Prishtina, March 27, 2020 – Viewing the economic situation created after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic with concern, 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 acting Government of the Republic of Kosovo to prioritize the presenting of the package of emergency measures in support of enterprises and employees affected by the measures taken against the spread of the pandemic.
Restating their view that private sector protection is vital to a sustainable economy and prosperity, as well as to maintaining the state’s ability to collect budget revenues, the organizations representing private sector interests reiterate the need for compilation and implementation of a government support program aimed at prompt and comprehensive intervention to save jobs.
Given the extremely negative impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the entire economic system and the delay of institutions to assist affected enterprises, a large number of domestic workers will remain without income starting from the month of March. Such a situation would further deepen the already difficult social situation in the country.
Business organizations are therefore asking the Government to approve no later than this week the liquidity program which would include: (1) A financial package of at least EUR 300 million for the emergency phase, (2) Wage subsidies for employees of all enterprises whose activity is severely disrupted or impaired, (3) Subsidies on rental payments to all undertakings whose activity is severely interrupted or withheld, and (4) Subsidy of all other operating expenses for all enterprises whose activity is largely interrupted or hampered.
Business organizations strongly believe that Kosovo has the necessary budgetary capacity for financial intervention, which could be conducted through the reallocation of planned capital investment funds to the projected liquidity program. Moreover, chambers of commerce remind the Government that the debt to GDP ratio is low, which leaves room to raise the level of borrowing in order to maintain economic growth at the desired level.
In addition, acting Government should immediately begin compiling a recovery program for the post COVID-19 pandemic phase, which would include funds from the country’s budget and international financial organizations. Organizations which signed this statement also request the Assembly of Kosovo to support the measures introduced by the acting Government, including the revision of the 2020 budget.
Lastly, Kosovo Chamber of Commerce, American Chamber of Commerce in Kosovo, German-Kosovar Business Association, European Investors Council and Kosovo Manufacturing Club remain committed in providing their utmost support and expertise in compiling the program, but also in identifying the funds made available for the Governments and the private sector in the countries affected by the pandemic.