WASHINGTON, December 18, 2018 — The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved today the Kosovo Real Estate and Geospatial Infrastructure Project (REGIP), which aims to increase the quality and availability of land administration and geospatial data and services in Kosovo. The financial support for the project is €14.6 million ($16.5 million equivalent).
“Securing property rights is critical for improving Kosovo’s growth and development - as well-defined rights are the cornerstone of a vibrant market economy,” said Marco Mantovanelli, World Bank Country Manager for Kosovo. “This project will help increase access to finance and reduce informality in the economy, positively impacting credit markets and the commercial banking sector which, in turn, could result in more investment and more jobs,” he added.
Investments from the REGIP will focus on improving the availability and accuracy of cadastral information, advancing ICT and geospatial infrastructure, and implementing capacity-building initiatives. Planned upgrades to IT systems and a launch of online e-services will benefit all citizens and businesses in Kosovo, making more information and services available online. E-services geared towards specialized users - such as commercial banks, notaries, and private surveyors - will benefit these users and will improve on the speed, quality, and accuracy of service delivery.
“Without a complete and up-to-date cadastre system and clearly defined legal rights for men and women, there is significant risk to investments from the private sector and from citizens,” said Aanchal Anand, Land Administration Specialist at the World Bank and the Task Team Leader for the project. “Improving cadastral data and services can increase access to land for domestic and foreign investors, an important factor of production, and enhance the efficiency of the economy.”
The new project will build on the achievements of the World Bank-financed Kosovo Real Estate Cadastre and Registration Project, which closed on June 30, 2018. This project helped the Kosovo Cadaster Agency (KCA) make considerable progress in introducing a modernized land administration system, securing property rights, and improving the business environment in the country. The most notable achievements from this project include: a significant improvement in Kosovo’s ranking in the World Bank Doing Business Index (DB) for Registering Property (from 73 in 2012 to 34 in 2018); a systematic update of cadastral and registration records (cadastral reconstruction) in 30% of the priority cadastral zones of Kosovo; increased land market efficiency, reducing the time to register a transaction from 30 days to fewer than 10; the development of the Kosovo Cadaster Land Information System (KCLIS); the introduction of a data collection and monitoring system for gender-disaggregated property ownership; and the introduction of national spatial data infrastructure and the establishment of a national ‘Geoportal’ site.
The REGIP project is financed through a credit from the International Development Association (IDA) of the World Bank Group. IDA credits are provided on concessional terms with zero or very low interest rates and long repayment periods. The financing for this project has a maturity of 25 years, including a 5-year grace period. The project will be implemented over five years by Kosovo’s Cadaster Agency, which operates under the umbrella of the Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning of Kosovo.