The economic chamber of Bihać exists since 1954 when the chamber of crafts and the chamber of trade merged. With the signature of the Dayton agreement in 1995, the tasks of the chamber were restructured so that it nowadays occupies the role as a mediator and a coordinator of the economic cooperation throughout the canton.
The organisation and work of the chamber are based on the following principles:
- The chamber is an independent, non-Profit NGO out of legal and natural persons who are exercising economical activities;
- Members of the chambers are: companies, trade associations, banks, insurance companies, financial organisations, cooperatives, business associations and agricultural cooperatives.
- The members of the chamber can also be scientific/research and educational institutions or civil associations which are engaged in economical activities, councils, interest groups, foundations and similar organisations;
- The membership in the chamber is voluntary;
- Legal persons can obtain membership according to their registration in the cantonal commercial register;
- The members of the chamber are equal in rights and obligations.
- For the execution of specialist, administrative, technical and further affairs, the following organisational units are responsible:
- Centre for economy & development
- Centre for the support of small and medium enterprises
- Department for administration, finance & accountancy
Services of the Economic Chamber of USK
For members and non-members, the chamber offers the following services:
- Intervention with amendments of existing and adoption of new laws and directives;
- Public authorisations and certificates;
- Registration of economic associations, statute amendments, registrations of foreign investments, financial accounting, bookkeeping, credit ratings, registration of legal persons;
- Elaboration of periodic reports about the economic development of the USK, the Bosnian Federation and Bosnia-Herzegovina;
- Evaluations of investment programmes, consulting and market research;
- Establishment of economic cooperations with other chambers and further associations in Bosnia-Herzegovina and abroad;
- Elaboration of databases about the members, the domestic market and products/services, investment projects and the like;
- Information service and trainings: seminars for specialists and executive staff, ISO standards, law projects and procedures, EU integration, symposiums, advertisements, publication of reports, statistics and much more;
- Journalistic tasks and edition of publications.
Trainings of the Economic chamber of USK
According to the specific needs of our members, but also of other companies and associations in the canton, we offer regular trainings and seminars in order to contribute to the development of experts, especially from SMEs. They include both technical trainings, such as for marketing, planning, market positioning and similar, but also soft skills (communication, leadership, teamwork etc.). The trainers are experienced experts, amongst others renowned consultants, who specialize in the development of specialists and executive staff in diverse segments. Below an overview of some of our partners:
- EU TAC (European Union Training and Consultancy Project)
- TÜV ADRIA d.o.o. Sarajevo – partner of TÜV Thüringen (Germany)
- “Anglo Adria“: business consultancy, Zagreb (Croatia)
- “Slapovi znanja“ (agency for consulting and trainings) Lukavac, Bosnia-Herzegovina
- Association for quality, Bosnia-Herzegovina
- Innovators’ association of Bosnia-Herzegovina
- Innovators’ association of the USK
- Innovators’ association of Bihać
- Institute for intellectual property, Bosnia-Herzegovina
- Council for quality and innovations, economic chamber USK
Our training program is open for your proposals, i.e. we are inviting stakeholders from business, educational institutions, foreign partners and further interested organisations to suggest us topics for future seminar contents.
Some of our seminars are for free, and mostly our participants receive information material in printed form, CDs, brochures and similar. For seminars you are particularly interested in, we will provide you with more detailed material.
Our entire training program can be consulted on our website under category “current training program“.
Membership in the Economic Chamber of USK
The membership is to be understood as an investment in the development of your company and its environment. The members of the chamber have got the right to take initiative by the representation of their interests in the government bodies, to use the professional support of the chamber on exhibitions, to participate in training programmes, round tables, presentations and to benefit from the linking with potential partners in Bosnia-Herzegovina and abroad.
Advantages of membership
Since the introduction of the voluntary membership in January 2004, the economic chamber of the Una-Sana-Canton has won approx. 400 members, amongst which almost all leading companies of the canton. Of course, we are aiming at attracting as many members as possible in order to be able to act as a strong partner and representative for the interests of our members vis-à-vis public organisations. With his membership to the chamber system, each member receives:
- Equal membership in the chamber system
- Right to participate in the election of the chamber’s representatives
- Right to use all potentials of the chamber system
- Right to participate in all programmes of the chamber system
- Right to being represented with the legislative bodies and executive organs of the government
- Right to be presented by the chamber on fairs and similar promotional meetings
By joining the chamber, you can actively contribute to the realization of its mission and make use of its numerous services:
- Organisation of business meetings;
- Organisation of common promotional activities for the domestic economy on fairs in B&H and abroad;
- Discounts for the services of the chamber (see price-list);
- Awards for the most successful members;
- Mediation in case of dissensions between members;
- Participation in the professional company groups.
Professional company groups
For the separate promotion of the single key sectors of Una-Sana-Canton, we have established professional groups out of our members who can take an essential influence. These are covering the following sectors:
- Agriculture and food industry
- Industry, energy sector and mining
- Forestry, wood, graphical and paper industry
- Construction and construction material industry
- Communal services and recycling
- Trade, tourism and gastronomy
- Banks, insurances and further services
According to the sector, they have the followings tasks:
- Analysis of the current situation of the respective sectors and development of ideas for finding solutions;
- Active cooperation with the relevant ministries and public institutions and elaboration of law proposals for the canton in order to improve the market conditions for the local companies;
- Cooperation with relevant associations on the Federal and State level;
- Support of the companies with tenders;
- Support with their participation in the EKOBIS fair;
- Common visits of the chamber members on relevant domestic and foreign fairs;
- Surveys of the members for establishing new projects, especially on the international level; • Support with the introduction of quality standards;
- Creation of consortium in order to intensify the activities of the members of the relevant industry for an improved competitiveness on the domestic and foreign market;
- Information and training events (e.g. in the field of ecology, sustainable development etc.);
- Support with the realization of development projects;
- Cooperation with relevant associations on programmes and projects, particularly in the field of cross-border cooperation;
And many more!
Till now, the groupings have executed, among others, the following projects:
- Cooperation project in the agricultural sector;
- Different cooperation projects with foreign partners in the framework of the cooperation agreements with the chambers of neighbouring regions in Croatia and Slovenia;
- Successful organisation of the yearly international fair for eco-tourism, ecology, organic food, sustainable forestry and eco-industry “EKOBIS“;
- Creation of the first organic cooperative of the USK “POEZ USK“ for the promotion of organic farming;
- Common project with the USAID and the Swedish agency SIDA under the title “FIRMA” (Fostering Interventions for Rapid Market Advancement) for the purpose of promoting the competitiveness of the wood-processing sector;
- Support of wood-processors in the USK with the development and implementation of a quality management system according to ISO 9001:2000 and CE standard;
- Cooperation with USAID CCA (Cluster Competitiveness Activity) in order to establish clusters for increasing the competitiveness of the wood industry and tourism;
- Establishment of a regional centre for the support of SMEs;
- Project “Academy for female entrepreneurship“.
BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA – basic data
Surface: 51,000 km2
Number of population: approx. 4 millions
Capital: Sarajevo (400,000 inhabitants)
Geography: In the east and south-east, Bosnia and Herzegovina borders Serbia and Montenegro and in the north and west Croatia. The only access to the sea is a 20 km long coast strip in the south-west (Neum).
The country consists of two entities, the Bosniak-Croat Federation (BKF) and the Serb Republic (RS) with the capital Banja Luka. Sarajevo is both the capital of the Federation and of the entire country.
Languages: Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian. While the languages only differ slightly, the Serbian uses the Cyrillic alphabet and the Croats and Bosniaks the Latin one.
Religion: Muslim, Serbian-Orthodox and Roman-Catholic
Local time: Central European Time
Travel documents required: passport with a validity of at least 3 months.
Visa: no visa required for a stay less than 90 days for EU and Swiss citizens.
Within the first 24 hours after your arrival, you should be registered with the police department for foreigners. In case of a hotel stay, your hotel will automatically take over this task for you.
Currency in Bosnia-Herzegovina
Convertible Mark (KM): 1 EUR = 1.95583 KM
Phoning in Bosnia-Herzegovina (B&H)
Area code for BiH: +387
Area code for USC: (0)37
Fire brigade: 123
First aid: 124
The USK, which is located on the north-western part of Bosnia and Herzegovina (B&H), is one of the ten cantons of the Bosnian Federation.
Its total surface amounts to 4,800 km2 and encloses the following eight municipalities: Bihać, Bosanska Krupa, Bosanski Petrovac, Bužim, Cazin, Ključ, Sanski Most and Velika Kladuša with in total approx. 300,000 inhabitants. The canton's capital is Bihać, with approx. 60,000 citizens. The border to Croatia amounts to 220 km altogether.
The USK is situated very favourably at the crossroads between the main corridors of Western Europe – Mediterranean – Middle East. As such, Bihać is only away a 2 hours’ drive from the Croatian capital and the Adriatic town Zadar.
Geologically, the canton is characterised by numerous river valleys dissecting the hilly countryside, and karst soils. The whole area is under the influence of a moderate continental climate.
ECONOMICAL DATA ABOUT THE UNA-SANA-CANTON
Known as the “green canton”, the USK abounds in forests, clear rivers, numerous waterfalls and sources as well as caves and cultural-historical monuments. Together with a number of high-quality thermal baths (esp. in Gata/Bihać), the clean air and the abundant flora and fauna, the canton is an ideal destination for eco-, health and outdoor tourism.
Especially water-sports, angling and hunting have been established as important tourist activities. The”Una-Regatta”, an international rafting competition taking place every July for almost 40 years, which is particularly known for its attractive trail, has been enlarged to Croatia in 2009. One year before, the first national park of the Bosnian Federation “Una” was established here.
At the same time, the canton is located in the neighbourhood of the famous Plitvice Lakes (Croatia) and the Adriatic Coast. Thus, a visit in Croatia can be easily connected with a stay in the “green canton”.
In total, the agricultural surface amounts to 196,308 ha, of which farmland and gardens 102,490 ha, pasture land 91,203 ha and orchards 2,615 ha. A big part of the today's barren land (32.2 %) can be transformed into cultivable soils. In general, the USC disposes of very fertile and ecologically valuable soils which are ideal for organic farming. At the same time, the canton sets a high value on the fact that no genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are planted.
The USK is the biggest producer of milk products in whole Bosnia and Herzegovina, the production of organic fruits, vegetables and meat as well as herbs and honey playing a significant role as well.
FORESTRY AND WOOD-PROCESSING INDUSTRY
The forests belong to the most important resources of the Una-Sana-Canton. The total forest area amounts to 190,880 ha, of which high forest 85,899 ha, coppice forests 86,234 ha and barren land 18,747 ha. Forestry and wood processing have got a long tradition here, particularly in the municipalities of Bihać, Bosanska Krupa, Sanski Most, Ključ and Bosanski Petrovac, who all dispose of capacities for wood-processing.
The canton is particularly proud of the fact that it is in the preparatory phase for the certification of the forestry surface of its municipality Ključ as FSC (Forest Steward Council – sustainable forestry) which will be finalised in the course of 2010.
Besides the mentioned thermal sources, the canton also disposes of abundant drinking water resources which are characterised by a particular cleanliness.
Besides that, the canton disposes of different mineral raw materials, such as bauxite, manganese, barite, clay, gypsum, quartz sand as well as the architectonically particularly valuable stone Bihacit.
First studies show that the canton disposes of considerable potential for geothermal energy, further studies still need to be done.
There are also resources for hydropower, however these have to undergo an environmental impact assessment in order not to derogate the natural water-flow of the local rivers. Therefore, only smaller hydropower stations are possible.
Solar, wind and biomass, respectively biogas: in order to determine their potential, further studies need to be done as well. In case of interest, please contact us so that we can discuss about your further proceedings.
Other economic sectors are: construction material industry, metal processing, mining and trade/services. The ecological standards playing an increasing role due to the future access of Bosnia-Herzegovina into the EU, offer thus interesting investment opportunities in the ecological construction sector, respectively energy efficiency/renewable energies.
Every fifth citizen of Una-Sana-Canton is a pupil or student. The university of Bihać was founded in 1997 and includes, amongst others, the faculties for economy, law, (bio)technology and languages.
Since 2003 already, the economic chamber of the Una-Sana-Canton successfully organises the most important ecological fair in Bosnia and Herzegovina EKOBIS, which not only serves as a pure exhibition but also as an international project and development concept for the further region “with an ecological prefix”.
A big asset for investors from West and Central Europe is the very convenient traffic accessibility. Thanks to the proximity to the Croatian border (e.g. from Bihać approx. 10 km), respectively to the next motorway in Karlovac (1 hour from Bihać) or Zagreb Airport (2 hours), the canton is very easily to reach for visitors.
The economic chamber of the USK invites you to visit our canton and to discuss about investment opportunities and cross-border cooperation.
Privredna Komora USK (Economic chamber of Una-Sana-Canton)
Trg Maršala Tita b.b.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
E-Mail: [email protected]
Tel: +387 37 316-350