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7 .oN No. 7

NR.7

Slovensko-Kosovsko Poslovno Združenje Shoqata Afariste Slloveno-Kosovare Slovene-Kosovo Business Association Slovenačko-Kosovsko Poslovno Udruženje

Tel: +386 43 726 074 | Fax: +386 43 | 726 084 | E: info@slo-kos.org | W: www.slo-kos.org

Dear member, Knowing that it is the end of 2011 and that hopefully you had a successful business year, each of you must be working hard in seizing every eventual business opportunity. Regarding to difficulties of economic growth world-wide, for some businesses 2011 year may have been difficult to gain desirable goals that they have previously set, and for some may have not. Despite of difficulties in extending doing business in achievable way or in expecting even better results, we hope that your primary goals are attained and that next year will be a year of new business approaches to new accomplishments. According to its Working Program, SKBA had achieved relatively successful results in this year. SKBA had organized 8 business evenings, 3 business networking events, 8 promotional meetings all around Kosovo including national and international institutions. SKBA had supported business delegations for participating International Fairs in Slovenia and in Kosovo: 49th International Agricultural - Food

Fair and 44th International Trade Fair, EXPOKOS and AGROKOS, also had helped many individuals to make business in both countries. Unfortunately, SKBA was not able to realize “Business Conference - Business opportunities in Kosovo and B2B meetings “and “Economic Diplomacy process between Slovenia and Kosovo”, event in September due to lack of correspondence between Kosovo and Slovene Government. This event will be accomplished in spring 2012 in Ljubljana. However, we kindly invite every SKBA member to send us in advanced any idea or proposal in order to have an even better cooperation. Concerning New Year’s Eve and other holidays, SKBA cordially wishes you a lot of health, happiness, and successful business year in 2012! Happy New Year 2012! General Secretary, Enver Ferati


LATEST NEWS Investements Key for Kosovo Sustainable Economic Development and Poverty Decrease 8 December 2011 United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in cooperation with the Kosovo Chamber of Commerce organized a one-day conference on Wednesday, 7 December 2011 in Pristina to discuss the Investment Opportunities in Kosovo and role of the private sector on advancing Kosovo’s social and economic development. This event gathered over 100 participants; local and international business representatives interested to invest in Kosovo, representatives of the main government institutions and international representatives. The presenters were from Investment Promotion Agency of Kosovo, Kosovo Privatization Agency, Public-Private Partnership Unit at Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Economic Development, Business Service providers, ICT Association, USAID NOA and private companies. The investment opportunities have been presented by public and private sector in several sectors such as: agriculture, construction, processing-production, tourism, service providers, ICT, waste collection, infrastructure and transportation. Kosovo is seen as an opportunity for investment as the market exists on many sectors and the main indicator is the high percentage of import or over 90%. Valdet Osmani, UNDP GIM Project Manager, outlined the UNDP objective on poverty reduction and achieving Millennium Development Goals. To overcome our challenges it is needed a sustainable economic development which requires investments and business opportunities that will create opportunities for employment.

The conference recommended that the private sector should be more active on identifying investment opportunities and implantable projects. The investment in Kosovo is very challenging but profitable which were demonstrated by several success stories but also by a Turkish foreign investor involved in textile production sector. Participants also noted that such events must be organized in identifying and promoting investment opportunities to private sector in order to reduce poverty and praised United Nations Development Plan (UNDP) to continue on promoting and supporting private sector in those efforts. Source: UNDP Kosovo

Slovenia election, early results show 4 December 2011 A new centre-left party headed by the mayor of Slovenia’s capital, Ljubljana, appears to have won a surprise victory in parliamentary elections, exit polls and partial official results suggest. Zoran Jankovic’s Positive Slovenia has won 29.5% of the vote against 25.9% for ex-PM Janez Jansa, favourite to win. Prime Minister Borut Pahor’s party came third with just 10.3% of the votes. His government lost a confidence vote in September over pension reforms prompting early polls. Mr Jankovic, 58, the former head of Slovenia’s main supermarket chain Mercator, has been the capital’s mayor since 2006 and was re-elected with 65% of the vote in 2010. “The results show that citizens want a different state. They had Jansa and Pahor, now they want a democratic but efficient state,” a jubilant Mr Jankovic told journalists at his campaign headquarters on 4th of December. Mr Jansa, the leader of the conservative Slovenia Democratic Party (SDS), has conceded defeat and congratulated Mr Jankov-

ic. Opinion polls had suggested Mr Jansa’s SDS was the clear favourite over Mr Pahor’s Social Democrats. Source: BBC News


LATEST NEWS Kosovo: Fastest Growing Economy in Eurozone 1 December 2011 Normally thought of as a Balkan economic basket case, Kosovo is predicted to be the fastest growing economy in the eurozone next year - though expansion will be driven largely by remittance flows and increased public spending. The IMF’s recently released predicted growth rates for 2012 show that Kosovo, Europe’s poorest country, will also experience the highest growth rate in the eurozone of which it is an unofficial member. The IMF has placed Kosovo ahead of 16 of the 17 official eurozone members and on equal position with Estonia. The Baltic state is also expected to see GPD growth of 4 per cent. Kosovo remains in first equal position despite last week seeing its expected growth for 2012 lowered from 5 to 4 per cent as a result of the darkening world economic outlook. While the eurozone officially includes just 17 countries, all members of the European Union, two others, Kosovo and Montenegro, also use the single currency as their legal tender. Following a visit last week by an IMF team, its leader, Johannes Wiegand, said Kosovo’s small size and isolation from the global financial markets had shielded it from the worst of the crisis. “Kosovo has remained largely unaffected by financial turbulence in the euro area owing to its limited integration into

global financial markets,” he said. “The economy is projected to grow by 5 per cent in real terms this year,” he said, adding that inflation is likely to fall next year. “The banking system has remained stable, with healthy liquidity and capital buffers [but] going forward, a renewed downturn in the euro area could negatively affect remittances and foreign direct investment,” he added. Kosovo’s growth, however, is largely driven by remittances sent home from workers in the diaspora, growth in lending and increased government spending, particularly on a large highway to Albania. According to the Fund, the country needs to energize the private sector, particularly as the country’s sudden expansion in government spending was unsustainable. In August, the Fund wrote: “Policies should focus on enhancing competitiveness to foster the emergence of a tradable sector that can drive economic development and self-sustained growth, and help reduce unemployment. “To this end, it will be critical to upgrade public infrastructure and education, improve the business climate, and maintain competitive wage levels.” Source: BalkanInsight

Italian businesses turn their eyes toward Kosovo 30 November 2011 Under the organization of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Kosovo, the Investment Promotion Agency of Kosovo (IPAK) and Italian National Institute for Trade and Investment (ICE), in Roma was held forum on: Kosovo- the opportunity for economic cooperation for Italian businesses”. Kosovo’s Delegation was led by Deputy Prime MinisterMimoza-Kusari Lila accompanied by Minister for Economic Development- Besim Beqaj, IPAK Chief-Executive- Valdrin Lluka, Representatives of Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other relevant institutions. At the Forum were present the Italian Ambassador in Kosovo- Michel Giffoni and Kosovo’s Ambassador in Italy- Albert Prenkaj. At the opening speech, Deputy Prime Minister Mimoza Kusari Lila has introduced Kosovo’s economic potential and Kosovo’s

Government actual initiatives in regard of accelerating the economic development. “Kosovo has the youngest population in Europe, favourable economic position, policies that support private sector, also business environment that has been improved from year to year. Furthermore, foreign investment has marked increment despite economic crises and we hope that Italian business will use this opportunity” – said Deputy Prime Minister Kusari – Lila. Minister Beqaj talked about the investment opportunity in energy and mine sector, also in potential participation of Italian businesses in privatization process. Particular emphasise he give to the Kosovo’s renewal energy potential, especially water and wind energy potential. To the technical part, the IPAK Chief-Executive Valdrin Lluka has talked about specific investment sector investments, also about the support and services that provides the agency that he leads. He also has mentioned some of reforms that have been taken to improve investment clime and improvement of Kosovo investment opportunity. To the participants was addressed also the Representatives of Ministry of Agriculture, introducing the sectoral potentials, also some concrete initiatives that are being undertaken recently. All those presentations had one conclusion – that Kosovo is very favorable country for foreign investments and have space for transfer of experience, technology, and practice exchange between Italian and Kosovo businesses. Source: Ministry of Trade and Industry of Kosovo


LATEST NEWS Agreement for the Promotion and Protection of Investments between Kosovo and Austria 9 November 2011 Minister of European Integrations, Vlora Çitaku , and State Secretary in the Austrian Federal Ministry charged with European and International Affairs, Wolfgang Waldner, in Prishtinë have exchanged the ratification instruments on the agreement for the Promotion and Mutual Protection of Investments. The endorsement of the ratification instruments will push over the implementation of this important agreement for both countries. The direct foreign investments are the engine for the economic growth and play a key role to the security, sustainable economical development and development of the country. This is in accordance with the Vision for Economic Development approved by the Government of Kosovo and which is already being implemented. The foreign direct investments are crucial for the fulfilment of the objectives of national and international development, as set by United Nations in the International Conferences on Financing the Development held in Monterrey and Mexico, in March 2002. The importance of this agreement lays on the fact that this will provide sufficient guarantees to foreign investors that their investments will be protected from the barriers that are not based on the economic development of free market such as: rule of law, different administrative barriers etc. On the other hand this agreement, and other such agreements, will contribute to the establishment of employment opportunities and improvement of life standards of our citizens. The agreement between the Government of the Republic of

Kosovo and the Government of the Republic of Austria, involves the promotion and acceptance of investments, handling of foreign investments, the environment and labour power, expropriation and compensation, and full transparency on all investments that are expected to be implemented in a near future. Above all, with this cooperation the Republic of Kosovo will be proved as a country with an investing potential that will lead to signing of agreements with other governments to invest in Kosovo. The realization of this cooperation is a result of a long work performed by the Government of Kosovo to encourage the foreign investments in Kosovo. Source: Ministry of European Integration

Kosovo improves investment environment for Switzerland 27 October 2011 Swiss and Kosovo today in Pristina have signed the Agreement on Investment Promotion and Protection. This important agreement has been conclude between Ambassador Krystyna Marty and Minister of Trade and Industry Mimoza Kusari- Lila. To the foreign investitures this agreement provides safety and protection, fair and equal treatment with those local, also investments’ mutual promotion. Switzerland is known as one of the largest centre of the Albanian diaspora and singing of the Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement with this country, is of a particular importance, because it will allow free transfer of funds within and outside Kosovo, and among other will provide facilitates for initial capital, profit and funds for loans payments. For media conference, held after the agreement has been signed, the Minister Kusari –Lila said: “Switzerland is a good example from which we can learn more on mountain tourism, banking sector and agriculture”.

Switzerland is an important partner for us, not only because of the Albanian diaspora, but also because of 6 percent of Kosovo’s exports to this country for 2011, while for this year this percentage has been increased more. Source: Ministry of Trade and Industry


LATEST NEWS Minister Kusari- Lila in Vienna introduces the overview of Kosovo’s economic developments 25 October 2011 At the Conference of High Ranking Delegation held in Vienna, the Kosovo’s Minister of Trade and Industry and Deputy Prime Minister, Mimoza Kusari-Lila have had introduced the overview of Kosovo’s economic developments. The event is organized in cooperation with Embassy of Kosovo Republic in Austria, Vienna Economic Forum and Economic Initiative for Kosovo (ECiKS). Two –day conference will take place on 24-25 October, in Vienna. Through the presentation “Vision for a European decent society with perspective for all Kosovo’s citizens”, Minister Kusari-Lila talked for economic developments, goals, economic and fiscal main targets, Kosovo’s business climate, ongoing reforms, and the challenges awaiting Kosovo in future. The Conference is characterized by participation of High Ranking Delegation from Kosovo and Austria, where the President of Vienna Economic Forum, Former Vice Chancellor of Austria, Erhard Busek made a welcome speech and will make the conference conclusions together with Kosovo’s Prime Minister Hashim Thaçin. At this conference, which aims to introduce internationally the economy of the Republic of Kosovo as best as possible, among

other will be talked also the Kosovo’s economy challenges, business environment, investment opportunities, experiences of foreign investors and organizations in Kosovo, as well Kosovo’s future perspective. Source: Ministry of Trade and Industry of Kosovo

French businesses interested for Kosovo 25 October Minister of Trade and Industry, Ms. Mimoza Kusari - Lila met with representatives of French business associations, such as Movement of the French Enterprises (MEDEF) and UbiFrance. The purpose of these meetings was the presentation of investment opportunities in various economic sectors in Kosovo, such as agribusiness, infrastructure, energy and information technology. Minister Kusari-Lila said that “the Kosovo Government has set reforms on the economic sector as a priority, including an improvement of the business environment, the continuation of the privatization process as well as an increase in the public-private initiatives”. On the other hand, Phillipe Gautier, Director for International Relations at the MEDEF, said that French businesses were looking at the Balkans as an area with high economic growth potential in coming years and are interested in deepening the economic cooperation. Concrete initiatives were also discussed during the meeting such as the organization of a French-Kosovar economic forum in the spring of next year in Kosovo. Such meetings serve mostly as

an opportunity to exchange experiences and to start cooperation between businesses of both countries. MEDEF has more than 700 thousand affiliated firms, 90 percent of them belong in the group of small and medium enterprises, whereas UBIFRANCE, which operates within the Ministry of Economy of France, is the Export Promotion Agency and operates in 46 states. Source: Ministry of Trade and Industry of Kosovo


WHY TO INVEST IN KOSOVO?

Foreign Investment

Kosova map Gross Domestic Product (GDP): In 2009: € 3.792 billion, Per capital: € 1,731. Inflation: On average 2.2% per annum over the past five years. Financial Sector: Two tier banking system consisting of Central Bank of the Republic of Kosovo and eight private Banks, 10 Insurance companies and two pension schemes. Enterprises: over 40,000 active SMEs in 2009, app. 50% of total SMEs engaged in trade industry. 500 Socially Owned Enterprises of which 400 already privatized. Budget: In 2010 totaling app. € 1.461 billion. Tariff duties: 10% customs duties on imports, no duties on raw materials, capital and intermediary goods;Excise tax on fuel, tobacco alcohol and luxury goods. No duties and taxes on exports. The New Customs Code is based on EU customs code, and is fully compliant with WCO agreed rules on customs procedures and the Harmonized Commodity. Tax System: VAT 16 %, Corporate Profit Tax 10%, Personal Income Tax progressive max. 10%. Free trade: Customs-free access to the EU market based on the EU Autonomous Trade Preference (ATP) Regime,Central European Free Trade Agreement – CEFTA, over 25 million consumers. Labour market: Average labour cost 292 euro in 2010, skilled and well educated work force. Currency: EURO, since 1 January 2002 Location factors: Competitive, well educated and young workforce, enviable natural resources (mining, agriculture), low taxes and a transparent tax system, customs free access to the markets of CEFTA, EU and USA,

Brezovica • According to the Law on Foreign Investments of Kosovo, foreign investors have the same rights and obligations as residents of Kosovo and are treated equally. • Foreign investors are protected against expropriation and nationalization and have the rights of compensation • A foreign investor has the right to convert any local currency lawfully in use in Kosovo into a freely convertible currency, and to convert any freely convertible currency into any local currency lawfully in use in Kosovo. • A foreign investor has the right to transfer freely convertible currency in and out of Kosovo, including, but not limited to, amounts received in a conversion transaction • A foreign investor have the right to execute employment and other contracts with physical persons who are citizens or permanent residents of a foreign state or a geographic territory outside Kosovo for the purpose of engaging such persons to provide or perform, in Kosovo, professional, management, administration, supervision, or consultancy services or skilled technical functions. • Foreign investors may own real estate in Kosovo and enjoy the same property rights in respect to real estate as Kosovo citizens and legal entities. • Fully described Law of Foreign Investments you can find on web-site of Privatisation Agency of Kosovo.


SKBA Coming Events: Business evening “ Kosovo next-door to EU” in January 2012! For more details about this activity you will be informed on time! Slovene-Kosovo Business Association is part of JAPTI from Slovenia (Public Agency for Entrepreneurship and foreign Investments) network of Business clubs, where Ministry of Economy is partly co-financing our activities. We wish a very pleasant welcome to our new members in October and November 2011: Pivka Oprema d.o.o., SlovArms d.o.o, HAMEX d.o.o, Gospodarska Zbornica Slovenije, ANSIIA shpk, PAP GTL d.o.o. Avtotehna d.d, IBE d.d. Kocin Jozica s.p. CEED-Center for Entrepreneurship and Executive Development, Korona d.d Ljubljana, SLP d.o.o, Salbatring Energija, Vam-Trade We are very thankful for trust and reliability that is given to us from our members. We strong believe in closed cooperation with all members of SKBA, and also believe that working together is one of the crucial keys in nowadays for business success. In case you have any additional question, request, or suggestion please feel free to visit us in our office, Square Mother Teresa nr.20, 10000 Pristina (Kosovo Chamber of Commerce building) or by contacting us on: Tel: +386 43 726 074 Fax: +386 43 726 084 E: info@slo-kos.org W: www.slo-kos.org

Our main sponsors: • Ministry of Economy of Slovenia • JAPTI (Public Agency for Entrepreneurship and foreign Investments). • IPKO • VOXMEDII • LESNA • BREWERY PEJA • NLB-Nova Ljubljanska banka • FACTOR BANKA

You can find more information about doing business in Kosovo as follows: Kosova Chamber of Commerce www.oek-kcc.org Ministry of Economy and Finance www.mef-rks.org Ministry of Trade and Industry www.mti-ks.org IPAK-Investment Promotion Agency of Kosovo www.invest-ks.org Privatisation Agency of Kosovo www.pak-ks.org Central Bank of Republic of Kosovo www.bqk-kos.org Statistical office of Kosovo http://esk.rks-gov.net/ Kosova Customs www.dogana-ks.org Newspapers www.kohaditore.com www.kosova-sot.info www.zeri.info

“ Newsletter No.8 will be published in February 2012”

design: ELV Studio


Newsletter No.7