US to resume assistance for Bosnia privatisation

SARAJEVO, Sep 9, 2000 -- (Reuters) The United States said on Friday it would resume financial assistance for the privatization program in Bosnia's Moslem-Croat federation, which was suspended last year because of a lack of progress.

The federation privatization authorities have taken concrete steps the United States had outlined as a pre-condition for the lifting of the suspension, the U.S. embassy said in a statement.

With the help of international experts, the privatization agency has decided this month to sell a 67 stake in almost 400 larger state-owned companies to strategic investors.

The U.S. has never revealed the amount of the privatization assistance but its overall commitment for the reconstruction of Bosnia following the 1992-95 war has been close to USD 1 billion. "We will continue to work with the Federation Privatization Agency and Canton Privatization Agencies throughout the privatization process with the shared goal of making a real contribution to the economic future of Bosnia and Herzegovina and of its people," the statement said.

The Serb republic is Bosnia's other autonomous entity and the privatization process there is also gearing up.

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