Prishtina, March 23, 2020 – Given the importance of the private sector for generating employment and economic development of the country, the American Chamber of Commerce in Kosovo, Kosovo Chamber of Commerce, German-Kosovar Business Association, the European Investors Council and Kosovo Manufacturing Club, urge the Government of the Republic of Kosovo to develop a package of supportive measures to ensure the survival of the private sector following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this unprecedented situation, the organizations that represent private sector interests consider that the protection of the private sector is vital to maintaining the state’s capacity to generate budget revenues, and therefore, to the well-being of the population.
The aforementioned organizations consider as important that in these difficult days for the country, the Government and other independent institutions should consider the proposed measures aimed at removing market panic and expressing public support from the Government for the private sector for the purpose of maintaining market normality. It is also important to take the necessary measures to ensure sufficient liquidity in the country’s economic system, both in the public and private sectors, through its own resources for partial financing of the measures presented below, but also through working closely with International Financial Institutions to structure the financing of this stimulating program for the private sector in Kosovo. Following the examples of European Union and regional countries, the aforementioned organizations emphasize that the design and implementation of a government support program would help minimize the damages in the economy of the country by saving as many enterprises and jobs as possible.
In coordination with a group of successful financial and legal experts, as well as successful entrepreneurs, business organizations have submitted to the Prime Minister of the Republic of Kosovo a document containing a set of proposed measures in support of the private sector and the country’s economy, which include priority review of payments by the Treasury for all services and products offered by economic operators as well as immediate execution of all obligations to contractors, compilation of a program to support and stimulate the private sector, which will include a financial package of 5% of Kosovo’s gross domestic product for the emergency and recovery phase. This financial package would serve to cover the operational obligations of businesses, including the payment of salaries, rents and operating expenses, but also to raise capital and develop new financial products offered by the Kosovo Credit Guarantee Fund, as well as to develop other measures to stimulate the functioning of value chains in different sectors of the economy. As part of these measures, it is necessary to establish an immediate direct support fund for enterprises and enterprise employees whose activity has been interrupted or severely affected, after taking preventive measures against the spread of the COVID-19 virus. In order to avoid confusion, but also to provide comprehensive information, it is important to create a portal for the publication of all decisions and announcements relating to preventive measures against COVID-19.
Offering their full readiness to cooperate with relevant institutions in designing the support program, American Chamber of Commerce in Kosovo, Kosovo Chamber of Commerce, German-Kosovar Business Association, the European Investors Council and Kosovo Manufacturing Club assess the immediate response of the Government and other institutions to the above proposals as important, considering that any delay in the implementation of concrete measures in support of the private sector and affected workers would make the recovery from the detrimental effects on the economy all the more expensive.