On 7 November 2006, the Economic Initiative for Kosova (ECIKS) has opened the first economic representation of Kosovo abroad. Within this project, financed by the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs through the Austrian Development Agency (ADA), ECIKS represents the Investment Promotion Agency of Kosovo (IPAK) in German speaking countries. In its first year of existence, the Vienna office of IPAK has brought Kosovo to the attention of many potential investors in Austria, Germany and Switzerland and has offered them free-of-charge services on a confidential basis. With the establishment of this office, Kosovo offers to potential investors more direct and efficient services than any other country in the region.
ECIKS/IPAK-Vienna has so far identified and contacted over 600 potential investors from the German speaking countries. Our office in Vienna is continuously informing those companies on business and investment opportunities in Kosovo and is offering free-of-charge services to all companies who consider investing in Kosovo. Up to now over 90 such companies have already used the services of our office while 35 of them are currently using our services. Be it information about the market or sectors in Kosovo, support with local institutions, identification of reliable local partners, information on bank, tax, or legal system, IPAK-Vienna provides all these services free-of-charge.
Image Building and Promotion
A year ago, almost no information about Kosovo was available to the business community in Austria, Germany and Switzerland. With its monthly electronic newsletter to over 1600 subscribers and to all identified potential investors (over 600), IPAK-Vienna has first brought Kosovo to their attention. Through publishing brochures about company foundation and taxes, fact sheets about Kosovo economy and through the launch of www.ipak-vienna.org website, our office continues to provide detailed information in German language. In addition, 36 site visits to Kosovo, four other promotional events organized by IPAK-Vienna and another 11 events where IPAK-Vienna has presented Kosovo enabled us to directly address potential investors and convince them of opportunities and advantages Kosovo is offering today. All this and over 20 articles in serious German-language newspapers that were based or initiated through IPAK-Vienna activities have contributed to slowly establish Kosovo as an attractive place to consider by potential investors.
With the investment generation phase of the project just beginning, eight out of those companies who have used IPAK-Vienna services have already invested and created jobs in Kosovo. IPAK-Vienna has three other projects in the pipeline where the decision to invest has already been made. During the investment generation phase, IPAK-Vienna will offer concrete project proposals and investment opportunities to potential investors. With the status of Kosovo being resolved soon, the last obstacle for investing in Kosovo will be removed.