Discusses key economic indicators and trade statistics, which countries are dominant in the market, the U.S. market share, the political situation if relevant, the top reasons why U.S. companies should consider exporting to this country, and other issues that affect trade, e.g., terrorism, currency devaluations, trade agreements.
Last Published: 2/18/2019
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) is a transitional economy with a declining population of approximately 3.5 million.  Per capita GDP in 2017 was $4,880 with total nominal GDP of approximately $16.8 billion according to the World Bank.  The World Bank affirmed BiH’s 2018 economic growth forecast at 3.2 percent, up from 3 percent in 2017. European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) also increased its 2018 GDP growth forecast for BiH to 3.3 percent and projected growth of about 3.5 percent in 2019.
  • BiH has been a potential candidate country for European Union (EU) accession since 2003.  Although BiH’s progress towards EU accession has been slow, the country’s Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA) entered into force on June 1, 2015.  BiH submitted its formal application for EU membership on February 15, 2016.  The Government of BiH completed the European Commission’s (EC) Questionnaire and submitted answers to the 3,242 questions in February 2018.  As of June 2018, the country is in the process of answering follow-up questions while they wait for the EC’s Opinion on whether BiH will be granted candidate status.   Meanwhile, the EC released their Strategy for the Western Balkans in February 2018.
  • According to the BiH Central Bank, foreign direct investment (FDI) in BiH in 2017 amounted to $455 million, an increase of 58 percent compared to 2016.  The majority of investments from 2012-2017 came from Croatia, Austria, Russia, Serbia, United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom.
  • BiH consists of two entities: the Federation of BiH (the Federation) and the Republika Srpska (RS).  A third, smaller area, the Brčko District, operates under a separate administration.  The Federation is further divided into ten cantons, each with its own government and responsibilities.  Both entities and the Brčko District are also comprised of municipalities.  As a result, BiH has a multi-tiered legal and regulatory framework that is often duplicative and contradictory and creates opportunities for corruption.
  • BiH imports almost twice as much as it exports: 2017 imports totaled $10.5 billion with exports of $6.4 billion.  In 2017, U.S. exports to BiH totaled $336.9 million with BiH exports to the United States valued at $42 million.  U.S. products and services held a 3.2 percent share of total BiH imports in 2017.  U.S. exports to BiH are primarily in the areas of computer and electronic products, agricultural products, machinery and transport equipment, and raw materials for industrial processing.  Primary BiH exports to the United States are leather products, apparel manufacturing products, furniture and fixtures, and petroleum and coal products. 
  • BiH operates a currency board arrangement by which the Bosnian Convertible Mark (KM) is pegged to the euro (One Euro = KM 1.958).  As a result, the Convertible Mark is one of the most stable currencies in Southeast Europe. 
  • U.S. companies in BiH include major multinational companies and market leaders in their respective sectors, such as Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Cisco, Oracle, Pfizer, McDonalds, Marriott, Caterpillar, Johnson&Johnson, FedEx, UPS, Philip Morris, KPMG, Price WaterHouse Coopers and others.

Prepared by our U.S. Embassies abroad. With its network of 108 offices across the United States and in more than 75 countries, the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce utilizes its global presence and international marketing expertise to help U.S. companies sell their products and services worldwide. Locate the U.S. Commercial Service trade specialist in the U.S. nearest you by visiting http://export.gov/usoffices.

Bosnia and Herzegovina Trade Development and Promotion