Statement by IMF Deputy Managing Director Nemat Shafik at the Conclusion of her Visit to Croatia and Bosnia and HerzegovinaPress Release No. 13/20
January 23, 2013
Ms. Nemat Shafik, Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), made the following statement today in Sarajevo at the conclusion of her visit to Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina:
“It has been a great pleasure to visit Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. During the visit—my first to the region as Deputy Managing Director of the IMF—I travelled to Zagreb, Banja Luka and Sarajevo, which allowed me to get better acquainted with the region and its people.”
“In Zagreb, during my discussions with Prime Minister Milanovic and his colleagues, we discussed Croatia's growth model in the context of a challenging external environment. Continuing with steady and credible fiscal consolidation and expanding and implementing the government’s program of structural reforms, with priorities on raising labor market participation and enhancing the business climate, will place Croatia in a strong position to make the most from its impending accession to the European Union.
“In Sarajevo and Banja Luka, I met with Council of Ministers Chairman Bevanda, Prime Ministers Niksic and Dzombic, and other representatives of the Government of the Institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republika Srpska. With financial support from the IMF, the authorities are implementing sound economic policies. The timely adoption of 2013 budgets aimed at further fiscal consolidation is serving Bosnia and Herzegovina well. Persevering with the reform agenda will help improve growth and create a vibrant private sector that can provide jobs and reduce unemployment, which is unacceptably high, especially among the young.
“The visit also gave me the opportunity to engage with other stakeholders. While the authorities remain our primary interlocutors, we are eager to maintain a frank and open dialogue with all stakeholders, including the business community and trade unions. During my visit, I also had the very enjoyable opportunity to engage with students, and came away impressed with the long-term economic promise of the region.”