Economy in Gračanica today consists of numerous small and large enterprises, based on the unquestionably rich craft and merchant tradition that goes far back into the past of the town itself, when it still was the seat of a former large judicial and administrative area – the so-called Turkish kaza, Austrian district and Yugoslavian county.
With 25 different trades in the late 16th century, Gračanica was a typical artisan shop for army and an important trading center on the crossroads of caravan routes leading all the way from the Adriatic Sea towards Brčko.
Economic development in Gračanica begins after the withdrawal of Ottoman and establishment of Austro-Hungarian authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina after 1878.
Through the construction of roads, especially once the town became connected with railroads via the old “Ćiro” train in 1898, through the opening of quarry, exploitation of forest resources, adaption of artisan production and trade based on the former European market requirements, Gračanica stepped into the modern era of its development.
Until 1992, the town was identified by its large manufacturing firms and the quality of their products. Out of a total number of employees (11.000), 8.000 people worked within the municipality, out of which 6.000 was employed in the economy sector. The number of unemployed persons, according to official records, amounted to approximately 5.000 people.
Nowadays, the economic structure of Gračanica is made up of over 400 legal entities (private companies, public companies and institutions) and of about 6000 natural persons (independent artisan and other shops).
That way, about 1,000 business entities existed within the municipality. They could be roughly divided into service and craft&production. In the “services” category, trade, catering and transportation are certainly dominant businesses; in the “production” category, the most important industries are definitely the construction, wood processing, plastic, metal, garments and footwear industry, along with food production (poultry, livestock, fruit, vegetables and meat). Out of the total number of 7279 employees in the municipality of Gračanica, the economy sector employs (incl. both – legal entities and natural persons) around 6.600 persons (data from October, 2006). The companies who employ the greatest number of people are: “Fortuna”, “Olimp”, “Jadrina” and “Širbegović Company”.
The local government of the municipality of Gračanica is strongly business-oriented and very supportive when it comes to entrepreneurship and economic development.