Banja Luka: Free zones in the Republic of Srpska soon

The Republic of Srpska has recognized the importance of free zones. The adoption of the new Law on Free Zones of the Republic of Srpska at the beginning of this year, and then the accompanying bylaws, confirm that it is working more and more intensively on their establishment. The goal of the new law is to specify, innovate and refine the area of free zones, and the intention was to further promote this instrument of economic policy.

Several local communities in the Republic of Srpska have already initiated activities or expressed interest in forming free zones, such as Trebinje, Bratunac, Gradiška, Zvornik, Sokolac, Šamac, etc. As they say for eKapija from the Ministry of Economy and Entrepreneurship of the Republic of Srpska, in order to additionally stimulate this area of free zones with other measures, good experiences and examples of successful zones in the area were sought, especially in Serbia.

– Based on these experiences, the Government of the Republic of Srpska has, among other things, launched an initiative towards the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations and colleagues from FBiH to provide free zone users with additional benefits such as VAT exemption on energy used for the production of goods in the free zone. The initiative was accepted by these institutions and sent to the Indirect Taxation Authority of BiH. In cooperation with other competent institutions in BiH, a comparative analysis of other possible measures to improve this area is underway – they pointed out from the relevant ministry.

Also, on several occasions, the Ministry of Economy and Entrepreneurship organized round tables with colleagues from Serbia, in order to acquaint our local communities and the business community with the advantages of free zones, and thus further promote this topic.

– Some local communities are in the final stages of drafting a report on the economic justification of the zones, they have resolved property and legal relations. In the near future, submission of requests is expected for the establishment of zones according to the RS Government – it was said at this ministry. The representative of the Association of Economists of RS SWOT, Saša Grahovac, says that the Republic of Srpska can attract investors with a low rate of profit tax, a relatively moderate rate of taxes and income contributions, as well as other benefits.

– Also, a good geostrategic position, especially in the northern part of the Republic of Srpska, the part that stretches along the Sava and Drina rivers is an advantage, and that means the proximity of the European market, the proximity of traffic corridors and that is something that is attractive to investors – our interlocutor pointed out.


In the past period, the Republic of Srpska has enabled the creation of a favorable business environment and given significant benefits to foreign investors. Investment incentives are provided at the national and local levels. At the national level, these are incentives from the Ministry of Economy and Entrepreneurship, ie incentives to increase the salaries of workers employed in economic entities, incentives for direct investments, as well as incentives from the Employment Bureau, and tax and other incentives. When it comes to incentives at the local level, they differ depending on each individual municipality/city, and information can be found on the unique portal as well as on the official website of local governments.