|GDP, current US$ billion||8.0|
|GDP per capita, current US$||4,458|
|Life Expectancy at Birth, years||71.9|
Kosovo is a parliamentary republic. It declared independence on February 17, 2008 and is recognized as an independent country by more than 100 United Nations members and by 23 out of 28 members of the European Union (EU). Kosovo is a potential candidate for EU membership and signed a Stabilization Association Agreement with the EU in October 2015 that has been in force since April 2016. Early parliamentary elections were held on October 6, 2019, and a new government has yet to be formed.
Although Kosovo’s economic growth has outperformed its neighbors in the past decade and has been largely inclusive, it has not been sufficient to provide enough formal jobs, particularly for women and youth, or to significantly reduce the high rates of unemployment. The growth model relies heavily on remittances to fuel domestic consumption but has recently shifted to more investment- and export-driven growth.
To continue to grow and fully reap the benefits of EU integration, Kosovo needs to unleash productivity gains and create more quality jobs. This will require addressing infrastructure bottlenecks and creating an environment more conducive to private sector development. Governance and the rule of law must be strengthened.
Kosovo’s young population needs to be equipped with the skills demanded by a modern economy and the most vulnerable of its citizens protected by well-targeted and effective social programs. Gender gaps in access to economic opportunities remain one of the country’s main challenges. Further actions are also needed to promote environmental sustainability, including the fulfillment of the EU’s environmental acquis.