Kosovo: Lack of status main obstacle for development

Prishtinë, 25 July 2007 (ECIKS) – The Minister of Economy and Finance of Kosovo, Mr. Haki Shatri, said in an interview with Koha Ditore that the lack of status is the main obstacle for economic development in Kosovo. But, even after the status is defined, people should not wait for a miracle to happen because problems gained during decades will not be solved within a day or a year.

Shatri spoke about the program related to the donors’ conference of which he expects Kosovo to get € 1 billion for the next three years.

Related to the budget income, the report for the first five months reveals that around 48% of the yearly income has been completed, or more than half of the plan has been realized. The UNMIK Customs Service contributed with increased budget income more than expected.

“Last year there was an excess of budget income of €35m. This year we are expecting over €730m even though the original plan was €689m,” said Minister Shatri.

Regarding a development strategy, Shatri stressed that the government is working on a strategy which is nearly finished, even though the document was supposed to be finished by now. According to Shatri, the major part of the strategy is finished. The draft will be discussed with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank (WB) and the European Commission (EC).

On the matter of the donors’ conference, Shatri explains the international donors concluded that Kosovo showed responsibility in managing public money. According to Shatri, a positive report of the IMF on the budget situation will be the condition for the next donor conference that will be sponsored by the World Bank and the European Commission.

When asked about a possible membership in the World Bank, Shatri stressed that there are only some administrative procedures necessary that will be completed fast. “We have advanced relations and I do not see any obstacle. I only request from Kosovo structures to continue acting in a responsible way with the public money and continue to keep a relation of trust with the international structures such as World Bank, IMF and European Commission.