Kosovo: Privatization process successful

Prishtina, 21 December 2006 – All written and broadcast media reported on the last press conference held by UNMIK Pillar IV for the year of 2006.

Officials of Pillar IV informed on the privatization process having created some 2,600 new working places and another 6300 once new owners fulfill their promises.

For Head of UNMIK Pillar IV Paul Acda and KTA managers, the year of 2006 has been successful for Kosovo’s economy. Furthermore, the developments in the publicly and socially owned enterprises have provided a boost for the economic development of Kosovo, reported RTK and KTV.

“The energy sector is a difficult one, but the best news for Kosovo’s future is that Kosova C project has been launched with the substantial assistance of World Bank in this project,” stated Acda.

“We have signed 222 contracts and collected some €250m this year. The sales of SOEs only in 2006 provided the sum of €154m,” stated KTA Managing Director Jasper Dick.

KTA Deputy Managing Director of POE Division Ilir Salihu said that the three main objectives for 2006 have been achieved. “These include the completion of the process of incorporation of the major POEs and the start of incorporation process in the water, waste and irrigation enterprises, further improvement of POE corporate governance and kosovarisation of POE management,” stated Salihu.

The dailies also report that the officials did not count the failures of privatization such as was the case with Brezovica Resort Complex and the problems caused by the Trepca creditor claims. According to TV21, the officials claim that the delays in privatizing this SOE are caused by the political decision.

“New York perceived that there was an overwhelmingly negative perception of privatization with the local population around Brezovica. Hence, it has been postponed until after the definition of Kosovo status,” stated Dick.

Acda praised the privatization of several great SOEs, including Ferronikel, Grand Hotel, Rahovec Vinery and Peja Brewery. KTV quotes Jasper Dick as praising the allocation of the workers’ 20%. “We paid €9m to the workers, €5m only in the last three months,” stated Dick, reported KTV.

Regarding the energy situation, “KEK can only produce energy as much as its existing capacities allow. It is a matter of Kosovo Government to ensure necessary funding for the import to cover the needs,” stated Salihu.