United States Celebrates the Successful Five-Year Diaspora Invest Project

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USAID/BiH Mission Director Courtney Chubb discusses diaspora investments in Bosnia and Herzegovina with Armn Alijagic Founder and President of Nasa Perspektiva.

Project Stimulated More Than $22 Million in Diaspora Investment in BiH

For Immediate Release

Thursday, November 18, 2021
Drazena Peranic
387 33704000

Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021

United States Celebrates the Successful  Five-Year Diaspora Invest Project

Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina – The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) today celebrated the closing of its highly successful Diaspora Invest project, which saw Bosnia and Herzegovina diaspora make more than $22 million in direct investments in the country over five years.

The $6.6 million invested in the project by the United States through USAID also helped generate more than 160 start-up businesses while companies working with the project created 1,571 new full-time jobs. In 2020 alone, those companies generated $74 million in revenues, $52.4 million of that through exports.

“Diaspora is often painted as a lost opportunity and wasted potential. But there is more to the story than that,” U.S. Ambassador Eric Nelson said. “In this age of globalization, when borders are easily crossed, Bosnia and Herzegovina has a comparative diaspora advantage. Relative to its size, it has one of the largest diaspora populations spread across more than 100 countries.”

The Ambassador also called for leadership in BiH to do more to encourage diaspora investments. Important steps toward that end include ending corruption, training youth, providing economic opportunities for them and other marginalized groups, making tangible election and fiscal reforms, and strengthening other democratic institutions, he said.

The closing conference in Sarajevo today brought together more than 100 participants with  large online audience from across the world. USAID Mission Director Courtney Chubb also participated in the conference, leading a roundtable workshop with the mayors of 16 municipal authorities looking to engage with their local diasporas with the assistance of the Diaspora Business Center. Diaspora Investment established the center, which is run by Nasa Perspektiva, a Sarajevo-based business oriented NGO.

In addition to supporting diaspora investors, Diaspora Invest helped BiH governments develop a strategic framework for diaspora investment as well as starting mentoring, export facilitation and internship programs. Sabina Halilovic, a second-generation diaspora member who interned in a BiH company talked about her experience of working in BiH for the first time.

“Even though I was born in Slovenia, I was always interested in pursuing opportunities in BiH,” Halilovic said. “ USAID’s summer internship program has provided me with a chance to work in Sarajevo, get to know the people and the business culture here and I will carry those experiences and contacts with me throughout my future career.”

Last updated: September 16, 2022

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