Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Republika Bosnia i Herzegovina

CAPITAL : Sarajevo

FLAG : Introduced in early 1998, the flag consists of a yellow triangle on a royal blue field, with a row of white stars running diagonally along the triangle's edge. The yellow triangle represents the country's three main ethnic groups, while the royal blue field and stars symbolize a possible future inclusion in the Council of Europe.

ANTHEM : Zemljo Tisucljetna (Thousand-Year-Old Land).

MONETARY UNIT : 1 convertible marka ( KM ) = 100 convertible pfenniga. 1KM = $0.5617 ($1 = KM1.78) as of May 2003.

WEIGHTS AND MEASURES : The metric system is the legal standard.

HOLIDAYS : New Year's Day, 1–2 January; Labor Days, 1–2 May; 27 July; 25 November.

TIME : 1 PM = noon GMT.


The region's climate has given Bosnia and Herzegovina a wealth of diverse flora and fauna. Ferns, flowers, mosses, and common trees populate the landscape. Wild animals include deer, brown bears, rabbits, fox, and wild boars.


In 1998, Serbs comprised 40% of the population, and 38% of the people were Bosniak—indigenous South Slavs primarily of the Islamic faith. Estimates report that Croats made up 22% of the populace; however, Croats themselves claim that they only make up 17%.


The native language of all the major ethnic groups is Serbo-Croatian, which belongs to the southern Slavic group. Croatian, Serbian, and Bosnian are all also spoken.


The armed forces consist of some 9,200 personnel. Under the Dayton Peace Accord (1995) and the Common Defence Policy (2001) the armed forces are being reduced. Defense spending in 1998 totaled $397 million or 8.1% of GDP.


With no ports on its 20 km (12 mi) of Adriatic coastline, marine fishing is not commercially significant. Inland fishing occurs on the Sava, Una, and Drina Rivers. The total catch in 2000 was 2,500 tons, almost entirely from inland waters.


About 2.7 million hectares (6.7 million acres) are forested, accounting for nearly 53% of the total land area. Much of the output is used for fuel. In 2000, forest product imports totaled $24 million; exports, 65.3 million.


No recent information is available.


The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) estimates that in 1999 Bosnia and Herzegovina's central government took in revenues of approximately $1.9 billion and had expenditures of $2.2 billion. Overall, the government registered a deficit of approximately $300 million. External debt totaled $2.8 billion. The legacy of the planned economy has endured, effectively stifling the possibility for an economic rebuilding.


Current information is unavailable due to civil unrest.


Bosnia has signed free trade agreements with Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro, and Slovenia. Tariff rates for imports from other countries are zero, 5% or 10%, depending on the good, with consumption and luxury goods generally receiving the higher rates.


The Bosnia and Herzegovina Chamber of Commerce promotes trade and commerce in world markets. There are over a dozen learned societies in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Research institutions in the country are concentrated in the areas of nuclear technology, meteorology, historical monument preservation, and language. Youth organizations include the Student Union of Bosnia and Herzegovina and scouting programs.


Dr. Alija Izetbegović has been the president of Bosnia and Herzegovina since December 1991, and was named Chair after the 1996 elections in accordance with the new constitution. Dzemd Bijedic (1917–1977) was a leader of Yugoslavia from 1971 until 1977, when he was killed in a plane crash. The 1914 assassination of the Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo led to WW I.


Bosnia and Herzegovina has no territories or colonies.


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Yugoslavia, the Former and Future: Reflections by Scholars from the Region. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution, 1995.

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