Sat, 19 Sep 2020

SARAJEVO, Aug. 9 (Xinhua) -- The foreign trade volume of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) in the first six months of 2020 amounted to 13.3 billion KM (around 8 billion U.S. dollars), down 17 percent year-on-year, the official FENA news agency reported Saturday citing an analysis of the country's Foreign Trade Chamber.

Specifically, BiH's total export and import volume contracted by 15.3 percent and 18 percent year-on-year respectively, the analysis showed.

The decrease was caused mainly by less consumption in domestic markets, price drop in the oil market, and lower demand from BiH's major foreign trade partners such as Germany, Croatia, Serbia, Austria and Italy amid the COVID-19 pandemic, it said.

The country's foreign trade volume has been falling ever since March due to the closing of the European Union (EU) border and borders within the region.

BiH in late May decided to reopen borders with its neighbouring countries. On Saturday, the EU also started to allow travelers from 11 non-EU countries to enter its external border.

The analysis predicted that BiH could expect a mild economic recovery in 2021 if the pandemic situation improves and the borders remain open.

The International Monetary Fund has projected an 8.6-percent drop in gross domestic product (GDP) for the eurozone this year.

In mid-March, the European Central Bank launched the Pandemic Emergency Purchase Program worth 750 billion euros to increase the liquidity of the banking system amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

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