MDG 8: Develop a Global Partnership for Development
In the period from 2000 to 2013 BiH created solid conditions for participation in the global partnership. The country’s dependence on official development aid significantly decreased from over 12% of GDP in 2000 to 2.3% in 2011. With the exception of Foreign Direct Investments (FDI), which reached 3.8% in 2012, and the inflation rate, which was kept under control reaching only 1.8% in the same year, all other economic indicators signify economic stagnation and in some instances recession given that since 2008 no significant growth has been observed. In 2012 a negative GDP growth rate was recorded (-0.5%).
The current account deficit amounted to 9.5% of GDP, coverage of imports by exports deteriorated compared to the previous year amounting to 51.0% and the total value of foreign trade exchange was 23.1 billion BAM, which represented a decrease in the volume of trading by 2.7%. The external public debt of BiH increased to 7.13 billion BAM, which represented a 7.1% increase over 2011; expressed as a percentage of GDP, the situation concerning government external debt reached 27.5%. The amount of the contracted and non-implemented loan funds was very high amounting to 1.78 billion BAM. In terms of corruption BiH ranked 72nd place and was behind all current and prospective EU member states with the exception of Serbia and Albania ranked 80th and 113th place respectively. In other international comparisons the country is ranked 81st in terms of human development, 98th in the world in terms of democracy, and 126th in terms of the ease of doing business.
In order to address the necessity for the coordination of international aid, including monitoring efficiency and transparency, in 2005 a Donor Coordination Forum (DCF) was founded, while in 2008 the Sector for Coordination of International Economic Aid (SCIA) was founded within the Ministry of Finance and Treasury of BiH of BiH; the latter was charged with the coordination of international aid. In 2009 the Council of Ministers of BiH adopted the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness, through which government in Bosnia and Herzegovina committed to fulfil 56 partner obligations within the five main areas covered by the Declaration: ownership of local institutions, alignment of objectives, harmonisation, results-based management and mutual accountability. In 2010 BiH was officially added to the list of countries that are signatories to the Paris Declaration. The founding of the Donor Coordination Forum (DCF) is an important initiative and an example which should be followed by all donors active in BiH; however, according to the Donor Directory from January 2012, a total of 209 donors were active in the country but only 22 were DCF members.
Bosnia and Herzegovina made steps towards the prevention of corruption through the established of the Anti-Corruption Agency and adoption of the Anti-Corruption Strategy in 2009. While the legal and institutional frameworks for the fight against corruption are in place application of policies and laws needs to be strengthened. To address this serious and widespread problem BiH needs to take serious steps in order to implement the Anti-Corruption Strategy. If implemented fully and with clearly defined anti-corruption measures it would contribute to the overall process of fighting corruption and increasing trust in the governing structures.
Corrupt activities are evident in politics and the public sector, where there is still insufficient control over political parties’ financing, public procurement processes and the provision of public services such as health and education. The process of opening a business and the issuance of permits is also prone to corruption, which puts the overall investment climate in BiH at risk both in the short and long-term. According to the Transparency International Corruption Perception Index for 2012 BiH ranks 72 out of 176 countries and is behind all current and prospective EU member states with the exception of Italy with which it shares 72 place and Serbia and Albania that are ranked 80 and 113 respectively.
Availability of Information and Communication Technology
The last of the MDG targets refers to the development of information and communication technologies. Information and communication technologies (ICT) are increasingly taking a central place in strategies that aim to increase the competitiveness of countries all over the world. Compared to 2003 the availability of information technologies in BiH has improved considerably.
Considering how important ICT is for enabling middle-income countries to reach higher levels of development and economic and social transformation, BiH cannot allow itself to be left out of the process of development and expansion of information technology. Transformation from a classical into an information society is one of the prerequisites for integration into the EU. A prerequisite for the establishment of an information society lies in the development of a widespread ICT infrastructure as a conduit for the flow of information, consisting of telecommunications networks and strategic information systems.
The strategic framework related to the development of an information society in BiH is defined through three key strategic documents that were adopted by the Council of Ministers of BiH in November 2004: the Policy, Strategy and the Action Plan for Information Society Development in BiH.
According to a Communications Regulatory Agency survey, a total of 515,296 Internet subscribers were registered in BiH in 2011. CRA estimates that in the same reporting period there were a total of 2,113,100 Internet users which brings the Internet usage rate in BiH for 2011 to 55%. The dominant type of Internet access in 2011 was xDSL with 48.1% of the total number of Internet subscribers in BiH; second place was taken by cable Internet access subscribers who made up 22.3% of the total number of Internet subscribers in BiH. There is a clear indication that Internet use in BiH is on a constant rise with emphasis given to the use of broadband services. Further liberalisation of the telecommunications market and the introduction of new technology will further enable the presence of quality services and maintain a positive trend in BiH concerning Internet usage.