About Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina is located in the South Eastern Europe, in the centre of the Balkan Peninsula bordering the Adriatic Sea, Croatia to the north, west and south, Serbia to the east, and Montenegro to the southeast. It has a diverse ethnic population of the estimated 3.4 million. The country is gifted with natural resources mainly coal, iron ore, bauxite, copper, lead, zinc, cobalt, manganese, nickel, clay, gypsum, salt, sand, timber, and hydropower. It enjoys a favourable climate for agriculture and tourism. Bosnia and Herzegovina has an educated workforce with relatively low labour wage costs
Bosnia and Herzegovina is a compound state, which in line with the General Framework Agreement for Peace in BiH, consists of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (51% of territory) and the Republika Srpska (49% of territory). Brcko, which was a subject of disputes and international arbitrage, was proclaimed a district. Thus, Bosnia and Herzegovina has two entities and Brcko District.
The Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Republika Srpska are entities having their own constitutions, which have to be in conformity with the Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as the entity, consists of ten cantons (which, in administrative terms are further split into 80 municipalities) as follows: – Una-Sana Canton, Posavina Canton, Tuzla Canton, Zenica-Doboj Canton, Bosnia –Podrinje Canton, Central Bosnia Canton, Herzegovina-Neretva Canton, West Herzegovina Canton, Sarajevo Canton and Canton 10. The Parliament of the Federation of BiH has legislative powers and is comprised of the House of Representatives and the House of Peoples. Executive powers are performed by the President of the Federation and two Vice Presidents, as well as the Government of the Federation of BiH. Sarajevo is the capital city.
Republika Srpska is the entity, with 61 cities/municipalities. National Assembly of the Republika Srpska and the Council of Peoples in the Republika Srpska exercise legislative powers in the RS. Executive powers are excercised by the President and two Vice Presidents of the Republika Srpska, as well as by the Government of the Republika Srpska. Banja Luka is the administrative center of Republika Srpska.
The territory of Brcko was under arbitrage and was attached neither to the Federation of BiH nor to the Republika Srpska. By decision of the International Arbitrary Commission, close to the end of 2000, Brcko was put under administration of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as the separate district. Brcko District has its own multi-ethnical government, Assembly, Executive Board, jurisdiction and police forces.
BH is an open economy with good export potential and a GDP per capita of approximately BAM 6,500 (US$4,500) in 2010. Some 65 percent of value added is created in service sectors (retail trade, public administration and financial services, etc.) while the remaining 35 percent is split between manufacturing, 25 percent (industry, construction and energy production); and agriculture 10 percent.
During the five years leading up to 2008, exports climbed more than threefold. The chief exports are base metals (aluminum, iron and steel at 18 percent of total exports); mineral fuels, oils and products (10 percent); machinery and mechanical appliances (9 percent); furniture (8 percent) and other wood products (7 percent). In 2010, BH exported roughly €3.5 billion, with its neighboring former Yugoslav
republics—Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia and Montenegro—accounting for 40 percent of total exports; and Germany, Italy and Austria an additional 35 percent.
Bosnia and Herzegovina became the member of the United Nations on May 22, 1992 (Resolution 757). As a successor of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Bosnia and Herzegovina became the contractual party in all conventions and agreements ratified by SFRY. Bosnia and Herzegovina participates in the work of the United Nations through the Standing Representative Offices in New York, Geneva, and Vienna as well as in UNESCO in Paris. The main strategic goal of Bosnia and Herzegovina is EU membership and it is a potential candidate country for EU accession. In this respect, it is worth mentioning that Bosnia and Herzegovina has signed the Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA) with the EU, establishing formal contractual relations between the EU and Bosnia and Herzegovina.