Small And Medium-Sized Entreprises

Medium and small enterprise (SME) is the most important and vital segment of economic or unique economic space in the Herzegovina Region. Out of the total number of employed persons in Herzegovina, the SME sector employs 65 to 70% of people.

There are about 18.000 economic subjects in the region. The structure of the existing SME sector in Herzegovina is of a service and trade character and the remaining 5% is of a manufacturing character. This sort of an SME structure is unfavourable due to a small number of manufacturing SMEs. Import rate is five times higher than export rate and the unemployment rate is estimated at 34%.

Considering the potentials of natural and produced resources in the region there is a realistic chance of developing new primarily manufacturing SMEs.

The existing strength of SMEs in the Herzegovina Region is a high level of service and trade SMEs. Various natural resources and the availability of quality workforce represent a vital and perspective strength of SMEs as well. A further advantage is the entrepreneurial spirit that needs to be developed, strengthened and encouraged by various EU proven instruments in order to become one of the principal supports for the development of the entire region.

Considering that SMEs are present in the all the major economic sectors in the region: industry and light industry, agriculture, trade, energy supply and tourism, we could say that the main task and role and the overall responsibility of SMEs in the region is to take over the strategic position of further developing the region. Development of SMEs, specifically manufacturing SMEs, needs to become the ultimate goal of both regional and local development plans for it is the only realistic area left for further growth and development with the ability to absorb the high unemployment rate using all the potential and comparative advantages of the region over domestic and neighbouring foreign business environment. Manufacturing SMEs are the only remaining engine with enough strength, potential and responsibility to drive the region closer to EU integration processes. This fact needs to be accepted and we need to act uniformly towards achieving that goal as a unified economic area of the entire Herzegovina Region.

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