Bosnia and Herzegovina flag Bosnia and Herzegovina: Economic and Political Overview

Foreign trade figures of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Foreign Trade in Figures

Bosnia and Herzegovina is open to foreign trade and is expanding its global partner network. Its trade-to-GDP ratio is 83.3% (World Bank, latest data available). Overall, trade development is still hampered by low productivity levels, limited access to finance and administrative barriers to trade. Custom duties are relatively low for most products, but various non-tariff barriers are in place. Anti-dumping and countervailing duties are sometimes imposed to protect the local industry if the price of the merchandise is below the domestic market price or if it is subsidised. Bosnia and Herzegovina seeks to attract higher foreign investment through Free Trade Zones within the country that allow investors to invest capital in specific areas, transfer their profits and re-transfer capital. Customs duties and tariffs are not payable on imports into these zones. Furthermore, equipment (except passenger vehicles, slots and gambling machines) imported as part of share capital is exempt from customs duties. The country mainly exports seats (4.8%), electrical energy (4.7%), furniture (3.4%), and wood sawn (3.1%); importing petroleum oils (5.7%), motor cars (3.6%), medicaments (3.1%), and coal (1.8% - Comtrade, 2020).

 

The country's main export partners in 2020 were Germany, Croatia, and Serbia, accounting for respectively 15.5%, 12.9% and 11.6% of total export; followed by Italy (9.7%) and Austria (9.5%). Its main suppliers were Germany (12.3%), Italy (11.5%) Serbia (11.3%), and Croatia (9%). Overall, the EU is the biggest trading partner.

 
Foreign Trade Values 20162017201820192020
Imports of Goods (million USD) 9,13010,50411,63011,1599,873
Exports of Goods (million USD) 5,3276,4027,1826,5786,152
Imports of Services (million USD) 485563722758511
Exports of Services (million USD) 1,7021,8762,2812,3431,306

Source: World Trade Organisation (WTO) ; Latest available data

Foreign Trade Indicators 20162017201820192020
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 89.398.099.895.783.3
Trade Balance (million USD) -4,011-4,291-4,536-4,559-3,694
Trade Balance (Including Service) (million USD) -2,811-2,940-2,976-2,974-2,901
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 7.27.74.01.3-14.3
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 9.411.77.20.4-16.6
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 53.057.157.355.248.9
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 36.340.942.540.534.3

Source: World Bank ; Latest available data

Foreign Trade Forecasts 20212022 (e)2023 (e)2024 (e)2025 (e)
Volume of exports of goods and services (Annual % change) 7.88.96.77.16.6
Volume of imports of goods and services (Annual % change) 3.47.18.57.06.4

Source: IMF, World Economic Outlook ; Latest available data

Note: (e) Estimated Data

 
International Economic Cooperation
Bosnia and Herzegovina is a member of the Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA) and has signed a Free Trade Agreement with Turkey. The Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) between the EU and Bosnia and Herzegovina went into effect on 1 June 2015. The SAA Agreement is a commitment to further the relationship between the EU and Bosnia and Herzegovina and will complement the existing interim trade agreement. Bosnia and Herzegovina also has preferential regimes with the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, Norway, Russia, Japan and Canada.
 

Main Partner Countries

Main Customers
(% of Exports)
2020
Germany 15.5%
Croatia 12.9%
Serbia 11.6%
Italy 9.7%
Austria 9.5%
See More Countries 40.8%
Main Suppliers
(% of Imports)
2020
Germany 12.3%
Italy 11.5%
Serbia 11.3%
Croatia 9.0%
China 8.0%
See More Countries 47.8%

Source: Comtrade, 2022. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

 
 

Main Products

6.2 bn USD of products exported in 2020
Seats, whether or not convertible into beds, and...Seats, whether or not convertible into beds, and parts thereof, n.e.s. (excl. medical, surgical, dental or veterinary of heading 9402) 4.8%
Electrical energyElectrical energy 4.7%
Furniture and parts thereof, n.e.s. (excl. seats...Furniture and parts thereof, n.e.s. (excl. seats and medical, surgical, dental or veterinary furniture) 3.4%
Structures and parts of structures e.g., bridges...Structures and parts of structures e.g., bridges and bridge-sections, lock-gates, towers, lattice masts, roofs, roofing frameworks, doors and windows and their frames and thresholds for doors, shutters, balustrades, pillars and columns, of iron or steel; plates, rods, angles, shapes, sections, tubes and the like, prepared for use in structures, of iron or steel (excl. prefabricated buildings of heading 9406) 3.1%
Wood sawn or chipped lengthwise, sliced or barked,...Wood sawn or chipped lengthwise, sliced or barked, whether or not planed, sanded or end-jointed, of a thickness of > 6 mm 3.1%
See More Products 80.9%
9.9 bn USD of products imported in 2020
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals (excl. crude); preparations containing >= 70% by weight of petroleum oils or of oils obtained from bituminous minerals, these oils being the basic constituents of the preparations, n.e.s.; waste oils containing mainly petroleum or bituminous minerals 5.7%
Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally...Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons, incl. station wagons and racing cars (excl. motor vehicles of heading 8702) 3.6%
Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed...Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed products for therapeutic or prophylactic uses, put up in measured doses incl. those in the form of transdermal administration or in forms or packings for retail sale (excl. goods of heading 3002, 3005 or 3006) 3.1%
Coal; briquettes, ovoids and similar solid fuels...Coal; briquettes, ovoids and similar solid fuels manufactured from coal 1.8%
Electrical apparatus for line telephony or line...Electrical apparatus for line telephony or line telegraphy, incl. line telephone sets with cordless handsets and telecommunication apparatus for carrier-current line systems or for digital line systems; videophones; parts thereof 1.2%
See More Products 84.6%

Source: Comtrade, 2022. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

 
 

To go further, check out our service Import Export Flows.

 

Main Services

2.0 bn USD of services exported in 2019
57.63%
23.51%
8.52%
3.81%
2.94%
1.36%
1.13%
0.65%
0.29%
0.15%
0.02%
0.7 bn USD of services imported in 2019
39.28%
38.85%
5.55%
5.49%
2.46%
2.28%
1.92%
1.48%
1.01%
0.89%
0.78%

Source: United Nations Statistics Division, 2022. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

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Latest Update: September 2022

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