September 18, 2019, Prishtina — Predictable legislative and regulatory environment, functioning of a market economy, equal treatment of all businesses, and combating the informal economy should be key priorities of the new Government. These conclusions were drawn from today’s roundtable organized by the American Chamber of Commerce, where businesses were able to present their recommendations to the new Government. During the roundtable, concerns were also raised about past decisions taken without prior coordination with the business community, which have had an effect in disruption of business operations.
Avni Krasniqi, Chairman of the AmCham Trade and Customs Committee and representative of Delfin LTD, mentioned that the country’s constitution provides for a free market economy, noting that institutions must consequently be committed to fulfilling these constitutional provisions and refrain from unilateral decisions and legal changes that affect free trade. An example taken on this was the draft law on trade, proposed by the Ministry of Trade and Industry in the last governing mandate, which foresaw burdensome provisions in the trade sector.
Hakif Gashi, Vice President of the Board of Governors of the American Chamber of Commerce, as well as a representative of Meridian Corporation, said that trade effectively affects all sectors, including production and services, so its importance in sustainable economic development should be appreciated. He further said that the new Government should take into account the recommendations of AmCham as well as other private sector organizations, as they will help maintain a healthy business environment.
Përparim Tushaj, a representative of Japan Tobacco International, spoke about the need for predictability in the operations of the respective industries, noting that immediate decisions undermine business planning and make it difficult to operate. He said that Kosovo, however, has had a better business environment compared to other neighboring countries and this should continue in the future. Tushaj considered it necessary for Kosovo to begin with what is known as the Regulatory Impact Assessment, which is implemented in EU and OECD countries for instance, and takes into full consideration the impact that certain policies can have on a comprehensive basis.
Other businesses present also expressed concerns about political attempts to intervene in the market economy as well as in the operations of private businesses, emphasizing, among others, the more efficient use of public money and the combating of corruption and informality.