Prishtinë, April 3, 2018 – Despite the continuous increase of relations between Kosovo and Albania, and having reached the trade agreement between both countries, Kosovar businesses still face barriers and difficulties in exporting their products in Albania. This was the main conclusion from the roundtable organized by the American Chamber of Commerce in Kosovo titled “Trade with Albania: How complex?”
Arian Zeka, AmCham Executive Director, said that despite the many meetings held in political level, there is still more to be done in the practical level. He added that reaching a common trade agreement with no barriers with the Western Balkans countries, especially between these two countries which have a lot in common, would be ideal. He also mentioned the meeting held last year between the two chambers of commerce of Kosovo and Albania where they discussed on how to reach an agreement in further developing the common trade.
Ilir Ibrahimi, President of AmCham Board of Governors, said that considering the difficulties and barriers that businesses face in the Albanian market, Kosovo’s government should also help in addressing the Kosovar businesses’ concerns. He mentioned the trade balance between both countries, where the increase is in Albania’s favor. He added that the trade integration between both countries will be reached only when the countries will have equal access.
Besir Çmega, general manager of Railtrans, mentioned the barriers that this company has come across in the transport field, such as the access and treatment towards Kosovar businesses, corruption, the products scanning in the border points, and also the exaggerated taxes from Albania which damage the businesses. Mergim Prishtina, Executive Director of Trepharm, compared the many requirements set from Albania with those in European countries, adding as concerning the large number of Albanian products allowed in Kosovo which are 160, and only 20 Kosovar products in Albania. Kujtim Gjevori, from SCAMPA, also mentioned many problems on trade such as not acknowledging various certificates, unnecessary controls in the border points which result in increasing their products cost.