SARAJEVO, Bosnia and Herzegovina

The prosperity and development of Bosnia and Herzegovina are among Turkey’s priorities as it seeks to prevent brain drain in the Balkan country with new investments, the Turkish ambassador in Sarajevo said.

Turkey and Bosnia’s relations did not lose momentum even during the novel coronavirus pandemic, Haldun Koc told Anadolu Agency, underlining that Ankara’s economic and trade projects in the country also contribute to political stability.

The two countries’ bilateral trade volume last year had been $700 million, with a target of $1 billion, he said, adding that this year, they would be able to reach $700 million despite the pandemic.

After meeting with Bosnian officials, Koc noted that the country was ready to provide incentives and other conveniences to Turkish investors.

“The main goal is to prevent brain drain and keep the young population in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and this could be through employment,” he said.

Koc highlighted that Turkey’s state lender Ziraat has several branches in Bosnia and that the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) had many development projects in the country.

Numerous Turkish firms and institutions are also active in Bosnia and Herzegovina, he said.

One of the most important projects for the Balkans is the Sarajevo-Belgrade highway, which Turkey has supported, as its construction on the Serbian side continues despite the pandemic, he underlined.

He added that Turkey appointed a new consul-general in the Bosnian province of Banja Luka, which has a high Serbian population.

“Reaching all of Bosnia and Herzegovina is very important for the benefit of the region and the development of commercial and human relations.”

*Writing by Gokhan Ergocun from Istanbul

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