Economic normalization between Kosovo and Serbia offers new prospects for development

Prishtina, September 5, 2020 – The U.S. mediated, agreement on economic normalization signed in Washington by Kosovo and Serbia, will unleash new opportunities for economic development for both countries, as well as for the entire Western Balkans region, by improving mutual economic exchange, providing new sources of financing, more efficient utilization of joint natural resources. The agreement itself will result in accelerating economic growth through promotion of domestic investments and attracting of FDI, as well as the creation of much-needed jobs.

The American Chamber of Commerce in Kosovo evaluates that the opening of opportunities for financial support from the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) and EXIM Bank will enable the development of transportation infrastructure, including the construction of the Peace Highway and rail infrastructure between the two countries, as well as with deep sea ports of the Adriatic. This would enable Kosovo to enjoy greater economic benefits from its central geographical position in the Balkans region, as an important point of connection between the countries of this region and beyond.

Financial support from the aforementioned institutions is equally important for facilitating access to finance for small and medium enterprises, which will provide a new source of funding for their growth and development.

AmCham considers the establishment of diplomatic relations between Kosovo and Israel as an extraordinary achievement, bringing a new dimension to the cooperation between the two countries in the field of economy and technological advancement, as well as in the academic and cultural exchange.

By establishing railway transportation with Serbia, Kosovo will be connected to the international railway network, while companies from Kosovo would benefit from more efficient means of transportation of goods, thus increasing their competitive advantages, especially in the manufacturing industry.

AmCham strongly believes that improvement of road and rail infrastructure will play a key role in promoting the freedom of movement of people and goods, while mutual recognition of academic diplomas and professional certificates will enable, among other things, freedom of provision of services, thus guaranteeing the mobility of businesses and professionals within Balkan countries under the “mini-Schengen” zone agreement. The lifting of barriers between the countries will enable unhindered expansion of the manufacturing and trading companies from Kosovo within the zone.

Finally, the American Chamber of Commerce voices its belief that the operationalization of the joint border crossing in Merdare, will help the goals of the aforementioned agreement, by speeding up the border crossing procedures for people and goods, thus avoiding waiting times and bureaucratic procedures.