10th Anniversary of ECIKS: A New Deal for the Economy of Kosovo

Vienna, 12.06.2013- On it’s 10th Anniversary, the “Economic Initiative for Kosovo – ECIKS” has presented today in Vienna its Position Paper: A New Deal for Kosovo – Creating Sustainable Economic Growth. The paper includes detailed recommendations for the country’s economy in 10 different fields.

In a high-level conference organized on the ocassion of ECIKS 10th Anniversary, the recommendations of ECIKS have been discussed and supported in front of around 100 participants from Austrian and Kosovar economy, politics, media and civil society.
On the debate have participated, among others, the Kosovar Minister of Trade and Industry, Ms. Mimoza Kusari-Lila, the Austrian Vice-Minister of Economy, Ms. Bernadette Gierlinger, the former Austrian Vice-Chancellor, Mr. Erhard Busek and the former EU-Commisioner for Agriculture, Mr. Franz Fischler.

“To reach the paradigm shift towards bringing the economic development on the top of Kosovo’s agenda, a New Deal in form of a widely accepted and supported National Economic Development Plan is essential”, said Kujtim Dobruna, the president of ECIKS, while presenting the position paper.

The Kosovo New Deal should refrain as much as possible from reflecting ideological views and rather stick to pragmatism and the practical needs of the economy. A long term sustained economic growth can be facilitated only if the vast potentials of the country are unlocked. The goal here should be to develop a competitive economy that will benefit all Kosovars by utilizing and combining potentials of human resources, natural resources, and private sector.

Through this paper, ECIKS has provided detailed recommendations in 10 different fields. The paper can be downloaded at the publication section of the website. The recommendations also include:

• Government of Kosovo should guide a process of compiling a coherent National Economic Development Plan which is to be actively pursued to ensure a broad-based sustainable economic development;

• The Government of Kosovo should introduce a dual education system, similar to those in Austria, Germany and/or Switzerland, for enabling a more diversified and effective supply of labor;

• Government of Kosovo should embark on the modernization of infrastructure in particular roads, railways, energy and telecommunication. Particular attention should be paid to international linkages

• Government of Kosovo should conduct a detailed investigation of Kosovo’s natural resources using most advanced methods and technologies and create a “national royalty fund” or a “national wealth fund”, which will be filled through income from licenses, royalties, fees, etc. and will be used predominantly for investment in education, healthcare, and infrastructure;

• Government of Kosovo should establish the Kosovo Investment and Development Fund (KIDF), financed by the accumulated privatization fund, to encourage and accelerate private sector development, with particular emphasis on SME development. An SME Development Bank, as a derivative institution of KIDF, should be established to provide increased access to finance to SMEs;

• In order to cope with regional competition, Government of Kosovo should introduce financial and nonfinancial FDI incentives and should organize an annual “beauty contest” to attract investment in particular sectors;

• Economic Development is an issue of all Kosovo citizens, therefore an inclusive approach of coalitioning should be pursued to bring greater commitment and support for development as it is mainly sponsored by the community itself;