Prishtina, May 23, 2019 – Increasing the competitiveness of domestic manufacturers through tax incentives and creating specific policies in stimulating exports growth are necessary in the further development of manufacturers, however, mechanisms from relevant institutions are still necessary in addressing and eliminating trade and tariff barriers. This was said during the presentation of the study “Manufacturing Index” conducted by the American Chamber of Commerce in Kosovo.
AmCham Executive Director, Arian Zeka, said that despite the attention given to the development of the manufacturing sector in the country, by certain measures such as fiscal measures from the Ministry of Finance, and supporting grants schemes from the Ministry of Trade and Industry, there is still a lack of impressive results. He said that this study has addressed numerous areas in the manufacturing sector such as labor force, supporting infrastructure, access to finance, quality infrastructure, rule of law, etc, which reflect the current situation in the manufacturing sector and problems which should be addressed by relevant institutions.
Whereas President of AmCham Board of Governors, Ilir Ibrahimi, said that the manufacturing sector has received the necessary attention in the public debate in the country,
however, besides this, concrete measures should be taken from public institutions in order to have long-term and satisfactory results in this sector, it being amongst the biggest contributors in the economic development of the country.
Head of AmCham Economic Research Institute, Visar Hapçiu, said that this study aims to be an authentic basis in following the developments in the manufacturing sector and also addressing the main issues that affect manufacturing businesses. Amongst others, Hapçiu mentioned the fact that businesses positively evaluate the fiscal environment in the country and this comes as a result of the continuous improvement of the tax legislation and numerous fiscal measures undertaken, however on the other hand they assess with a very low grade the progress made in fighting corruption. Lastly, he said that undertaking fiscal measures and tax incentives in continuity result in a stable and continuous development of manufacturers.
Minister of Finance, Bedri Hamza, said that the priority of the Ministry that he leads is to maintain the stable situation and the macrofiscal stability. Ministry Hamza said that we need to make reforms in the economic structure in order to decrease the high trade deficit, adding that the current fiscal reforms, such as in raw materials, information technology equipment, etc, have shown significantly positive results in the development of businesses and in increasing their manufacturing capacities.
Representative from the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Durim Limaj, said that the Ministry has made its priority the growth of domestic production and the equality of products by taking measures in certain products and also by drafting the law on internal trade, amongst others, mentioning the readiness of the Ministry in addressing tariff and non-tariff barriers for manufacturers. On the other hand, Leonora Kusari from the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) said that the Bank aims on assisting businesses in the private sector through various instruments and mechanisms, adding that the empowerment of businesses through financing and advising is essential for their expansion in international markets and in increasing the quality of their products.