The region has not made good use of CEFTA, aimed at making the Western Balkans a single economy and preparing the market for the EU, says Mirsad Jasarspahic.
Political decisions such as (Pristina’s) introduction of taxes are among the reasons for this, the vice president of the Chamber of Economy of the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina (one of the two entities in Bosnia-Herzegovina) has said.
The Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA) was a tool to facilitate the flow of goods, services and people but the agreement remains untapped, he told Tanjug in Sarajevo on Thursday.
“Short-term political decisions that cause problems always interfere in the end. The latest one, on the taxes, is just the icing on the cake,” Jasarspahic said.
When asked if there were estimates of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s losses as a result of the taxes imposed by Pristina, he said Kosovo had been a long-time economic issue for Bosnia-Herzegovina due to a visa regime that was preventing business people from acting quickly.
“About a decade ago we were fourth biggest exporter of goods to Kosovo. It is a market of two million people, mostly consumer, while Bosnia-Herzegovina is mainly a producer country, like Serbia. Instead of exporting further growth, there are problems with the visa regime. Bosnia-Herzegovina became a ‘slave’ of politics and suffered the consequences of policies between Serbia and Kosovo,” Jasharspahic said.