Kosovo: regional conference on SMEs

Prishtina, 1 July 2007 – At the regional conference on Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), organized by the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI), held in Prishtina, the Kosovo Prime Minister Agim Ceku said that the Kosovo Government is seeking solutions for a quicker economic development and is drafting concrete plans, reported RTK.

Other topics of discussion included the cooperation between regional countries with impact on the development of small and medium enterprises. This sector is considered to be the most active one in the economic development and the greatest employment generator.

MTI assists the SMEs through the strategy for developing the private sector. The strategy includes job vacancies, measure and quality, trainings and advice for the management.

“We are developing activities for jobs, industrial areas and incubators of businesses. There are other activities that directly assist the SMEs. There are 60.000 registered private businesses in Kosovo,” stated Minister of Trade and Industry, Bujar Dugolli.

“With this number of businesses and the number of population, the unemployment should not have been a problem. However, there are obstacles of various natures. Access to finances is one of them,” stated Head of US Chamber of Commerce for Kosovo, Mimoza Kusari-Lila.

The lack of developing the financial institutions is one of the weaknesses to stimulate SMEs in Kosovo. “The international community and the government are actively assisting the private sector. The market is open to new businesses and new banks following the status resolution,” stated Thierry Bernard-Guele from the European Agency for Reconstruction (EAR).