Albania-Kosovo trade relations, the Pan Albanian Economic Forum takes place in TiranaCCIT
Opportunities and challenges of Kosovo-Albania trade relations. This was the topic of the meeting that gathered on May 22, 2019 in Tirana, the Pan Albanian Economic Forum. With the participation of entrepreneurship from both countries, the top leaders of governments directly related to entrepreneurship, the forum brought out a series of problems that still do not find solutions in trade relations between the two countries.
The President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Tirana, Mr. Nikolin Jaka, who moderated the forum panel at the beginning of his speech, clearly highlighted the problems that exist between our two countries, asking the panellists not to remain in the context of words, but of concrete solutions.
Astrit Panxha, Executive Director of the Pan Albanian Economic Forum, would point out as negligence on the part of governments “the lack of sufficient analysis of issues. “Perhaps in this regard, government ministries should make a questionnaire to Albanian businesses about the trade problems with Kosovo.”
“In fact, the presentation just made by the executive director of the Forum is a presentation that opens the debate, a presentation that puts us in position and increases the degree of responsibility for each of us but that does not begin and end in this forum as it is an open debate between entrepreneurship and representatives of the governments of the two countries “, said Jaka, adding that” we have submitted a request to our two governments dating back to 5.2.2018, where there are 6 requests that were just presented by Mr. Panxha and there are 4 proposals which focus on models of economic cooperation. Therefore, for Mr. Jaka, the best models of economic cooperation must be found by implementing them in Albania-Kosovo relations, because only in this way can we have a complementary economy and shorten procedures and barriers. “Entrepreneurship and representatives of associations and businesses that are in the hall today have an extraordinary interest in communication and economic cooperation with Kosovo. “They need to know more whether we are on the right track or whether we are part of organizing meetings, making statements, and nothing more than the media screens or the tables we gather,” stated Jaka, asking the coordinator of the two governments, Mr. Limaj for further details of what concretely our governments are doing.
The Deputy Prime Minister of Kosovo, Mr. Fatmir Limaj made a summary of the meetings of our governments so far, stating that there have been some concrete results, but seeing himself in the role of entrepreneurs he said that there is much to do in this direction. “I promise you that we have had an extraordinary reference of ministers, heads of agencies, with concrete figures, with concrete results, we have represented needs and problems, I believe that everyone solves in concrete terms,” he said, among other things. “We pledge that we will continue to eliminate obstacles,” said Limaj, but also highlighted the problems faced by Kosovo business in our country, such as road tax or scanning. “What we have asked for is that Kosovo goods should not be included in the scanner. If the goods are entered in the scanner, it is not an advertisement in Albania, is advertising in Kosovo. We in Prishtina had a scanner, but if the local authorities requested a good to be included in the scanner, the responsibility for the expenses was covered by the state. We have the problem of Albanian business with the Kosovo terminal. The customs authorities have been instructed, what moves towards the terminals, I told the ministers that tomorrow you will show what obstacles you have from Kosovo, and I am telling you tell me what obstacles you have from Kosovo? I am talking about tariff barriers, non-tariff “, Limaj listed as problematic, emphasizing that in Prishtina they are ready to take all the necessary steps and expects the same to be done in Tirana.
“My invitation and appeal is to find common ground, we pledge to continue with the elimination of obstacles. We have the commitment of the two prime ministers, their commitment to act concretely, it is a pleasure for me to speak in concrete terms at the end of June, the agreement in Peja will be implemented, focus on tasks, and I want to go things up in the end, and I hope that on July 1, we will implement what we have received an obligation from the two prime ministers with all my colleagues here and those that are not we will implement them “, he said.
The Minister of Economy and Finance of Albania, Anila Denaj, assured the Kosovar and Albanian businesses that there will be a discussion with the concessionaire on the issue of scanning goods at customs. The two sides also assured the governments during their discussions in the forum that by the end of June will be implemented 5 decisions taken within the obstacles that make it difficult to develop and intensify trade between the two countries.
But the customs reference is not the only problem that complicates the trade intensification between the two countries, that instead of penetrating together with the traditional joint brands in the European markets and beyond, as Sokol Kraja of the Union of Albanian Producers would say: “We have two markets that have put fences on each other.
According to a study conducted two years ago on Albania-Kosovo trade barriers and vice versa, it turns out that:
In the part of Albania the entrepreneur has to pay to export:
23 euros to the customs agency
10 euro payment of the terminal
15 euros payment for phyto sanitary certificate
22 euro scanner
72 euros at customs
In the part of Kosovo
30 euro customs agency
40 euro terminals
68 euro phyto-sanitary certificate
Add to this amount the toll of the National Road.
“For a trailer that exports 50 thousand euros are 0.5% of the total that does not burden them, but think of a van that exports 500 kg of sausage! It is as much as 50% of the cost “, said Alban Zusi during the discussions in the forum.
Berat Rukiqi, head of the Kosovo Chamber of Commerce said that “this is the 20th time we meet and continue to discuss barriers. I will call this decade of talks a decade of barriers. We still do not have an explanation for these years, why Peja beer is discriminated in the Albanian market when the market is open to everyone? Why not take advantage of the road, as we used to have as an excuse? “We meet all the preconditions to have a healthy trade exchange, but looking at the statistics, leave much to be desired.”
The President of the Tirana Chamber, Mr. Jaka made it clear that we must now move to another stage of a complementary economy. “We must be ready for another agenda which is the agenda of a complementary economy, why not directed and oriented in different sectors of the economy by the politics and the government of the two countries, because there can really be initiatives that often we have conceived, the problem is which sector performs, to have an entrepreneurial trinomial. So Macedonia – Albania – Kosovo to implement specific projects, whether for Northwest Macedonia, whether in Kosovo or in Albania. According to Mr. Jaka, business can hardly wait to have projects that create security and stability, and I think this is the first point that our governments should consider to make projects and address with regulatory and reform policies sectors that perform and make profits that enable funding.
The Pan Albanian Economic Forum had its third meeting and put at the centre of the meeting once again the biggest concerns that the businesses of both countries have and how trade relations can be improved.
Participants in the Economic Forum in addition to businesses of both countries were:
Nikolin Jaka – President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Tirana
Nagip Fejzi – Chairman of the Pan Albanian Economic Forum
Astrit Panxha – Executive Director of the Pan Albanian Economic Forum
Fatmir Limaj – Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Kosovo
Anila Denaj – Minister of Finance and Economy of Albania
Bedri Hamza – Minister of Finance of the Republic of Kosovo
Eduard Shalsi – Minister of State for Entrepreneurship Protection
Endrit Shala – Minister of Trade and Industry of the Republic of Kosovo
Berat Rukiqi – President of the Kosovo Chamber of Commerce
Nebi Hoxha – President of the Chamber of Commerce of Northwest Macedonia
Fejzulla Mustafa – President of the Kosovo Producers Club
Sokol Kraja – Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Union of Albanian Producers.