Kosovo signs FTA with Bosnia and Herzegovina

Prishtinë, Oct 22, 2006 – Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) and Kosovo signed an interim free trade agreement. The Free Trade Agreement between Kosovo, and Bosnia and Herzegovina was signed Thursday in Brussels. On behalf of Kosovo, the agreement was signed by Andreas Wittkowsky, Deputy Head of UNMIK Pillar IV and was initialled by the Minister for Trade and Industry of Kosovo, Bujar Dugolli, while Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs in Bosnia and Herzegovina Anton Rill signed the agreement for Bosnia.

“This FTA with Bosnia and Herzegovina is another step for Kosovo in catching up with the countries of the region, which have established a network of bilateral free trade agreement. It is the last agreement concluded under the auspices of the Stability Pact,” TVs and dailies quote Wittkowsky as saying.

Meanwhile, Minister Dugolli said that there will be difficulties in the implementation of FTAs with Croatia and Bosnia due to so-called non-tariff barriers. Dugolli points out that while goods can circulate freely now, the people cannot as a consequence of the visa regime of these countries towards Kosovo.

Dugolli’s request was that the free movement of people becomes a principle of CEFTA.

This is the fourth FTA concluded by UNMIK on behalf of Kosovo. Agreements with Albania and Macedonia are in force, the recently signed Agreement with Croatia will be applied as of 1 November 2006, while the FTA with Bosnia and Herzegovina enters into force as 1 December 2006.