The Coca‑Cola Business Forum gathered over hundred key representatives from the economic, political and non-governmental sectors.
Within the occasion of celebrating its 40th anniversary of successful business operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina, at the Business Forum held today in Sarajevo, in hotel Bristol, Coca‑Cola presented a Study on the Socio-Economic Impact of the Coca‑Cola System in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2014, the first comprehensive impact study of a Bosnian and Herzegovinian company on the local economy and society. The Business Forum discussed the opportunities for strengthening the cooperation between the private, governmental and civil sectors, and creating positive environment for economic growth that would enable large companies to have higher contribution to social development and enhancement of life quality.
The Coca‑Cola Business Forum gather over a hundred representatives from the economic, political and non-governmental sectors. The Forum was addressed by Mr. Nemanja Vasić, President of the Foreign Trade Chamber of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Mr. Elmedin Konaković, Prime Minister of the Sarajevo Canton.
An introductory presentation on the Study of the Socio-Economic Impact of the Coca‑Cola System in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2014 was delivered by Mr. Ethan B. Kapstein, Professor at Princeton University, and Senior Advisor for Economics at the US Institute for Peace. During the Study preparation, prof. Kapstein headed the international experts team from the consultancy firm Steward Redqueen.
Professor Kapstein emphasized that Coca‑Cola, as any other company, particularly the manufacturing companies, has significantly wider impact on the economy than what its business-related figures present. Becaues, by purchasing goods and services from local suppliers, by selling its products to trade chains and restaurants, whose revenues depend significantly on the sale of Coca‑Cola products, Coca‑Cola ensures remarkable revenues, lot of jobs outside its system and additional state revenues.
The Study shows that in 2014 the Coca‑Cola system in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which apart from its companies Coca‑Cola HBC B-H d.o.o. Sarajevo and Barlan B-H d.o.o. includes all suppliers, trade partners and their suppliers, supported the domestic GDP with BAM 136 million or 0.5%. With its operations, Coca‑Cola supported country's overall tax revenues with BAM 64 million or 1.1% and supported 3600 jobs, or 0.4% of the overall jobs in Bosnia and Herzegovina. According to the Study, with every single convertible mark of direct contribution, Coca‑Cola creates additional five convertible marks of indirect contribution to the country's GDP, and every job at Coca‑Cola supports additional 11 jobs in the economy.
"One of the reasons for Coca‑Cola's success lies in its deep integration in the local communities of many counties, and one of them is Bosnia and Herzegovina. The first bottle of Coca‑Cola was produced in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1975 at the Hadžići bottling plant, the same place where Coca‑Cola is still produced today. Due to the breakup of former Yugoslavia, the production was disrupted and than relaunched in 1996. In October 2000, the rebuilding of the bottling plant was completed, which was for a long time considered the biggest post-war foreign investment in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In the nearly 40 years of work by hundreds of employees who have and who are working for Coca‑Cola, millions of Coca‑Cola bottles have been produced, making to the B-H economy and society a significant contribution we are very proud of.
I want to point out that our Study shows the significance of each and every company, and particularly the manufacturing companies, for the economy but also for the society as s whole. Between 2010 and 2014, we have generated annual average of BAM 71 million tax revenues, through which education, culture, healthcare, public administration and other important segments in the society are financed through the state budget. After 40 years of life and work in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and everything we have given to it, we have the full right to say that we are a Bosnian and Herzegovinian company“, emphasised Maria Anargyrou-Nikolić, the General Manager of Coca‑Cola HBC for Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
After the Study was presented, a round table was held on the topic the Impact of Successful Big Companies on the Economic and Social Development of the Society. The round table gathered Ms. Jelica Grujić, Director of the Foreign Investment Promotion Agency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mr. Adnan Šteta, Executive Director of Konzum, Mr. Sead Kreso and Mr. Nenad Brkić, professors at the School of Economics and Business, University of Sarajevo, Mr. Nenad Korica, Director of Studen Agrana, and Mr. Adnan Topić, Director of the franchise Coca‑Cola HBC B-H Sarajevo.
The Business Forum was held under the auspices of the Foreign Trade Chamber of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Association of Employeers of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the American Trade Chamber (AmCham) in B-H, the Council of Foreign Investors in B-H and with the support of Poslovne novine business magazine.