During the yesterday`s meeting at the headquarters of the Foreign Trade Chamber of BiH, Deputy Ministers of the Council of Ministers of BiH, State Minister of Finance and Treasury Vjekoslav Bevanda and State Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations Mirko Šarović fully supported the initiative of the Board of Directors of Aluminij d.d. Mostar to abolish the customs tariff on unalloyed aluminium which creates a path for strong economic swing, whose value exceeds $ 55 million.
This is related to the primary aluminium intended for remelting by Aluminij, with use of gas as a cheap fuel, and thanks to this, without using expensive electricity, the company can raise its production by as much as 30 percent. Under the current conditions the business is unprofitable since there is no such metal in the EU and CEFTA countries, but only on the Russian Federation's market and which is subject to the customs regime. Recognizing the tremendous potential of the Aluminij`s proposal, the Foreign Trade Chamber (FTC) of BiH, led by Bruno Bojić, PhD, have organized a round table with a number of key actors to make the topic fully articulated before delegating the official document to the Council of Ministers of BiH.
- Targeted customs suspensions are a good mechanism for development of the export-oriented companies and achievement of international competitiveness of their products. Aluminij is one of the largest companies in BiH and, by recognizing the benefits of this initiative, I support the adoption of the proposed solution – said Minister Šarović. Minister Bevanda pointed out that the serious work of the Aluminij`s Board of Directors and the precise elaboration of the initiative in question create a positive attitude towards this topic. By giving his clear support, Bevanda stressed that there was a necessary final step ahead, and that was a full approval by the Council of Ministers. Namely, the highest body of the state executive authority can make the Decision to abolish the existing customs tariffs on unalloyed aluminium only for 2018, but they are still able to adopt a provisional measure for the remainder of the current year, which will be officially requested by the Presidency of the FTC BiH in order not to waste a precious time.
- Our job is to identify and support any valid proposals which would disburden and develop domestic economy, but we also mediate in strengthening of international economic relations. In this initiative, we have recognized the powerful lever to accelerate the restructuring of the Aluminij business, as well as the almost immeasurable financial and social benefits for BiH – said Mr. Bojić, after the presentation by the Aluminij`s CEO Mario Gadžić, on the advantages of the abolition of this currently inactive customs tariff to the assembled ministers, as well as representatives of the Indirect Taxation Authority (ITA) of BiH, bankers and diplomatic staff of the involved countries.
- The state`s benefit at this tariff is now 0 KM, because nobody imports that metal to BiH, but if the tariff is abolished, Aluminij will import 25,000 tons of it, raise its production to the never reached level of 180,000 t/y, and it will double the existing foreign trade exchange with Russia and empower the state export for $ 55 million. It has an automatic positive impact on the balance of BiH, on the state tax and pension system, and on employment growth and public spending – said the first man of Aluminij, whose messages were welcomed by the representatives of the ITA of BiH and the metal and electro-industry groups at the FTC, as well as the deputy of Russian Ambassador to BiH Mr. Petr Frolov, and the Croatian Ambassador to BiH H.E. Ivan Del Vechio.
- As a representative of the 12-percent holder of the Aluminij's stake, I can only thank for the huge support of this initiative, which the Government of the Republic of Croatia sees as a chance for progress that should not be missed – said Del Vechio, whose colleague H.E. Petr Ivancov, the Russian ambassador to BiH, has already introduced the official Moscow with Aluminij's argumentation.
FTC of BiH will submit an official request by the end of the week, to the BiH Council of Ministers for the decision making to abolish the customs tariff on unalloyed aluminium for 2018, but also the immediate and provisional measures on its suspension for the remainder of this year. This measure would immediately implement the instrument of improving BiH's position in international traffic, enable a strong acceleration of the Aluminij`s restructuring and strengthened the inflow of funds into the state treasury.