By 1Lt. Franois-Xavier Miller
First published in
SFOR Informer#107, February 21,
Zenica - A crowd has gathered at the Muncipal Hall.
The second economic seminar is held by SFOR MND (North) Economic
Action Group (EAG) with the help of the Turkish Bn Taskforce Civil
Military Cooperation (CIMIC) EAG team.
The event took place on Thursday, 15.February.2001 at 10H00 in
the Municipal building, where it was hosted by the Mayor of Zenica
in conjunction with its Business Leaders.
The seminar was introduced by Muhamed Pasic, Chief of City Department
for Economy, Ibrahim Adic, Zenica-Doboj Canton Economic Council,
and Pane Skrbic, Association of Zenica-Doboj Canton Businessmen.
Political knowledge of the issues at stake were clearly stated,
as Adic stated : "Wealth will not rise from public administration.
We need more small and medium businesses," he said, opening
the session. "People complain it is hard to get credit, we'll
see we have different counter-examples."
Representatives of consulting firms, banks or micro-credit organisations
discussed opportunities on how to apply for small and large business
loans. They spoke about terms, conditions, and insisted on quoting
examples of successful credit-started firms. Business information
planning, basic business skills, for example labour management,
marketing, advertising, and supply and demand issues were also
Fuad Tabak, Business Turnaround Advisor, from US AID, explained
all that was to be known on the two major programs, loans and
consulting, carried by this organisation. "At first, it wasn't
possible to have loans for service firms, but now it is. Credits
are only available for private companies," he emphasised.
"230 million DM of loans were already engaged in this program.
It works very well. Some fields such as weapons, cigarettes, alcohol
manufacturing are excluded from our programs."
Tarik Kadir, from Action Contre la Faim (ACF), a major French
NGO, intervened to describe aspects of different programs carried
out with farmers and beekeepers. ACF representative talked about
one program which started one year and a half ago. It supplied
livestock to refugees, and yielded a 100% return on investment
since they doubled the herds. Another program trained and supported
farmer's associations' initiatives. A way to fight hunger is to
help farming business, and efficiency through good management
also applies to agriculture.
American Capt. Glenn Woodson, from Eagle Base CIMIC, made the
concluding point and reminded the basic rules to run an Internet
business. The so-called New Economy offers lots of opportunities
but it has to be properly managed in order not to disappoint entrepreneurs.
The first seminar, which took place last year, was already quite
successful, with around 100 people attending. And if figures account
for success, the second one was definitively a red-letter day
with more than 140 people attending it.
CIMIC activity is not just building houses or supplying basic
products. If long-lasting development is nowadays a fashionable
concept in economics, it is also a necessity of urging people
to run businesses to rebuild by themselves their economy. Step
by step, Turks and Americans are just opening the way.
Nations of SFOR: US, Turkey