President Erdoğan: We have always attached special importance to our relations with Bosnia and Herzegovina


President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan made a speech at the Türkiye-Bosnia and Herzegovina Business Forum.

Noting right at the beginning of his speech that this year marks the 30th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between Türkiye and Bosnia and Herzegovina, President Erdoğan said: “Economic and commercial ties form an important leg of our bilateral relations that are perfect at every level. Economic and trade relations not only strengthen the ties between our two countries but also contribute to the environment of peace and stability in this region. In this regard, I congratulate the Foreign Economic Relations Board of Türkiye (DEİK) and DEİK Bosnia and Herzegovina Business Council, which successfully carry out business diplomacy and work to represent Türkiye’s enterprising soul abroad.”

“As the Republic of Türkiye, we have always attached special importance to our relations with Bosnia and Herzegovina. We have always pursued a sincere, objective, embracing and unifying policy towards Bosnia and Herzegovina. Ethnic and religious divisions in this region, where different ethnic and religious communities have to live jointly, will lead to nothing but sufferings and tears. Incidents in different parts of the world make it clear that conflicts and tensions bring benefits to no party.” 


Stressing the importance of staying clear of discriminative rhetoric in the lead-up to elections in terms of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s serenity and stability as well as its economy and national peace, President Erdoğan said: “I clearly and openly stress that we support Bosnia and Herzegovina’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and political stability. This morning, we had very productive and inspiring consultations with our Bosnian and Herzegovinian counterparts. Out talks addressed the economic and trade relations between the two countries. We are of course pleased with rising level of our trade and investments. However, we also know that there is a potential to further increase our trade considering the close relations between the two countries.”

Stressing that steps that can be taken to speed up the construction of the Bosnia and Herzegovina section of the Sarajevo-Belgrade Highway project, for the first phase of which ground was broken in 2019, President Erdoğan said: “As you know, we see this project as a peace project which is to connect not only countries but also peoples through a prosperous future vision. There has been a visible rise in our trade volume with Bosnia and Herzegovina with the entry into force on August 1, 2021 of the Free Trade Agreement, which has been updated in a manner to cover the services and public purchases, too. Our trade volume has increased by 15 percent year-on-year to reach 627 million dollars in the first eight months of this year. We hope this performance continues this year as well and we exceed the 1 billion dollar trade volume target, which we actually came very close to last year.”

Drawing attention to Turkish companies’ major investments in industry, infrastructure, housing, tourism facilities, power plants and healthcare, President Erdoğan stated: “The total investment value of our companies that contribute to Bosnia and Herzegovina’s production, employment and development has neared 300 million dollars. This figure excludes the modernization and facility improvement investments made after arrival to the country and the investment aid and assistance of our official entities. When these are added as well, the total amount reaches 1 billion dollars. The Ziraat Bank, which has established a strong network in the country with its 32 branches... Şişecam Soda and Natron Hayat Factories, which rank among the leading exporters in Bosnia and Herzegovina every year... Our small and medium sized enterprises that operate in a wide range of industries... They all play important roles in boosting our economic relations.”

Highlighting that Turkish contracting companies have implemented projects thus far that are worth 1 billion dollars in total, President Erdoğan stated: “Our engineering consultancy companies’ interest in the country has risen recently as well. We are of the opinion that focusing on agriculture and tourism in the upcoming period will be beneficial. The increasing volume of these projects, which we see as the symbols of a win-win policy, will further incentivize Turkish business communities.”


Ankara is aware of the presence of some problems faced by enterprises that found companies and invest in Bosnia and Herzegovina, said the President. “We express these hardships to our counterparts and discuss ways to solve them in good faith at every opportunity. We also benefit from such high-level mechanisms as the Trilateral Trade Committee and the Mixed Economic Committee to make sure that the strong ties between Türkiye and Bosnia and Herzegovina are reflected onto the trade relations at the maximum level. We think it will be beneficial if the 4th Term Meeting of the Türkiye-Serbia-Bosnia and Herzegovina Trilateral Committee takes place this year. I believe that the Bosnian and Herzegovinian Government and the business community will provide every kind of support to the Turkish investors that act on a win-win basis.”

President Erdoğan continued as follows: “I hope the talks and meeting you will have here today will yield successful outcomes and will contribute to both your commercial activities and to the economic and trade relations between Türkiye and Bosnia and Herzegovina. I would like to reiterate that we have always and will always stand by Bosnia and Herzegovina under all circumstances. It is our wish that the environment of stability in the country improves and the number of investors seeking to do business here grows, and trade increases and therefore Bosnia and Herzegovina obtains a better position in global trade. Ending my remarks with these thoughts in my mind, I once again congratulate those who contributed to organizing the Türkiye-Bosnia and Herzegovina Business Forum. I thank each one of you individually for your participation, love, enthusiasm and affection.”

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