Prishtinë, September 26, 2018 – Despite the fact that Kosovo is a beneficiary country of the U.S. Generalized System of Preferences which provides duty-free treatment for more than 3,500 products, the amount of Kosovar goods exports remains very low. This was said during the workshop organized by the American Chamber of Commerce in cooperation with the US Embassy in Kosovo, the Kosovo Embassy in Washington DC, and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) regarding the benefits of the trade preferential status that Kosovo has with the USA within the GSP system.
Arian Zeka, AmCham Executive Director, said that the preferential trade system GSP provides duty-free treatment for numerous products in developing countries, including Kosovo. Zeka added that the lack of information on the opportunities this status provides reflect the limited exports in the USA, saying that AmCham will available in providing relevant information to businesses that are interested in this system.
Abel Lomax, Economic and Commercial Officer at the US Embassy in Prishtina, said that Kosovo has made progress during these recent years in various areas, including the exports growth to USA. He mentioned few of the benefits that businesses get from the US Generalized System of Preferences, adding that this system is necessary for Kosovar businesses as well as the economic development in the country, therefore it should be utilized before it expires in 2020.
Deputy Chief of the Kosovar Diplomatic Mission in Washington, Frymëzim Isufaj, said that GSP measures have created numerous opportunities in exporting goods to the US for Kosovar companies, and that the Kosovo Embassy has welcomed the decision of President Donald Trump and the approval of the US Congress in continuing these preferential measures until the end of 2020.
“Also, we are encouraged from the findings of the analysis conducted by AmCham which show that exports from Kosovo to USA have increased. I think that our companies now should increase their capacities, the quality of their products, as well as using these opportunities from the preferential measures,” said Isufaj, adding that the Kosovo Embassy in Washington will be available to businesses in helping them find the best ways of benefitting from these measures.
Erland Herfindahl, U.S. Trade Representative for GSP from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, informed the participants about the aim of GSP program, the selection process of beneficiary countries in this program, and also invited businesses to utilize the opportunities from this program in exporting their goods to US exempted from customs duties. He also mentioned details on the imports procedures of goods from Kosovo to USA.
The workshop was a good opportunity for manufacturing companies in Kosovo to get informed on the preferential trade status, categories of products exported in USA, and also the procedures in taking these benefits