The Prime Minister of the Herzegovina-Neretva Canton, Nevenko Herceg, PhD., together with his advisor, Mark Arapović, and the Head of his office Veselko Čerkez, paid an official visit to Aluminij d.d. Mostar, which is the largest economic entity in the HNŽ region. He was hosted by President and Member of the Management Board, Mario Gadžić and Dražen Pandža, accompanied by Director of Department of Finance Ivan Čale, Director of the Department of Planning and Analysis, Luca Poljak, Director of Corporate Communications and Marketing Department, Darko Juka and Director Advisor, Snježana Dropuljić.
A direct motive for the visit was the introduction of the first man of the Canton government to the current situation in Aluminij, which faces serious difficulties with endangered liquidity, which were caused by tremendous stock market disturbances, with a 65 per cent increase in electricity prices and an average 70 per cent increase in the price of vital raw materials this year.
- Moreover, we are under constant threats of overdue debts, that is, accumulation of losses from previous years, and short-term deferred court custody over our assets, and the situation further complicates the impossibility of borrowing from banks due to inherited bad credit - commented, among other things, Gadžić, summarizing the overall situation in the business presentation from which guests are clearly presented the cross section of the past year and a detailed plan for further activities.
- The situation is alarming, but there is no room for defensive, and we have recently come out to the public, on several occasions, with precisely detected problems and the ways of solving them, in the issues to which we have no influence, but this government has. We are not concerned with the ongoing implementation of the strategic restructuring of our business, we have carried out a series of savings, redistribution and remediation of bad contractual relations ... However, for example, we are still under a terrible burden of number of national network fees, with a yearly figure of over 23 million KM. We have strong communication with state bodies on multiple levels in order to recognize our arguments, and justifiably disburden Aluminij, which really needs the concrete assistance of its largest single owner, the FB&H Government – said Gadžić precisely.
President Herceg had no doubt about what Aluminij means not just for this area, but for the entire B&H.
- Not just in the economic field but as a serious, one of the vital factors of stability and the overall social and political agenda. The Government of FB&H must immediately recognize and position Aluminij as its strategic company and thus determine its relationship with this factory, the largest exporter in the country, the generator of new jobs, to which 40,000 people depends on, and which has a serious stake in GDP of the neighbouring countries, consumes almost a fifth of the total state electricity consumption, etc. These are the numbers that need to be counted with tremendous thoughtfulness and, on that path, to react when the fierce struggle of management and employees on the one hand, and apparent duties and other congestions on the other are clearly seen. It is about charges whose existence is arguably questioned and without which this giant would stand up on its feet faster than any other budget user, said Herceg, evaluating the meeting as extremely constructive and giving full support to the Aluminij's struggle for survival and recovery.