SARAJEVO, Aug. 21 (Xinhua) -- The foreign trade deficit for Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) in the first six months of this year increased by 12.11 percent, Secretary-General of the country's Foreign Trade Chamber Nihad Bajramovic said on Wednesday.
Exports in the period amounted to 6 billion KM (3.4 billion U.S. dollars), and imports, 9.94 billion KM (5.6 billion U.S. dollars), Bajramovic said during a press conference.
The increase in trade deficit is due to the decrease in the activity of the main trade partners, growth of non-tariff barriers, slowdown in metal trade industry and low production volume in terms of domestic consumption, explained Belma Hasic, from the sector for macroeconomic system at the Foreign Trade Chamber.
"This rate of exports and imports are not good for the country's economic growth and development," Bajramovic said, adding that increase in investments are needed in order for the country to reach the level of other developed European countries.
Bajramovic pointed out the need for new reforms and introduction of better standards like those applied in the member states of the European Union.
Exports from BiH in the first half year recorded a decrease of 0.05 percent year-on-year. Germany, Croatia and Italy are major markets for BiH exports.
Imports increased by 4.43 percent year-on-year, mostly from Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia and Germany.
In the first half year, BiH goods worth 4.42 billion KM (2.5 billion U.S. dollars) were exported to the EU markets whereas 6.78 billion KM (3.8 billion U.S. dollars) worth of goods were imported from EU countries, Hasic explained.