Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, has led a UAE delegation of leading trade and finance officials to Bosnia-Herzegovina to identify strategic opportunities for UAE businesses in the region and establish stronger greater trade and investment links with this increasingly important economic region.

Al Zeyoudi held a series of bilateral meetings with ministers and senior government officials from Bosnia-Herzegovina to identify areas of potential collaboration between the two nations. This included a meeting with Borjana Kristo, Chairwoman of the Council of Ministers, in which they discussed the latest developments in efforts to combat climate change globally, and with Stasa Kosarac, Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations explore potential bilateral trade opportunities.

Al Zeyoudi also witnessed a presentation from Elmedin Konakovic, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in which he showcased leading projects in the country’s high-growth industries such as agriculture, healthcare, metals, oils and construction.

Initial meetings were followed by discussions with representatives from the Foreign Investment Promotion Agency of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FIPA), to advance the UAE’s direct investment in the nation, and with Vjekoslav Vukoslav and Ahmet Egrlic, vice-presidents of the Foreign Trade Chamber of Bosnia and Herzegovina, where Al Zeyoudi highlighted the UAE’s role as a leading logistics hub that can support the country’s agriculture, manufacturing and automotive parts exports.

On 17th May, Dr. Thani opened the 12th Sarajevo Business Forum, addressing business leaders, entrepreneurs and investors in one of the most important investment events in south-eastern Europe. The annual event, organised by Bosna Bank International (BBI), showcases more than 200 investment projects across emerging fields such as energy efficiency, electromobility, energy storage, technology and communications.

During his opening remarks, Al Zeyoudi heralded the UAE’s blossoming economic ties with Bosnia-Herzegovina and highlighted the potential for both parties to deepen their relationship. “Bosnia-Herzegovina is a nation of considerable promise. Its strategic location ensures it is a vital bridge between Central and Eastern Europe, a status that is boosted by its attractive investment climate, pro-growth policies, high-skilled workforce and its ongoing pursuit of European Union membership. It is also an emerging trade and investment partner for the UAE, with bilateral non-oil trade reaching US$50 million in 2022, an increase of 50 percent on 2021 – and more than double the total achieved in 2020. Our FDI now exceeds US$170 million.

“There is, however, considerable scope to elevate these figures. Events such as the Sarajevo Business Forum provide the ideal platform for our business leaders and investors to meet prospective partners and understand high-growth sectors to ensure we are maximizing the opportunities presented by this exciting part of Europe. I look forward to the new projects and partnerships this visit will establish,” he added.

Al Zeyoudi was joined in Bosnia-Herzegovina by of number of UAE delegates including Nabila Al Shamsi, UAE's non-resident Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina; Mohammed Obaid bin Majid Al Alili, Director-General, Department of Industry and Economy in Fujairah; Abdullah Saeed Humaid Al Nuaimi, Member of the board, Ajman Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Abdul Aziz Ahmed Rahma Mohamed Al Muhairi, Board Member of Dubai Islamic Bank and Chairman Bosna Bank International; Salem bin Ahmed Al Nuaimi, Ajman Chamber of Commerce and Industry; and Sultan Mohamed Al Matrooshi, Board Member, Fujairah Chamber of Commerce and Industry; in addition to representatives from the Department of Economic Development Abu Dhabi (ADDED).