Kosovo is a lower-middle-income country which has experienced solid economic growth over the last decade. Kosovo is one of only four countries in Europe to experience growth in every year since the onset of the global financial crisis in 2008.
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Koha Ditore: Since 2008, the Government of Kosovo had road construction as a priority, including here the three next years that will swallow 33% of capital investments. Has this concentration only on roads... Show More + been a mistake? Would investments in other sectors lead to more jobs and sustainable growth?Olters: Especially as a small, landlocked country, a transport network that guarantees secure access to seaports and the most important trading partners is an important priority. It still holds true that the only route to markets in central Europe, such as Germany or Switzerland, that does not cross a country that has not yet recognized Kosovo’s independence is via Albania and Italy. There is no doubt that Route 7—if well maintained—will continue to generate important economic benefits. Any discussion on whether the money spent on the motorway to Albania has maximized the development impact, relative to the same amount of money that could have been spent on alternative projects, has become pur Show Less -
Mr. Olters, let us start from an issue which has created lot of debate and suspicion in Kosovo – the problem of unemployment. KAS, supported by WB, brought the rate of unemployment to 30,9 per cent, or... Show More + 4,2 per cent less than six months ago. However the registration of population brought the unemployment rate at 44,8 per cent. How were these figures “produced” and how trusted they are? Which indicators have brought these results?Olters: For the first time in four years, the Labour Force Survey has taken a close look at labor market outcomes in Kosovo. These are the most reliable data and most accurate source for the calculation of the unemployment rate, with methods and methodologies that reflect those being employed by Eurostat and surveys that were verified by the World Bank experts. The public reaction to the findings, including the suspicions you have mentioned, relate to the conceptual distinction between the “economically inactive” segments of the population (capturing also those Show Less -
“The problem that is usually being visualized, is how capitalism administers existing structures,” Austrian-American economist Joseph Schumpeter wrote in 1942, “whereas the relevant problem is how it creates... Show More + and destroys them.” In many debates on economic development, it is often underemphasized that dynamic rates of economic growth are the result of an almost violent process, unsettling for companies and households, and a conscious and courageous choice by all who commit to it.Almost six years after independence, Kosovo finds itself at a critical juncture, at which important development priorities will need to be defined to be able to set its economy onto the right track towards vigorous growth and lasting improvements in social indicators. Given the recent performance of its economy, Kosovo is currently well-positioned to base a long-term growth strategy on the foundation of macro-fiscal and financial stability and avoid having existing fragilities (the private sector’s low productiv Show Less -
Analysts’ assessments of Kosovo’s development fluctuate between disastrous (en route to becoming worse) and resilient (with the potential of considerable growth acceleration). Available statistics help... Show More + to underpin any view on the state of the economy—starting from a youth unemployment rate of 60 percent (terrible), a trade deficit of more than 40 percent of GDP (bad), and average income of about €2,700 (unacceptable) to non-performing loans of 7½ percent of total credits (still acceptable), average real GDP growth rates during 2008–12 GDP of 4.2 percent (respectable), fiscal deficits of 1.6 percent of GDP over the same five-year period (good), public investments of 40 percent of total budgetary expenditure (very good), and a stock of public debt of less than 8.5 percent of GDP (exemplary). All figures are for 2012, unless indicated otherwise.As in any other economy, unemployment and poverty are lagging indicators. For this reason, it is not surprising that the widespread economic pessi Show Less -