Digital transformation, a key driver for Kosovo’s economic development

Prishtina, October 7, 2020 – In addition to the challenges and disruptions it has caused on all aspects of our lives, COVID-19 has also created an unprecedented need for digital transformation of economic activities, in order for businesses to better adapt to the new reality. This was said, among others things during a virtual forum organized by the American Chamber of Commerce in Kosovo, with a panel of experts of this field, who unanimously stated that the digital transformation conditioned by the outbreak of COVID-19 has cleared the path for the creation of new enterprises as well as for reforming the strategies of already existing enterprises.

Blin Zeqiri, Chief Executive Officer at Art House, who was also the moderator for this forum, emphasized that the process of digital transformation not only for businesses but for public services as well, is crucial for the country’s development, adding, however, that it is obvious that this transformation will take some time. He also spoke of the need for businesses operating in the technology sector in Kosovo to further develop, so that they are able to provide more qualitative services as well as attract more international clients, whom they are already providing services for.

Jeta Zagragja, Head of Business Operations in the American company UCX Market, stressed that the need for digital transformation following the outbreak of COVID-19 has been a key driver in achieving the technological advancement we are now experiencing in all sectors in Kosovo, especially in e-commerce.

She further added that the Republic of Kosovo is an ideal country for foreign investments, mainly due to the attractiveness in tax and legal aspects, which facilitate the development of new enterprises especially in the technology sector. Zagragja also stated that the country’s image, although damaged by political instability is improving. According to her, to ensure proper development, the capacity of Kosovar youth, as well as cultural proximity to developed countries, must be further promoted. Taking her personal experience at UCXmarket during the lockdown as an example, Zagragja noted that remote working as one of the fundamental changes implemented during this time has been a great motivator for digital development, while this strategy is here to stay. Finally, she called upon all companies affected by the pandemic to take the necessary steps to their recovery through digital transformation as well as proper utilization of resources offered for them by the state of Kosovo.

Bleron Limani, Chief Technical Officer at the American based company VAIU Kosova, said that the COVID-19 pandemic has created an increased demand for digital payments, which is also one of the services this company focuses on. Referring to Kosovo’s attractiveness for investors, Limani stressed that the private sector plays a major role in changing and improving Kosovo’s image in front of American and other foreign investors. He also added that awareness of the opportunities for cooperation through business networking must be raised in Kosovo, mentioning that this can be done by stakeholders such as AmCham, as well as by online platforms which serve the same purpose and also create opportunities to further build on the credibility of Kosovar entrepreneurs in the global market, and facilitate cooperation within as well as outside borders. Further, Limani spoke of the need to digitalize municipal services and update the educational system in order for the Kosovar youth and all citizens in general to be better prepared to enter the labor market which has already been reformed by the COVID-19 pandemic.