Gaining strength for a new future: Bosnia and Herzegovina’s export opportunities

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International trade is crucial for Bosnia and Herzegovina’s (B&H) economic prosperity. In this study guidance to B&H exporters is provided by identifying potential markets and products to focus on when designing future trade strategies. To this end trends in the world trade and trade patterns are examined using various approaches. First approach to identify the potential markets for the B&H exports called for identifying the countries with highest general demand for Bosnia and Herzegovina’s current export products. The products Bosnia and Herzegovina exports most along with the countries that demand these products the most in the world are identified. The second approach for identifying the potential export markets for B&H products examine the import volumes of other countries in the world. Still a more fruitful approach for the B&H exporters, at least in the short term, is to target the markets with the fastest growth of import volumes (the third approach). In the fourth approach, “untapped trade” and “highly untapped trade” countries that should be targeted by B&H exporters are presented. The fifth approach for identifying the potential export markets for B&H products is based on examining the products whose imports increased fastest in recent years and the countries that imported these products most. The products/product groups that have the highest potential for B&H export success are also identified. First, most imported products as well as the products/product groups whose exports increased the fastest in recent years are examined. Second, the import volumes ten countries with the highest total imports are examined on a product basis to identify the products they import most as well as the products with the highest growth rate of imports. Third, product categories with “untapped trade potential” and “highly untapped trade potential” along with their respective markets are presented. Long term sustainable success in the ever changing global economy requires a close and continuous scanning of the trends in the environment. The analysis approaches described above provide B&H exporters a starting point in evaluating their product and market selection strategies and designing new ones for the future.