|Opening Sarajevo's new McDonald's with Chairman of the Presidency Komsic (left)|
American Ambassadors are always happy when American companies make new investments in the countries to which they are assigned. But the recent opening of the first McDonald’s restaurant was a very special event, not just for me, but for the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Many people in BiH have been waiting for years for the first McDonald’s restaurant to open here. They see this as yet further proof that Bosnia is returning to normalcy and that their country is no different than others in Europe. For me, it was also the equivalent of welcoming a little bit of American culture and cuisine to Sarajevo. I should also add that for about 100 residents of Sarajevo, the opening of this restaurant means a job.
There were more than 300 people at the official opening of the new McDonald’s. My wife and I were impressed by the modern, comfortable design and the spacious layout, including an upstairs terrace. I was honored to join the Chairman of the Presidency Zeljko Komsic for the ceremonial cutting of the red ribbon that symbolized a new spirit of optimism and success for Bosnia and Herzegovina. McDonald’s also has plans to open a drive-through restaurant in Sarajevo in September and restaurants in Banja Luka and Mostar within the next few years. I am looking forward to taking my two young daughters to McDonalds for their first happy meals!
Certainly I’m thrilled to see this American restaurant chain opening in Bosnia and Herzegovina. But I must also note that this culinary bridge runs two ways. The United States is now home to a growing number of restaurants that serve the famous fast food from BiH: Cevapcici. I’m glad that the people of my country have opportunities now to taste Bosnia and Herzegovina’s delicious food, just as it’s nice to see Big Mac’s arrival in Sarajevo.
Are there any other American businesses that you would like to see open in Bosnia and Herzegovina?