Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) is a net food importer with $1.8 million in annual agri-food imports. The country has been a potential candidate for European Union membership since 2003 and is expected to join the World Trade Organization soon.
BiH’s population is 3.5 million and its consumer food retail market is estimated to be valued at $3.2 billion (KM 5.5 billion). Due to slow economic growth and an unemployment rate over 20 percent, BiH’s purchasing power is only 31 percent of the European Union (EU) average. BiH is currently one of the poorest countries in Europe, but the goals of EU and NATO membership are drivers for further economic growth and development.
Despite slow economic growth and weak purchasing power, food expenditures are increasing, and food imports are constantly growing. Tourism is increasingly seen as a major source of job growth and foreign exchange earnings for the country. Revenues generated in the accommodation and food and beverage sectors recorded an annual average growth of over eleven percent since 2015 and reached $240 million in 2018.
The growth in consumer foods imports is expected to continue and certain U.S. food products, such as bovine genetics, beef, pulses, wine, seafood, dried fruits and tree nuts have good potential in the BiH market.