After Serbia, Albania is second to putting trade barriers on Kosovo

After Serbia, Albania is second to putting trade barriers on Kosovo
Astrit Panxha (left) and Berat Rukiqi
 Kosovo Chamber of Commerce (KCC) in a press conference spoke about trade problems and barriers between Kosovo and Albania, which claimed that there is no political will on the part of the Government of Albania to resolve this issue.

Only in the first five months of this year, Albania increased the exports to Kosovo by 25 million euros, while Kosovo increased the exports to Albania by only one million euro.

The chairman of KCC, Berat Rukiqi, said that many barriers have been evidenced by businesses since a decade or so, for which there seems to be no political will or a sustainable plan how to deal with these problems.

"Any kind of partnership that has been attempted to be build on the Albanian market by Kosovo companies has constantly had many barriers. The tariff barrier, non-tariff and the violation of the investments as it has happened in the case of the company Elkos, which has almost experienced a political controversy of its property for several months now. Unfortunately, there were not enough safeguards either from our institutions or law, order and executive institutions in Albania. This is only a case that proves that our companies have not managed to have a proper position in the Albanian market so far," Rukiqi said.

Why Kosovo gives a focus to Albania's market, according to Rukić, is that for Kosovar companies is the main market that should be in fact for export, investment and cooperation.

"Why do I say the main market, because geographically, politically, socio-culturally and in all other aspects there is a possibility for there to be a free trade, open trade, a commodity in trade exchanges, but in fact this it is not happening. What is important to note is that we continue to recommend that the agreements we have are also obliged to respect them," he said.

Kosovo producers' club chairman Astrit Panxha stressed that for the Kosovo producers, Albania's market is one of the most interesting and attractive markets, given that the two states, Kosovo and Albania are a nation.

Panxha said there are many reasons to increase trade exchange between the two countries, but unfortunately this is not happening.

"Trade with Albania is continuing to be a trading by one side. If we look at the statistics for the first five months of 2019, Albania's exports to Kosovo have increased by 25 million compared to the same period of last year, while Kosovo's exports to Albania have increased only by one million. Regardless of the soft language used by the Albanian politicians, those procedures are very miserable in comparison to Kosovo producers," Panxha said.

He added that recently in Tirana was discussed by referring to a report written by the European Commission, where unfortunately after Serbia, Albania is the second state in the sense of putting trade barriers to Kosovo. Bosnia is third, while Montenegro is fourth, and fifth is Macedonia.

"We know that with Serbia we have problems, but to be Albania second is a disaster for the trade relations between our two countries, we have waited and we hoped that the Government of Albania will reflect and take measures, based on in the agreements we have signed," said Panxha.

According to him, one of the main agreements is to facilitate the trade exchange between the two countries, where both governments are obliged that every decision taken regarding trade should analyze the potential impact that may have on the economy of Albania or Kosovo, while this has not happened by Albania, as is the case of escalating the excise tax on beer in Albania, which automatically excludes from the competition the beer of Kosovo. Then, applying the road tax, because the highway in the part of Albania does not meet the parameters of a modern highway.
After Serbia, Albania is second to putting trade barriers on Kosovo After Serbia, Albania is second to putting trade barriers on Kosovo Monday, June 03, 2019 Rating: 5
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