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Bosnia and Herzegovina

Overview

Bosnia continues to struggle with internal divisions and is hampered as an outsourcing destination by a severe shortfall between talent and demand. However, the country is coming into play as a satellite center for software development companies headquartered in more established European markets, such as Croatia.

Talent Pool & Education

The tech outsourcing sector is well regarded for its high-quality workforce and affordable labor, but the country suffers from a serious shortfall in talent, especially among senior professionals, who are often lured offshore. Few students currently study technology at tertiary level. Initiatives to reverse that trend include an incubator for entrepreneurs at the University of Sarajevo and the UK-funded 21st Century Schools program, which is providing micro:bit devices to schools across the Western Balkans to promote critical thinking and programming skills among one million students aged 10-15 years.  

Language

Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian are all official languages, but both English and German are reasonably widely spoken.

Economic Outlook

The economy bounced back strongly in 2021 from the pandemic-induced economic crisis but is set to cool notably in the coming year. The war in Ukraine has sent energy and food prices spiraling; in mid-2022, inflation reached 14.4%. Bosnia is fully reliant on Russian gas and is one of the few European countries that has not introduced sanctions.

Political Conditions

Bosnia remains riven by sharp ethnic divisions, 25 years after a US-brokered peace agreement brought its bitter civil war to an end. The country is divided into two entities, the Serb republic and the Muslim-Croat federation, and is run by a three-member presidency formed by Serb, Bosniak and Croat representatives; state decisions must be jointly agreed and all have the right of veto. General elections were held in October 2022, but the results have been disputed after irregularities were reported on polling day.