a few words about the network.
Global Diaspora Development Network (the Network) is a member of Naša Perspektiva Group, which has been intensively working on activating BH Diaspora’s financial and other resources in order to contribute to the development of BiH since 2010.
The idea behind the establishment of the Network is to be the „voice“ of business Diaspora members, to activate their financial resources and encourage networking and exchange of ideas among them, involving the largest BH development organizations worldwide, companies owned or staffed by BH Diaspora members and individuals (investors) within the Network.
In order to enable BH Diaspora to contribute to the economic development of their country of origin and not only by preventing BH economy from complete collapse (as it had been the case until now through remittances), the Network encourages networking and organization of BH Diaspora in order to:
- Increase the dissemination of information to the BH Diaspora on the investment opportunities and establishment of business cooperation with their counterparts in BiH;
- Increase the investment rate of BH Diaspora in BiH;
- Increase the level of business cooperation between the companies owned (or staffed) by Diaspora members and local entrepreneurs;
- Increase the number of other direct foreign investments in BiH, where Diaspora would act as a facilitator;
- Enable business Diaspora members to more efficiently advocate for their economic interests and rights in BiH (unified and louder voice of BH Diaspora in BiH)
In Bosnia and Herzegovina, there is currently no consistent institutional framework for working with BH Diaspora. However, lacking such a framework shall not be an obstacle to more efficient involvement of BH Diaspora in the economic development of BiH if the Diaspora is well organized and networked and mechanisms for more efficient activation and usage of BH Diaspora financial resources are set up. Such mechanisms include the involvement of the largest business organizations/enterprises/investors on a global scale into the Network, broadening the cooperation with other members of Naša Perspektiva Group (NGO Naša Persepektiva, Diaspora Business Centre, and BH Diaspora Business Forum – BHdiaFor) and establishing cooperation with other identified partners.
The Network has managed to unify BH business Diaspora on a global scale and enabled it to become the generator of the economic growth and development of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Our mission is to build trust between BH Diaspora and Bosnia and Herzegovina and enable BH Diaspora to become the generator of the economic growth and development in Bosnia and Herzegovina through networking, advocating and activation of BH Diaspora’s financial resources.
- Network BH Diaspora on a global scale;
- Activate financial resources of BH business Diaspora in order to generate economic growth and development of Bosnia and Herzegovina;
- Advocate the improvement of the institutional framework for working with the BH business Diaspora
- Position the Network as a focal point which encompasses BH business Diaspora on a global scale and enables it to become the generator of the economic growth and development of BIH
About BH Diaspora
Some estimations suggest that cca.2 millions Bosnians and Herzegovinians (including the 2nd and the 3rd generations of expats) live outside the BiH borders, which makes 50% of the total number of its inhabitants. Based on these numbers, Bosnia and Herzegovina is ranked the 1st in Europe and the 7th in the world with regard to the ratio of the number of expats and total number of inhabitants.
Numbers aside, the most important is the inflow of the financial capital into the country. Directly or indirectly, the Diaspora covers 1/3 of the country’s GDP which means that it has been preventing BiH’s financial collapse for years. However, it has been predicted that the financial participation of the Diaspora in the form of wire payments will be decreasing, so it is necessary to activate their financial resources and convince them to invest and establish business cooperation with businessmen in their home country.
The Diaspora has proved to be an important investor in the home country – some of the most significant investments have been done either by the members of the BH Diaspora themselves or with their assistance. It is, however, important to emphasize that the development potential of this group has remained untapped especially in the segment of investments and business cooperation with BH Diaspora, missing the opportunity to generate the economic growth and development of BiH.
So far, BH Diaspora and its organizations have not been successful in organizing and networking business Diaspora – setting up a business organization which would contribute the economic development of BiH (on a global level, there a few such organizations).
Efforts to implement significant investments in BiH and lobbying for laws and strategies were not very fruitful. The reason for it, besides the political environment which did not recognize the development potential of BH Diaspora, was the individual approach of individual organizations whose “voice” was not loud enough to make significant changes which would improve the work with BH Diaspora.
Now, thanks to the efforts of “Naša Perspektiva”, such as organization of BH Diaspora Business Forum (BHdiaFor) and intensive promotion of good practices of the Diaspora investments (which generated hundreds of working places in BiH) it seems that the authorities, the international community and the citizens of BiH are becoming more aware of the development potential of the Diaspora. Due to all these reasons, the idea on establishing a Global Diaspora Development Network which would serve as “the voice” of business Diaspora has great preconditions for success.
Activities of the Network
- Establishing partner and functional network of business BH Diaspora on a global scale
Generally speaking, the degree of networking among BH Diaspora is quite low, especially among business Diaspora. Currently, there is not any network on a global scale which would encourage networking among BH business Diaspora members. Global Diaspora Development Network unifies the largest and the most active BH business organizations, companies owned by BH Diaspora members and individuals/investors in a systematic way and encourage them to exchange information and ideas, advocate for their economic interests and rights in BiH, etc.
- Facilitation of the investment process and set up of business cooperation in BiH
Insufficient amount of information is one of the main obstacles for investing and setting up cooperation between BH business Diaspora and BiH. The Network works on increasing dissemination of information in the countries where many members of BH Diaspora live, by:
- Providing general information on conditions and opportunities to invest and set up business cooperation in BiH through the members of the Network which enjoy the trust of BH Diaspora in cooperation with the Diaspora Business Centre (which is, like the Network, member of Naša Perspektiva Group).
- Besides provision of information, the Network will be at the disposal of BH business Diaspora for all other relevant information and services contributing to the realization of investments and set up of business cooperation in BiH (Diaspora Business Centre will play the prominent role while the Network will act as a facilitator).
- Initiate and coordinate the advocacy process for improving institutional framework for working with BH business Diaspora in BiH
Although it is extremely important for BiH, BH Diaspora in not treated the way it should be. Law on Diaspora or Ministry of Diaspora currently do not exist in Bosnia and Herzegovina. There is a lack of strategies focusing on (business) Diaspora and programs and projects involving Diaspora in the development process. The advocacy activities will be focused on fulfilling economic interests and rights of BH business Diaspora in BiH which implies better treatment of the Diaspora on the occasions of investing or setting up a business cooperation in BIH – tax reliefs, preferential interest rates, accelerated registration of an enterprise, etc. The Network will actively participate in public debate on the draft of BiH politics regarding the cooperation with the expats. This initiative is different than the previous ones because this time BH Diaspora will act jointly through the Network and its voice will be louder and the probability of success higher.
Members of the Network could be
- Business organizations abroad established by the business Diaspora members;
- Business associations in BiH which have been involving BH Diaspora in the development of BIH;
- Companies abroad owned or staffed by the BH Diaspora members;
- Individual investors living abroad from BH origin;
- Governmental, non-governmental and international development agencies;
- Academic communities, scientific and research institutions;
- Local and foreign media
All members shall accept the Statute and other establishment documents, Working strategy and special membership terms.
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GLOBAL DIASPORA DEVELOPMENT NETWORK
Member of Naša Perspektiva Group
Address: Ferhadija 11/III, 71000 Sarajevo, BiH
Tel: +387 (0)65 766 882