Internal political war poses danger to enterprises and jobs in Kosovo

Prishtina, June 28, 2020 – Preventive measures against the spread of COVID19 pandemic have
severely limited economic activity. This brings consequences of high costs for the recovery of an
economy with a structure as unstable as that of Kosovo’s, due to the long-term threat for
enterprises, jobs, and budgetary stability. Under such circumstances, rapid and consensual national
action is imperative, thus the American Chamber of Commerce in Kosovo urges all institutions of
Kosovo, both from the executive and the legislative, as well as political parties, to avoid internal
political hostility and pursue a dynamic agenda of action that would enable rapid state intervention
for enterprises and employees at risk.
AmCham strongly believes that considering the current challenges the private sector in particular
and the country's economy in general is facing, it is beyond necessary for the disagreements on
topics of political nature to not dominate the ones related to private sector support and economic
recovery after COVID19.
Failure to fully implement Fiscal Emergency Package measures and the delay in approving a
recovery program both due to Kosovo Assembly’s delayed approval of budget review and
international loan agreements that are crucial to the implementation of state intervention
measures, pose a serious threat on tens of thousands of jobs. These delays are the aftermath of the
failure of internal institutional and political coordination and agreement, but also of the insincere
and deficient public-private dialogue during the past four months. This will inevitably make Kosovo
lose its track in economic recovery, thus making it impossible to provide a more promising
perspective for its citizens.
While all statements of AmCham and other organizations representing private sector interests in
the country have spoken of the dramatic restrictions on economic activity, confirmed by data from
authorities such as Tax Administration and Customs, the same concerns do not seem to have
alarmed state decision-makers and political parties. The latter have unfortunately given priority to
political issues by choosing to emphasize their disagreements.
AmCham reminds Kosovo's political leaders that economic development requires a unified national
approach among all political and non-political stakeholders, which would culminate in a national
economic development strategy and guarantee consistency in economic governance for the
upcoming years. The deeply divisive political discourse of recent months unfortunately does not
contribute to the abovementioned goals.
In case of further delay of support for the private sector, the following months will reveal the real
consequences of COVID19 in the country's economy, which will result in massive collapse of
enterprises, increase in unemployment and poverty, reduction of budget revenues and therefore
the state's ability to provide public services and capital investments.

During the second half of 2020, the Government of Kosovo must engage with unparalleled
seriousness in fulfilling the legislative agenda for this year, while the deputies of the Assembly of
the Republic of Kosovo are expected to focus the parliamentary debate on economic aspects instead
of close political disagreements and debates on unnecessary topics which hinder reform and
progress, rapid economic growth, and increase of social welfare.
Finally, the American Chamber of Commerce emphasizes the need to increase the dynamism of the
National Council for Economic Development, where the private sector must be given space to play a
leading role in the development of the recovery program, the reformation of doing business
environment as well as the strengthening of the private sector in Kosovo.