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Greater presence of BiH exporters in China would reduce trade deficit

Text: Dejan Jazvić, Photo FENA

SARAJEVO, May 13 (FENA) – Trade exchange between BiH and the People’s Republic of China reached 463 million KM last year, but out of that amount only 38.3 million is result of export of BiH goods to China.

This enormous trade deficit could be mitigated if BiH would use more opportunities that the Belt and Road initiative and 16+1 mechanism offers to countries of Central and Eastern Europe. Journalists from Central and Eastern Europe recently paid a study visit to PR China and saw how fast this most populated country develops in a technological and economic way.

Ambassador Huo Yuzhen, who is a special representative of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of PR China for cooperation with countries of Central and Eastern Europe said there is interest to reduce trade deficit and open Chinese market for more products from BiH. That also encourages a positive competition between countries of this part of Europe.  

“16+1 mechanism enables our countries to connect in areas of economy, education, technology, science, culture, tourism and many other areas. I would especially emphasize good cooperation with BiH in area of energy, infrastructure and building of electric-energy facilities.  BiH also plays a positive role in all other areas and we are looking forward to having even more specific cooperation. This mechanism is also an excellent platform to enhance cooperation and I believe we will use numerous opportunities at our disposal in the future,” Ambassador Huo Yuzhen told FENA.

While there is a constant increase of visits to both countries in tourist exchange, and abolition of visas will additionally contribute to that, it is difficult to get BiH products to a potent Chinese market. It is necessary to have greater presence of potential BiH exporters in China and one of the places to do business is the big export-import fair, which is held in Guangzhou twice a year.

This city is also headquarters of province of Guangdong, which is probably the best example of economic development of PR China. It is located in southeast of PR China and is a maritime and rail exit of the country to the world. One quarter of Chinese export and ninth of the national GDP goes to province Guangdong.

Fair that has accumulated volume of export amounting to 1.2335 trillion dollars gives significant contribution to that. Fair promotes Chinese as well as foreign goods. There is 14 percent of European buyers but the official data from the latest fair shows there were only 4.793buyers from countries of Central and Eastern Europe, including BiH.  

“Goal of the fair is also to open Chinese market to products from other countries, including Central and Eastern Europe. Certain contracts have already been signed with chambers from Serbia and Romania and we expect more visitors from that part of Europe. In general, number of foreign representation offices grows in Guangzhou. Many quality products from your region, such as wine, could find its place in the Chinese market if they are presented in the right way,” spokesperson of the fair and Deputy Director General of the Chinese Foreign Trade Center Xu Bing told FENA.

Southern city of Dongguan, world known production center with over 30 000 industrial plants in the heart of great Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao coastal area, holds an important place in Chinese trade exchange with foreign countries. Official Chinese data shows that all countries of Central and Eastern Europe, including BiH, record growth of trade exchange with this very vital economic city.  

Trade exchange between BiH and Dongguan increased by 71.4 percent last year and reached the amount of 33.63 million yuan (nearly 10 million KM). Export to BiH increased compared to 2016 by 56.6 percent and import from BiH by 835.4 percent. However, problem lies in small export base of BiH so even with this great percentage, value of BiH export to Dongguan was only 3.48 million yuan or nearly a million KM last year. It is encouraging that export from BiH to this Chinese city grew by rate of 1.150,4 percent in the first three months this year and nearly exceeded value of the entire last-year’s export.  

Main capital strengths of BiH in this and other parts of PR China are wood products and iron and steel products.