Kosovo – Doing Business 2013

September 18, 2013

Bedri Kasumi had to rebuild from almost nothing after the conflict in Kosovo destroyed his potato industry 14 years ago.

Now, he produces about 500 kilos of chips an hour, in addition to tens of thousands of potatoes and seeds, at a nearby nursery he owns.   Business, he says, is finally booming.

“It has changed a lot, considering Kosovo started from scratch in ’99.  A good example is our company; we started with potato seeds, and are now a super producer,” says Kasumi, from his factory on the outskirts of Kosovo’s capital, Prishtina.

Reforms by Kosovo to streamline business regulations and to cut the red tape blocking enterprise have led to a better business climate overall in the country, making it easier for local entrepreneurs like Kasumi to be successful in the marketplace, according to the World Bank and its private sector arm, the International Finance Corporation (IFC).

" We need to continue our work on the educational system and vocational training because, labor being one of the best assets in Kosovo, we need to have professional and well-trained people so that companies do not need to spend a lot of money to retrain them. "

Kusari Lila

Trade Minister

The World Bank Group’s 2013 “Doing Business” report shows that, because of efforts by the southeast European country, Kosovo has grown at higher rates than its neighbors, and upgraded its relative ranking by 28 places to 98 out of a total of 185 countries surveyed.

“Certain indicators show the full efforts that we engaged in improving processes in Kosovo.  For example, we have improved 44 places in registering starting a business, which was really important, and also protecting investments, 76 places,” says Kosovo’s Minister of Trade and Industry, Mimoza Kusari Lila.

Kosovo’s biggest improvements were in strengthening investor protections and easing business creation, in part by eliminating former minimum capital requirements and business registration fees, according to the Business Report which indicates that the establishment across the country of business registration offices has also made it easier for entrepreneurs to register their tablishment of offices like these across the country have now made it easier to  a busines,businesses. 

In addition, the report shows, Kosovo has made progress in dealing with construction permits, while protecting gains made in other areas of business reform.

Still, Kosovo’s entrepreneurs say more has to be done in the country in order to expand growth, create jobs, and provide a professional perspective.

“I must mention maybe many times (that) Kosovo is a small market and we deal with difficulties in terms of getting capital and human resources,” insists businessman Hakif Gashi, adding that he would like to see more in the way of producing skilled workers and attracting foreign investments so that he can further expand his bread baking enterprise. 

Trade Minister Kusari Lila agrees that more needs to be done in the country to encourage international investors to come to Kosovo. “We need certainly to continue our work on the educational system and vocational training because – labor being one of the best assets in Kosovo – we need to have professional people and well-trained people so that companies do not need to spend a lot of money to retrain them,” Lila says.

Mr. Kasumi, the potato industrialist, meanwhile, says he’d like his country to do more to encourage exports that he says would help him sell more chips abroad and hire more people locally.

And more local work opportunities, says Elbasane Sadiku, would be good for thousands of Kosovo’s youth like her.

“More is needed to help the young people because they are unemployed and have no jobs,” she says from the potato chip factory where her job as an overseer provides the money she needs to pay for university… and aspire to even more.

number of spots gained by Kosovo in overall ranking between 2012 and 2013 Doing Business
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