maximum support for the improvement of economic cooperation.