Last Thursday in July 2019 was marked by gathering of the BiH diaspora and local businessmen in the premises of INTERA Technology Park at the Connecto 2019 conference. The conference, organized to promote and encourage cooperation between local and foreign companies, brought together more than 180 participants who had the opportunity to listen inspirational stories, learn about key economic activities in Bosnia and Herzegovina and identify potential opportunities for partnerships.
The conference was opened by the organizers and partners, including Mr. Vedran Šimunović, CEO of INTERA Technology Park, Mr. Marko Šantić, President of Chamber of Economy of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Ms. Karin Rau, project manager of GIZ's project "Innovation and Digitization in Small and Medium Enterprises in BiH" .
Introduction speech was given by Mr. Edhem Čustović, who through his organization BH Futures Foundation uses the resources acquired in Australia to contribute to the development of Bosnia and Herzegovina through strengthening the capacity and knowledge of young people. Mr. Ivan Jurilj from the Office for European Integration of the Government of West Herzegovina County introduced all to the resources and potentials for investments in BiH, and Mr. Mladen Kostić, CTO of INTERA Technology Park introduced activities that INTERA TP continuously carries out in order to contribute to the development of the local business environment. Mr. Krunoslav Rašić from GIZ and Mr. Jusuf Tanović from USAID presented the programs through which these two organizations support the development of the local economy, emphasizing cooperation with the diaspora.
The conference continued with two panel discussions that brought together local entrepreneurs who previously gained their experience abroad, and today implement it in their work by managing their own companies in BiH and those who in their organizations daily improve opportunities for cooperation with the diaspora through various sectors.
The conference was closed by Mr. Eric Nelson, U.S Ambassador in Bosnia and Herzegovina, who commented on the great economic potential of the region, which, among other things, lies in agricultural production, great talents in the information technology industry and tourism. In his address, he placed special emphasis on potential investments and the large BiH diaspora, which is a positive example of how the acquired knowledge and experience abroad can be applied in BiH.
All participants had the opportunity to create their own business profile on the platform for business meetings through which B2B meetings were organized, which took place in the continuation of the conference. More than 147 companies and individuals from 13 countries around the world presented their business through profiles on this platform and got the opportunity to meet potential partners and associates. B2B meetings, organized in accordance with European practices, served as a basis for establishing initial contacts and starting business negotiations for the companies involved.
The importance of such a matchmaking event was recognized by local and foreign companies from various sectors, as well as non-governmental organizations and agencies.
Partners, sponsors and donors
Connecto 2019 conference was organized in cooperation with the BH Future Foundation, and with the support of UniCredit Bank as a sponsor. Other sponsors and donors were the Chamber of Economy of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, GIZ, USAID through Diaspora Invest project, AmCham BiH, the Office of the President of the Federation of BiH and the company Alfa Therm. In addition to the above, support for the conference was provided by Redah, SPARK, Wood Cluster Herzegovina, APH, CIRP, Telemach, LUX, United Outdoor of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Bit Alliance, as well as media sponsors Bljesak.info and Večernji list.