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Official Website of the Indian Embassy of Budapest, Hungary

India-Bosnia and Herzegovina Relations

 

            Relations between India and Bosnia & Herzegovina (BiH) are warm and friendly.  BiH sees India as a great multi- cultural and multi-religious democracy, which is the goal that BiH is trying to achieve. BiH attaches importance to good relations with India and the need to further develop and strengthen all round cooperation including economic and cultural. Diplomatic relations with BiH were established in 1995.

 

            The first ever visit by a Bosnian Foreign Minister took place in May 2003. FM Mladen Ivanic visited India and had meetings with PM, EAM, Commerce Minister as also Minister for Tourism & Culture.  An interactive session with CII was also held.  BiH Minister for Justice as well as Minister for IT and Transport visited India to sign Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty and Air Services Agreement in 2009 and 2010 respectively.  Mr. Edin  Dilberovic, Assistant Minister of BiH, visited India for 2nd Foreign Office Consultations in April 2011.  Mr. Mirko Sarovic, Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations, visited India in October 2012 to participate in the International Seminar on Energy Access.  Dr. Zlatko Lagumdzija, Foreign Minister, accompanied by a business delegation, visited India in March 2013 and met with EAM, MOS for External Affairs and Minister of New and Renewable Energy.  Deputy Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations of BiH, Mr. Mato Franjicevic, who is the Co-Chair of the Joint Trade and Economic Committee from the BiH side, led a delegation to India in December 2016 and held a meeting with the Co-Chair from the Department of Commerce in India.  Dr. Ahmet Santic and Dr. Suad Arnautovic, members of Central Election Commission of BiH, visited India in January 2017.  An MoU between Election Commission of India and Central Election Commission of BiH was signed during the visit. 

 

            From India, Smt. Preneet Kaur, the then Minister of State for External Affairs, accompanied by a high-level CII business delegation, visited BiH in July 2012.  She held discussions with Chairman of Presidency, Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Finance and Treasury, and for Foreign Trade and Economic Relations.  The first ever visit at the Cabinet Minister level took place in July 2016 when Shri Suresh P. Prabhu, Minister of Railways, visited BiH.  He had meetings with Deputy Prime Minister and  Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations, Mr. Mirko Sarovic, with Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Amer Kapetanovic, and as also with the Prime Minister of Federation of BiH, Mr. Fadil Novalic.  He also met with Mr. Mirsad Isakovic, Member of BiH-Asia Parliamentary Friendship Society.  Dr. Nasim Zaidi, Chief Election Commissioner, visited BiH in September – October 2016 to oversee local elections as Head of Mission of Association of World Election Bodies.   

 

            India and BiH also hold Foreign Office Consultations (FOCs). The first round of FOCs was held in December 2002 in Sarajevo, the second round in New Delhi in April 2011 and the third round in Sarajevo in April 2014. 

 

            India provided humanitarian assistance of US $ 100,000 to BiH in May 2014, when unprecedented floods struck the country and more than 60 lives were lost and about 100,000 houses and other properties were destroyed.  BiH is also grateful for the presence of Indian police observers numbering around one hundred officers, that were part of United Nations Mission in BiH (UNMIBH), which has since been wound up.

 

Important Bilateral Treaties and Agreements:

 

  • Agreement on Trade Cooperation signed in 2002.
  • Agreement on Establishment of Joint Business Council signed in 2003, between Foreign Trade Chamber of BiH and FICCI.
  • Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement signed in 2006.  The exchange of instrument of ratification was done in 2008.
  • Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty [MLAT] signed in 2009.
  • Air Services Agreement signed in 2010.
  • Agreement on Transfer of Sentenced Persons between India and BiH, signed in 2012.
  • MOU between CII and Foreign Trade Chamber of BiH, signed in 2013.
  • MOU on Cooperation between Election Commission of India and Central Election Commission of BiH, signed in 2017.

 

Commercial and Economic Relations:

 

            The bilateral trade figures are given below:

  BiH’s Exports India’s Exports Total Trade
  2015 2016 2015 2016 2015 2016
 Euro Million 1.3 2.9 53.8 68.4 55.0 71.2

 

            Some of the items of BiH exports to India are mineral fuels, articles of paper, aluminium structures, articles of wood, inorganic chemicals, toys, sports equipments, wool, animal products, and glass and glassware.  From the Indian side, some of the articles of export are inorganic chemicals, auto-components, paper and paper products, boils and machinery, zinc, iron and steel products, wood and articles thereof, raw hides, skins and leather. 

 

            A Joint Committee on Trade and Economic Cooperation (JTEC) has been set up.  The second meeting of the JTEC took place in September 2006.  The third meeting of the JTEC took place in Sarajevo in September 2012.  A representative of FICCI also accompanied the delegation.  Deputy Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations of BiH, Mr. Mato Franjicevic, who is the Co-Chair of the Joint Committee from the BiH side, led a delegation to India in December 2016 and held a meeting with the Co-Chair from the Department of Commerce in India.

 

Investments

 

            There have been investments by companies owned by Indian nationals / Persons of Indian origin, to the extent of about $ 250 million.   These investments are perceived to be from India.  The Ispat Group has made a 51% equity investment in November, 2003 in the only coke and fertilizer plant in the BiH-Global lspat Koksana Industrija.  There has also been investment by a PIO and Indian entrepreneur duo in Karajina Insurance.  Arcelor Mittal has acquired a steel mill in Zenica  (Federation of BiH) and some mining sites in Omarska (near Prijedor) in Republika Sprska (one of the two entities in BiH).  These two are the largest industrial units in the country employing about 2000 persons. About 20 Indians are employed in these enterprises.

 

 

Cultural relations:

 

            There are two associations, BiH – India Friendship Society based in Sarajevo and BiH-Indian Association based in Mostar, which organize various cultural events regularly.  India was the Focus Country in the 7-week long prestigious Sarajevo Winter Festival from 12 – 16 March 2015.  During the course of India’s participation an array of activities, viz., Yoga & Ayurveda presentations and workshops, Santoor concerts by well known artists Pt. Bhajan Sopori and his troupe (sponsored by ICCR), a photo exhibition themed ‘Vibrant India’, and a documentary film festival were organized.   International Day of Yoga (IDY) was celebrated in Sarajevo on 21 June 2015.  IDY was celebrated in the cities of Sarajevo, Mostar and Banja Luka in June 2016; cultural festivals were simultaneously organized in the three cities.  India inaugurated the prestigious Sarajevo Winter Festival in February 2017, with performance on the theme ‘The Dance of Weaves – Silk in India’, by the troupe of Ms. Pratibha Prahlad, world renowned Bharatnatyam dancer.  The theme of the Festival was ‘Sarajevo Substance – Silk Road Art’, which focused mainly on Silk Road countries.

 

Scholarships:

 

            India has provided slots to BiH nationals for training under the Indian Technical & Economic Assistance (ITEC) programme.  People from BiH take advantage of this training. The Government of India bears all expenses including return international passage under this programme. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of BiH sends its diplomats to attend the courses organised by the Foreign Service Institute of Ministry of External Affairs of India.

 

Indian Community:

 

             About 30 Indians primarily working for Ispat Coking plant in Tuzla and Arcelor Mittal plant in Zenica comprise the Indian community in BiH.

 

(April 2017)