Economic Development

Fastest growing industries in Bosnia and Herzegovina are food related

I have recently read an interesting blog written by Cesar Hidalgo, Trump, forget about Coal and Nuclear, software exports is where the jobs are at. His point was, among others, that state should invest more in growing sectors to provide new jobs. That instantly made sense to me, so I started thinking about what sectors are fastest growing in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Since data on export from B&H 2013-2016 were recently released, I figured out I could use that to show approximately which sectors are growing fast. Also, I used export data since export-oriented sectors (and enterprises) are also the most competitive and most advanced ones.

First, let’s see how does B&H export treemap looks like in 2016:

Here are a few of my random thoughts about this treemap. It’s interesting that Furniture is #1 export product of B&H (excluding Cork and Wood manufactures), and wood as raw material #4, especially when you know how hard it is for domestic enterprises to get raw wood for their production.
Footwear and wearing apparel enterprises are good for creating a lot of jobs, but these jobs are not well payed since wages are mostly minimal allowed (200€). Those firms are mostly working for partners in EU, without developing their own products.
Metal processing enterprises are usually making parts for their foreign partners and don’t usually have their own final product. Unlike wood processing sector.
Road vehicles are compiled in Sarajevo for Volkswagen.

Now, let’s see which of these are fastest growing in period 2013-2016:

None of these are in top 5, but most of them do have an export growth. Furniture has export growth of 4,5%, Footwear also 4,5%, Manufactures of metal 6,5%, Cork and Wood 4,97%, Road vehicles 5,4%, Iron and Steel -4,2%…

Top 5 – Export Growth

  1. Animal and vegetable oils and fats (29,50% growth)
  2. Chemical materials and products (28,33%)
  3. Travel goods (23,57%)
  4. Meat and meat preparations (22,39%)
  5. Cereals and cereal preparations (17,68%)

What attracted my attention is that 3 of 5 products from top 5 export growth list were food products. So, it seems to me that food industry is the fastest growing industry in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and industry where B&H could create significant number of jobs.

P.S. I am also wondering where is the position of the IT industry in B&H export and how high is it’s growth.

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