Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP): Effects on Bosnia and Herzegovina and other potential EU member states

Is TTIP dead even before it is signed? It seems like there is growing opposition within the EU, particularly among key member states, that might be leading toward the abandonment of further negotiation and consequent signing of the agreement. But we did not wait for that to happen but rather analyzed possible impacts on BIH and EU member states to be. There are those who find the agreement to be a logical continuation of cooperation between these two economic blocks and who think that it would have positive multilateral effects on the global economy.  The others claim that only the parties (or one party) to the agreement would benefit from it and that it would have long-term negative effects on the global economy. Nature of negotiations has also been criticized, which since being held “behind closed doors” inspire critics to raise the issue of the future contents of this agreement. In light of these events, it is reasonable to raise the issue of the effects that this agreement will have on the economies of potential members of the European Union, which do not have the right to participate in negotiations but whose membership in the European Union is ever more feasible. Will potential European Union member states be in a situation in which their economies will not be able to cope with the challenges imminent to being a member of the most developed economic market in the world or this agreement will have positive economic effects on their economies?

Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP): Effects on Bosnia and Herzegovina and other potential EU member states

New Silk Road Leads Through the Balkans – China and Southeast European Countries

At this year’s Sarajevo Business Forum, held on May 4th and 5th 2016, 760 million USD investment/credit of the Chinese Exim Bank into the energy sector in BIH was signed. But this investment did not come out of blue, neither has huge Chinese delegation composed of 150 officials and business people from a couple of provinces who attended this year’s SBF 2016.

The People’s Republic of China has entered the 21st century with the self-esteem of an economic superpower, but also with the sense of duty to regain its lost universal fame after the so-called “century of national humiliation”. Its economic growth, averaging 10% annually over the last 30 years, as well as its successful balancing on the global political scene, enabled China to start expanding into the markets of the United States of America, the European Union and African countries. However, this expansion has not progressed without obstacles – Chinese investments and companies encounter in third markets not only political opposition, but also severe competition, especially in technology-demanding sectors. Since 2008, when the financial crisis spread from the USA into Europe and the countries in the Euro-zone got caught up in debt problems, the attitude towards China and its economic power started to shift.

It was in this light that intensification of the relations between China and the countries of Central and Southeast Europe have started. The number of investments and the volume of trade exchange keeps growing. The bilateral relations are gaining a momentum, marking the beginning of renewal of the historical Silk Road, which had connected the Far East with Europe by land and sea routes for centuries.

The “New Silk Road” not only constitutes an infrastructural link between China and European countries, thus shortening the transportation of goods and equipment, but it also aims at enabling distributional, market and technological positioning of Chinese companies in the European continent. In this analysis, we want to examine the prerequisites for economic expansion of China, as well as current situation and future prospects of economic relations between the People’s Republic of China and the countries in Southeast Europe, in particular in view of anemic growth of the European Union and of ever more imminent rebalancing of the Chinese economy.

New Silk Road Leads Through the Balkans – China and Southeast European Countries

Russian Influence in the Western Balkans Between Economic Interests and Geopolitical Myths – Reflection on BIH

Russia will keep trying to retain its world superpower position and everything we see at the geopolitical battlefield, from outskirts of Donbas and Crimea to Syria and Iran smells on that kind of engagement. The Western Balkans is no exception to that rule, but one should not exaggerate neither Russian ambition nor real possibilities when it comes to the influence (particularly economic one) in the Western Balkans and in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

This analysis aims to dispel two myths: the first – that Russian influence and presence in the Western Balkans (primarily in Bosnia and Herzegovina) are monolithic and second based on the assumption that recent sanctions and drop in oil prices constitute insurmountable obstacle for the Russian economy. What is true danger to Russian’s positioning globally was there even before escalation of the crisis in Ukraine, and this is represented by long term lack of diversification in Russia’s economy.

Russian Influence in the Western Balkans Between Economic Interests and Geopolitical Myths – Reflection on BIH