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Statements by 2011 Investment Conference Participants

Dražen Vidović, Director of Dubicotton Company,

said that this company currently employs 270 workers and has a successful cooperation with Srpska’s institutions.
- European market can no longer offer organization of logistics at low costs, which we have found here. RS has reached a certain level and come closer to European standards. All segments necessary for business can be found here. Approximation to European legislation has facilitated our operation to a great extent - Vidović said and added that it now only takes 15 days to obtain a temporary import permit or to obtain a court decision on capital increase or investment of material or machinery in company capital, and it takes seven to 15 days to obtain a bank decision on financial investment or investment.
- Line ministries of finance, industry and labor understood well the need for business improvement through various subsidies.
During the last two years, we have managed to obtain grant funding in the amount of euro 300,000 by responding to public calls of line ministries. This requires development, employment and export projects. We have managed to operate successfully during these years, in spite of the global economic crisis - Vidović said and added that this company has established a good relation with the local community, which resulted in the project of business industrial zone Lipova Greda in this municipality, of the total value of euro 200 million.


Predrag Zgonjanin, Director of SHP Celeks Company and Member of RS Foreign Investors Council,

said that this company is engaged in manufacturing and marketing tissue paper, that its annual capacity is 40,000 tons, and that they export 82 percent of their products.
- We have adopted all the existing standards for this field of manufacturing. We are now marking ten years anniversary of the privatization. Our workers are particularly satisfied - Zgonjanin said and added that the Investment Conference is a very good way to present Srpska’s opportunities to future investors.
- Ten years of Celeks here is a good sign that foreign capital is acceptable and has a place here.
Since I became the director, for the last three years, I have had no problems with the institutions - Zgonjanin said.
He underscored that foreign investors need to know that political situation in the RS is stable and that there are no social unrests or strikes here.
- Political stability of the RS is a precondition for economic stability, and it means that foreign investors can bring capital in and keep it safe - Zgonjanin said.


Nicholas Penny, General Director of Banjalučka Pivara,

said that the brewery has a very good market position.
- At the time of purchase of Banjalučka Pivara, the plant was operating at 30 percent of its capacity and the objective was to expand operation. Our current competitors are not other local breweries, but foreign beer, imported by multinational companies from neighboring countries. We have positive relations with the authorities.
I do not think that the RS environment is any more complex than that of some other countries - Penny said.
He underscored that good communication with consumers is essential for business to be best and most efficient possible.
- Our future lies in expansion of supply and product range, as well as in investing in people. Training and in-service training of people need to be at a high level for any investor - Penny said.


Leon Vankan, Member of Executive Board of Wind Vision Company,

said that it is very important that an opportunity to speak at the Investment Conference was given also to the investors already investing in the RS. - Their experiences that I have heard are useful information for my company which intends to invest in the RS. I have collected information about different projects already available, since the company I come from invests in various sectors.


Slobodan Pavlović, Serbian Businessman from Chicago,

- It is worth investing in the RS, because it is a country of the future. We are planning to employ more workers and for many to return home from abroad and start their businesses and successful operation. Seeing investments in Srpska makes me happy. Better and stronger cooperation between diaspora and RS is essential. I am convinced that the position of institutions towards diaspora will keep improving.


Avishai Bar Osher, Representative of Israeli Ministry of Tourism

- It is very interesting to see everything that is happening in the field of tourist offer in Srpska and I think that this Conference is also important in terms of its timing. Today, it is very important to invest in tourism, but it is also essential to achieve best possible cooperation between the RS and Israel. The people of Israel is interested in investing.


Radomir Vukčević, Businessman from Serbia

- I think that the RS is particularly favorable for investments and that it will be even more favorable, and our interest lies in minerals. For a few months already we have had discussions about exploring and developing a project worth about one billion dollars in the field of minerals, i.e. nickel in the region of Višegrad and Rudo.


Michael Wodski, Representative of Association for Relations between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Germany,

underscored that currently many German companies operate in the Federation of BiH, and that there are also companies pondering seriously to register their head offices in Eastern Sarajevo.
- However, many are considering coming and opening their companies in Eastern Sarajevo, because benefits are larger there than in Sarajevo in the Federation. There is less red tape. First of all, the difference is enormous, say, in obtaining a work permit. Until June this year we were paying BAM 1,350 for a work permit in Sarajevo, while in Eastern Sarajevo the same permit costs only 50 marks. Sarajevo thought about it, and reduced the price to BAM 1,150, but those who must renew the permit each year still see it as a large investment - Wodski said


Salvatore D'Erazmo, President of Confindustria,

who led the economic delegation from Italy, underscored that the Association he presides over comprises Italian entrepreneurs with a long tradition, who wish to invest in Srpska where many possibilities for cooperation are offered. However, the association Confindustria comprises 146,000 firms from all over Italy which employ about 5.5 million workers.
- Italian businessmen intend to establish best possible cooperation with RS institutions, in order to increase number of investors coming to Srpska and BiH, which are currently about 60 - D'Erazmo said.


Vladimir Grishin, from Belgrade Representation of the Russian Federation Chamber of Commerce,

Unlike the German, Russian investors are much more present at the RS market, and the Investment Conference, according to Vladimir Grishin, is a new opportunity for promotion of Srpska’s economic potentials.
- We already have a very good cooperation with the Ministry for Economic Relations and Regional Cooperation, and we believe that new Russian investments in Srpska will follow after this event since we have seen new projects – Grishin said.


Klaus Födinger, Asamer Holding

We see a large perspective for expansion to the market of the Republic of Srpska, and we plan to transmit all positive experiences and friendships established thus far with the institutions and firms from the Republic of Srpska to our business partners in Austria, Serbia and other EU countries.