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 97% (World Bank, latest data available), but trade development is still hampered by low productivity levels, limited access to finance, and administrative barriers. 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 subsidized. 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. BiH is actively pursuing World Trade Organization membership. The country mainly imports mineral fuels (16.5%); nuclear reactors, boilers, machinery, and mechanical appliances (7.2%); electrical machinery and equipment (5.8%); plastics (5.5%); and aluminum (5.4%). Exports are led by mineral fuels (9.9%); aluminum (8.8%); furniture (7.8%); articles of iron or steel (7.4%); and electrical machinery and equipment (7.2% - data national statistical agency).

The country's main export partners in 2022 were Croatia, Germany, and Serbia, accounting for respectively 14.9%, 14.8%, and 13.1% of total export; followed by Italy (11.1%) and Austria (9.5%). Its main suppliers were Italy (12.4%), Serbia (10.7%), Germany (10.5%), Croatia (9.9%), and China (8.1% - data national statistical agency 2022). Overall, the EU is the biggest trading partner.

The country has a structural trade deficit: in 2022, the World Bank estimated the external balance on goods and services to be negative by 13.8% of GDP (from 11.8% one year earlier). In the same period, the Federation exported USD 9.6 billion worth of goods and USD 2.8 billion in services, importing USD 15.3 billion and 0.9 billion, respectively (data WTO). Figures from the national statistical office show that in 2023, Bosnia and Herzegovina witnessed its trade deficit increase to BAM 11.068 billion (equivalent to USD 6.2 billion or EUR 5.7 billion), up from BAM 10.662 billion in 2022. Exports experienced a 7.1% annual decline, reaching approximately BAM 16.7 billion in 2023, while imports decreased by 3.0% to BAM 27.8 billion.

 
Foreign Trade Values 20192020202120222023
Imports of Goods (million USD) 11,1599,87313,02915,37715,355
Exports of Goods (million USD) 6,5786,1558,6149,6749,232
Imports of Services (million USD) 7735587398981,105
Exports of Services (million USD) 2,3731,5112,3852,9823,283

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

Foreign Trade Indicators 20182019202020212022
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 98.494.582.196.1107.1
Trade Balance (million USD) -4,536-4,557-3,660-4,326-5,453
Trade Balance (Including Service) (million USD) -2,964-2,957-2,706-2,681-3,369
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 3.91.3-13.420.524.0
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 7.30.5-15.824.623.9
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 56.454.547.953.960.9
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 42.040.034.242.246.2

Source: World Bank ; Latest available data

Foreign Trade Forecasts 20232024 (e)2025 (e)2026 (e)2027 (e)
Volume of exports of goods and services (Annual % change) 7.75.96.75.74.6
Volume of imports of goods and services (Annual % change) 5.05.06.96.55.2

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)
2022
Croatia 14.9%
Germany 14.8%
Serbia 13.9%
Italy 11.1%
Austria 9.5%
See More Countries 35.8%
Main Suppliers
(% of Imports)
2022
Italy 12.3%
Serbia 10.8%
Germany 10.5%
Croatia 9.9%
China 8.1%
See More Countries 48.4%

Source: Comtrade, 2023. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

 
 

Main Products

9.7 bn USD of products exported in 2022
Electrical energyElectrical energy 6.1%
Unwrought aluminiumUnwrought aluminium 4.9%
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) 3.5%
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) 3.5%
Insulated "incl. enamelled or anodised" wire,...Insulated "incl. enamelled or anodised" wire, cable "incl. coaxial cable" and other insulated electric conductors, whether or not fitted with connectors; optical fibre cables, made up of individually sheathed fibres, whether or not assembled with electric conductors or fitted with connectors 3.4%
See More Products 78.7%
15.4 bn USD of products imported in 2022
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 10.2%
Unwrought aluminiumUnwrought aluminium 4.0%
Coal; briquettes, ovoids and similar solid fuels...Coal; briquettes, ovoids and similar solid fuels manufactured from coal 3.2%
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) 2.9%
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) 2.0%
See More Products 77.7%

Source: Comtrade, 2023. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

 
 

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Latest Update: April 2024

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