On 14 December 2021, the European Investors Council (EIC) organized a high-level conference on the occasion of the publication of the White Book 2021. Present in the meeting were, His Excellency, the Prime Minister of Kosovo Mr. Albin Kurti, Mrs. AnnaCarin Platon, Head of Political, Economic and European Integration Section from the EU Office in Kosovo, some diplomats of foreign missions in Kosovo, Mrs. Afrore Rudi, Representative of the Board of EIC, as well as other participants.
In her introductory speech, the representative of the EIC Board, Mrs. Afrore Rudi, also the Managing Partner of Deloitte in Kosovo, pointed out the importance of publishing the White Book designed to outline recommendations for improving the investment climate in Kosovo. She said that the goal should be for Kosovo to become an attractive place to attract new foreign investors, and the EIC is committed to working closely with the Government. The publication aims to contribute to a structured and long-lasting dialogue and partnership between the private sector and the Government of Kosovo.
Anna Carin Platon, Head of Politics, Economics, and part of the Section for European Integration in the EU Office said that the Investors Council has become the main address for future investors in Kosovo, reports EO. "The most important thing is that this publication serves the Government in the obstacles it encounters while investing while doing business in Kosovo. The government must postpone the necessary economic reforms. The EU is the largest investor and trader in Kosovo. Kosovo, on the other hand, supports its investors in economic recovery. We are working with the Government on an action plan for Kosovo.” “We believe that private sector development is an important issue. While the private sector can create wealth, the government must provide legal certainty."
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Albin Kurti said that the biggest obstacle to attracting investment is corruption in public procurement, committed to concrete engagement so that there are no dusty files in the courts, but proper and timely treatment. Among the main strengths through which Kosovo can become a leading state in the region to attract FDI, the Prime Minister singled out the reduction of infrastructure and human capital gaps, our youth, competitive labor costs, low tax rates, high levels of internet access, central geographical position between western Europe, the Near East, and North Africa, and ease of doing business. We are actively working to reform the business climate, to ensure that corruption will no longer be linked to public authorities, to ensure that the law is clear and fair to all and that there is no favoritism and injustice on the playing field, he added.
As for the recommendations offered by the "White Book", the Prime Minister said that they will be carefully considered and that he hopes to develop a genuine public-private dialogue so that we can overcome the challenges ahead as soon as possible and as easily as possible.
Emrush Ujkani, Executive Director of the Investors Council said that the rule of law remains a challenge for institutions and that legal changes are more than necessary. The 7 basic principles of the White Book are the measurement of doing business, the rule of law that has concerned every individual in the private sector, strengthening the rule of law, identifying barriers, reducing risk. Therefore, the White Book aims to eliminate these barriers." Mr. Ujkani emphasized that the EIC will continue to work towards creating a better environment for foreign direct investments.
Astrit Shehu, from the telecommunication sector, has shared the main issues of this sector identified in the White Book 2021, including contract enforcement, illegal operators and copyright issues on the fixed market, etc.
Anita Kovacic, from the banking sector, said that banks remain a partner in sustainable development. She shared the problems of the banking sector with the legislative environment or with the establishment of the commercial court.
Genond Mesareja, from the insurance sector, said that a large number of cases in the courts remains problematic. In another problem, he mentioned the large number of unregistered vehicles, of 60 thousand of them as well as the high level of corruption in the country.
Luljeta Tinjic, from the pharmaceutical sector, mentioned several problems ranging from lack of health insurance, procurement law, and counterfeit drugs in the market. In Kosovo, we have counterfeit drugs. “We have problems with the Procurement Law, however, we are committed to changing the situation here because patients deserve better health care”- she added.
Furthermore, other sectors of the White Book were presented by EIC members. They have shared their struggles as well as their accomplishments of their sector during this year, and most importantly their recommendations to the Government. ICT Sector was presented by Ardian Shehu, Petroleum Sector- Paul Garinis, Taxation Sector- Afrore Rudi, and Automotive Sector- Fioret Pruthi.