We’re still in the aftermath of the general elections that occurred in October of 2018,” says Andrea Zubovic-Devedzic, Partner at CMS in Sarajevo, who describes the elections as “ the biggest topic in 2018.” According to Zubovic-Devedzic, “there was a lot of wait-and-see before the elections. The hope was the government would be formed quickly and things would pick up. But unfortunately that hasn’t happened yet, and we’re still waiting.”
Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) consists of two distinct administrative entities – the Federation of BiH (FBiH) and Republika Srpska (RS) – and the special administrative unit Brcko District of BiH (BD). In accordance with the constitutional division of competences, factoring activities – a type of debtor finance in which a business sells its accounts receivable (i.e., invoices) to a third party (called a factor) at a discount – fall under the competence of individual parts, resulting in several sets of legislation but two regulators: the Federal Banking Agency (FBA) in FBiH and the Banking Agency in Republika Srpska (BARS), with BD able to choose either of the two.
Among the biggest challenges in Bosnia and Herzegovina is attracting foreign investment, says Naida Custovic, Partner at Law Office Custovic in Cooperation with Wolf Theiss. “Our economy relies heavily on foreign investments,” she says. “Unfortunately our legal system and overall investment climate is not yet satisfactory.”
The constitutional and legislative structure of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) is complex since it is composed of two entities – the Republic of Srpska (RS) and the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH) – and Brcko District (BD) as a separate unit, and the legislation is adopted on the state level, entity level, and – in FBiH – on the cantonal level. This means that in BiH as such there is no unified Law on PPP, but rather 12 laws on PPP. While the RS and BD adopted their PPP laws in 2013 and 2010, the FBiH drafted a Law on PPP in 2009 which remains in the adoption process. In addition, the cantons in the FBiH have their own set of PPP laws.
The winners of the 2017 CEE Deal of the Year Awards were announced at the first ever CEE Legal Matters Deal of the Year Awards Banquet last night in Prague. The biggest smiles in the joyous and music-filled celebration of CEE lawyering, perhaps, were on the faces of Partners from Avellum and Sayenko Kharenko, which, along with White & Case and Latham & Watkins, won the award both for Ukrainian Deal of the Year and CEE Deal of the Year for their work on the 2017 Ukraine Eurobond Issue (a story initially reported by CEE Legal Matters on October 2, 2017).
The latest financial crisis revealed a number of weaknesses in the Bosnia and Herzegovina banking system, just as it did in most developed countries. In an attempt to preserve a sound banking system in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (‘FBiH’), both BiH Entities have adopted new Banking Laws.