Kosovo trying to attract more foreign investment

28/12/2012

A new law aims to help create quality business climate for foreign companies.

By Linda Karadaku for Southeast European Times in Pristina -- 28/12/12

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Several industries in Kosovo have benefited from foreign investment, including mining. [AFP]

Kosovo's parliament is soon expected to adopt a new law that will regulate the protection, promotion and encouragement of foreign investments in Kosovo.

The provision aims to offer fundamental rights and guarantees in accordance with international laws and standards, improving the climate for foreign investors who have been successful in their own efforts and in co-operation with local companies.

Experts say foreign investors have had a significant impact in Kosovo, ranging from increased capital and employment opportunities to improved business practices.

Arian Zeka, executive director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Kosovo, said foreign investors face issues related to the rule of law and an inefficient justice system, which have caused problems in the implementation of contracts and the protection of investments.

"The coming period should get us more engaged in improving the rule of law, but also being creative in offering different fiscal facilities, which would bring us in an equal position with the countries of the region," Zeka told SETimes.

Kosovo's Ministry of Trade and Industry pointed to Rahovec-based OSA Termosistem as an example of successful foreign co-operation.

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Arta Istrefi, a political advisor to trade minister Mimoza Kusari-Lila, told SETimes that the company, which makes heating, cooling and ventilation systems for commercial use, has started exporting to Hungary as a result of a partnership forged at a conference in Budapest.

As a result of the economic crisis in Europe, foreign investment in Kosovo for the first six months of 2012 declined. The total was 184 million euros for the first six months of 2011, but fell to 86.2 million euros for the same span in 2012.

Istrefi is optimistic that figures for the second half of the year will be better, adding that foreign investment increased from 287 million euros in 2009 to 394 million euros last year.

"These figures are expected to change after the process of the privatisation of the public enterprises, such as the distribution network of the Kosovo power company, KEK and PTK, Kosovo Post and Telecom," Ibrahim Rexhepi, executive director of the Kosovo Centre for Strategic and Social Research, told SETimes.

This content was commissioned for SETimes.com.
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