Stick to the topic, and keep your crap for yourself ! I didnt find any similiar thread for Kosova, so its about time someone opened one.. Please give constructive comments, and try to stay on topic....
Prishtina, 5 October 2007 - According to the daily newspaper "Koha Ditore", officials of the winner for the second mobile phone operator tender in Kosovo, the consortium “Telekom Slovenia/Mobitel” and “Ipko Net” informed that SIM numbers will be launched by the end of the year.
According to Akan Ismaili, the director of the Kosovar partner Ipko Net, over €200 million of investments are being made and most of the amount will be paid by the main shareholder, Telekom Slovenija. “Our network will be one of the fastest built GSM networks in Europe. We are committed to our work in order to offer our product by the end of the year,” said Ismalji.
He added that services this operator will bring on the Kosovo market are similar to those of Telekom Slovenia, which is one of the most sophisticated mobile operators in Europe.
Drition Halili, Head of Vala, a mobile phone operator of Kosovo Telecom (PTK), said that PTK and Vala are welcoming the competition and are ready to compete in the market.
Prishtina, 1 October 2007 - According to the Kosovar daily "Koha Ditore", the Kosovo Government has decided on new steps related to the construction of the Merdare-Morine highway, connecting Kosovo with the neighbouring Albania. The complete process of land expropriation will be financed by the Kosovar Government with 50 million EUR, whereas another 200 million EUR from the budget, according to the Mid-Term Expenditure Framework 2008-2010, will be used as potential investment for the highway.
The Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF) did not include the specific highway project in its project financing plan so far. Minister of Economy and Finances, Haki Shatri previously said that the Government will not spend any money on the highway. But, the Minister of Transport and Post Telecommunication (MTPT), Qemajl Ahmeti, confirmed the opposite by saying that the project can be implemented with the money from the Kosovo Consolidated Budget, since the average amount of investment is 100 million EUR per year. The highway is planned to be constructed within the next 5-6 years
Lypjan, 26 September 2007 - The brick factory in Lypjan “Xella” has started with the production of “Silka” bricks. The factory is a €11,5 million investment of “Xella International” and “Haro Trade”. “Xella will produce Silka construction bricks by using local raw material and processing it by German technology,” said Samir Krasniqi, director of “Xella Kosovo” in the inauguration ceremony. Present at the ceremony were representatives of local and international institutions. “After the flag is raised and the status is defined, I see a bigger investment since there is going to be a big flux of investors,” said Joachim Ruecker, head of UNMIK. Kosovo President, Fatmir Sejdiu, said that the investment show security and favorable conditions that Kosovo provides to foreign investors.
According to Krasniqi, Xella will produce construction blocks and decoration frontage bricks that are new in the kosovar market. “It is a new German technology and it is a modern factory. I promise that the quality of these products is a new force on the market,” said Klaus Steiner, general director of ‘Xella Alpe Adria”.
Prishtina, 27 September 2007 - After the approval of the UN Legal Office in New York, the Kosovo Trust Agency (KTA) is preparing the privatisation of Brezovica ski resort. “The bid will be announced by using the special spin-off method and the opening of offers will be in the beginning of next year,” stated Ekrem Tahiri, KTA spokesman. According to him, the price will be determined by the market. The assets of the complex will all be in one tender and include the skiing center, three hotels and two restaurants. “We hope that some of five big groups that are interested will be part of the competition for the complex,” said Tahiri.
Prishtinë, October 25, 2007 – Kosovo has become more attractive for foreign investors. After a change in legislation, tax rules are now in accordance with the practice in European countries. When a foreign entrepreneur used to pay taxes as soon as he entered Kosovo (and maybe only stayed for a couple of days), he will now only be taxed after 180 days. The Amendments to the Regulation on Personal Income Tax and on Corporate Income Tax have recently been signed by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, SRSG Joachim Ruecker.
Background: Following the 37th meeting of the Kosovo’s Economic and Fiscal Council held on 12 June 2007, the SRSG has promulgated UNMIK Regulation 2007/23, which amends the UNMIK Regulation on Corporate Income Tax and Personal Income Tax. The amendments entered into force on 6 August 2007. The amended parts of the tax regulations are the parts concerning ‘Permanent Establishment’.
Previous Permanent Establishment rules in Kosovo did not conform to international standards, which created difficulties especially for international companies, because they were not sure for which parts of their business in Kosovo they had to pay taxes.
According to international practice, a country should tax only those profits of an enterprise that are derived from business activities of a ‘permanent establishment’ in that country, which can for example mean a certain amount of time a company has to do business in a foreign country before it will be taxed (usually 180 days). The exact definitions for what falls under ‘permanent establishment’ are outlined in the OECD Model Tax Treaty and Commentary as well as in the UN Model Treaty and Commentary and are understood by the international community. The recent amendments in the Corporate Income Tax Law and the Personal Income Tax Law are now very similar to the international standard and make it much easier for international companies to plan their economic activities in Kosovo.
ECIKS (Source: DSRSG Office)
Prishtina, 22 October 2007 - Kosovar wood products will soon be offered in the Italian market. The Association of Wood Processors (AWP) has signed an agreement with the biggest wood processing association in Italy, “Federlengo”. This agreement enables Kosovo to produce for the Italian company.
The agreement was reached in a multi-sector activity organized by the Kosovo Chamber of Commerce (KCC) and “Infromest” company. “Kosovar companies have the capacity to produce and export their products and not only to import foreign products,” said Besim Beqaj, Head of KCC.
ECIKS / Koha Ditore
Prishtinë, October 22, 2007 - The extensive economic reforms undertaken since 1999 are finally having an impact on the private sector performance. For the first time since 1999, clear signs of sustainable economic growth are visible, and the private sector carries that growth. In addition, as a result of successful privatisation and industrial restructuring, Kosovo again is starting to export the products of its traditional industries where potential for further growth is large. The agricultural sector is also showing signs of growth and improved competitiveness.
In the past several years, many observers stated an ironic disparity between the strong success in the conduct of economic reforms in Kosovo and the weak performance of Kosovo’s private sector. While UNMIK and the local institutions of Kosovo, assisted by bilateral and multilateral donors, have managed to create the foundations of a modern economic system, the performance of Kosovo’s economy remained weak. Thus, it was obvious that even with extensive reforms, results would not occur overnight.
Now notwithstanding a significant reduction in foreign assistance and public expenditures, Kosovo’s GDP is estimated to have grown by about 3% in 2006. Clearly, this time growth was not driven by increased public expenditure or donor spending, but by a better performance of the private sector. Several economic indicators also signalled improved economic performance. After a fall in 2005, Kosovo’s exports grew remarkably in 2006 by 54%, with a modest growth of imports by 5%. Furthermore, the rate of non-housing private investment grew impressively by 61% and lending to the private sector also increased. If the momentum of economic reforms is sustained, GDP should continue to grow, probably at an accelerated rate.
Macroeconomic stability was maintained in 2006, albeit challenged by a number of fiscal initiatives that could have jeopardized it. The rate of inflation stood near zero, in spite of accelerating economic activity. Government spending was kept within the prescribed and sustainable levels, in line with a Letter of Intent, which the Government of Kosovo signed with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 2005. However, maintaining reasonable spending has not been easy, partly due to pressures to increase social benefits for war invalids and families of deceased soldiers. The importance of maintaining a sustainable and pro-growth expenditure structure can hardly be overestimated. This norm is especially important in the light of the expected status resolution, which will bring new fiscal liabilities: Kosovo is likely to assume a portion of the old Yugoslav debt and will have to incur additional spending to finance the new public bodies that will be established following the transfer of further competencies from UNMIK and progress in the decentralization process. On the other hand, some of the existing sources of public revenue, such as those derived from the presence of UNMIK and its staff, cannot be sustained in the long run.
The privatisation process continued at the remarkably fast pace that was set already in 2005. Privatisation brought significant cash and investment commitments. The process of liquidation of insolvent enterprises gathered speed and is now well under way. Importantly, the privatisation process has been both very fast and highly transparent, probably more so than any privatisation in the whole region. At the same time, the Kosovo Trust Agency made significant progress in incorporating the Publicly Owned Enterprises (POEs), a crucial task for improving their corporate governance.
In 2006, Kosovo marked new milestones on its regional integration agenda; most notably it became a member of the enlarged Central Europe Free Trade Area (CEFTA). Finally, the Government has made noteworthy progress in facilitating the project to develop Kosovo C power plant, which would be the largest investment in the history of Kosovo whose contribution to GDP and public budget will be massive.
Kosovo’s economic development hinges on maintaining and building upon the economic foundations, which have so far been put in place. Kosovo’s economic development is still most severely constrained by interruptions in the electricity supply, weak capacity of public institutions, and the lack of adequate skills in the labour market. While there are a number of other obstacles to Kosovo’s economic growth, the ones above underpin the factors that create the most binding constraints to economic growth. Devising a well-informed, prioritised, sequenced, and achievable strategy to remove those constraints and committing resources to its implementation will be essential for Kosovo’s economic future. The government will not only have to maintain the fiscal stability and progress achieved on other reform fronts, but will have to undertake bold steps ahead by staying in the same path. In particular, efforts to secure uninterrupted power supply and to further improve the financial viability of Kosovo Energy Cooperation (KEK) should remain on top of the agenda as this is an immediate and serious obstacle to foreign and domestic investment alike.
In the fiscal realm, public investment has to be given the top priority, expenditures on public salaries have to be contained, and social expenditures should carefully target poverty reduction. Tax structure has to remain simple, but strong efforts have to be made to improve internal revenue collection. Furthermore, if the capacity of public institutions is to be improved, a new salary scheme should be considered to allow higher pay for key staff while keeping the overall amount of spending on public salaries within reasonable limits. At the same time, the Government has to ensure merit-based hiring and promotion policies within the public sector.
Source: Economic Policy Office of the EU/UNMIK Pillar IV
Prishtinë, October 18, 2007 – The Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SME) Support Agency of Kosovo, which is an Executive Agency of the Ministry of Trade and Industry has published a Call for Expressions of Interest from Companies wishing to locate at the Business Park in Drenas.
The planned business park of Drenas is located around 20km from the capital Prishtina and 5km from the Prishtina International Airport. The park will consist of 130 hectares, making it one of the most exciting developments in the region. The establishment of this Business Park coincides with a number of other developments such as the construction of the highway from Albania to Kosovo as well as the settlement of the political status of Kosovo.
The park will include a number of specific zones including:
- Flagship Manufacturing Zone;
- Domestic Incubator Zone;
- Warehousing and Distribution Zone;
- Office Zone;
- Hotel and Conference Zone;
- Food Zone;
- Retail and Service Zone.
The master plan for the entire zone is in preparation and much of the infrastructure for the first phase is already in place. Early participants in the project will be provided with “first mover advantage” benefits once demand is assessed.
The business park will provide modern, fully serviced facilities with all necessary supporting infrastructure, including water and electricity supply, sewerage and waste disposal. Flexible occupancy options will be available, including rental or purchase of either standard units or custom-built premises.
Interested parties are invited to contact the SME Support Agency for a registration form to register for an Information Pack when it becomes available and an invitation to an information seminar. For further information visit: http://www.sme-ks.org/
(KTV, TV21, most dailies)
The media reports that the Kosovo Business Week has been launched in Pristina with the slogan “I consume local products, but do you?”
The objectives of the Business Week are to increase the awareness of customers towards local products, improve the communication between local producers and customers, improve economic policies for creating a good business environment, and ensure a continuous communication between the Kosovo institutions and the private sector.
According to officials of the Kosovo institutions, Kosovo’s economy has grown every year due to the development of local businesses. The Business Week will promote local products across Kosovo. 40 local companies are participating.
Several of the written media reported on the press conference held by officials of the Minister of Trade and Industry (MTI). MTI Minister Bujar Dugolli is quoted as saying that more than 26 companies from Scotland and Ireland are interested in investing in Kosovo, in particular in the establishment of a business incubator in Peja.
Minister Dugolli also informed that the Office for Promoting Kosovar Business has already been opened in these two countries, hence the interest of the companies. The companies are mostly focused in developing the sectors of agriculture, trade and industry. Contacts between Kosovo’s central institutions and several of these companies have already been set for sake of the business incubator, expected to cost some €1.5m, reported Koha Ditore.
The Kosovo Tax Administration (TAK) has presented yesterday its nine months report on tax collection. Jonuz Krasniqi, TAK General Director, said during the period January-September the debt of the tax payers is some €230m, out of which KEK owes €61m. Krasniqi added that the debt of international companies is €28m where the biggest debtor is the French conglomerate “Alstom” with €7m. According to Alstom’s webpage, during the period 2006-2007, the income from sale is some €14 billion. The TAK has collected €32m more than during the same period last year and €9m more than foreseen.
Big companies interested in Kosovo ski resort
It has just been postponed temporarily by the New York office, (await the status issue I guess) and in the mean time to attract more investorsOld news
The Kosovo Privatisation Agency cannot sell this resort, as it is owned by the Serbia-based corporation, Inex Interexport. :cheers:
(The most recent news about this in the next post)On a side note, I heard about a "Kosovo C" power plant in development... Anyone have more information?
The German company RWE AG took seriously the work on the Kosova C project. RWE AG is one of the forth selected companies for the biggest Kosovar tender, Kosova C. The company leaders are convinced that they will be winners of this tender, if its process will be just and transparent. John Jowet, chief of the RWE representative office for Kosova, has declared that if irregularities and non-transparency is noticed, they will withdraw from the tender. If everything works right, the biggest German energy producer is certain that it will win the tender. RWE bases this on its 100 years experience on energy production, being also world leader for pulling out of lignite. The leaders of this company have promised that if they win the Kosova C tender, then they will firmly stick to European Union rules for environment, while the new thermocentral will start working by 2012.
RWE representatives declared that they have billions ready for investments in Kosova’s energy. "We already have 3.5 billion Euro from the corporate revenue and we do not need to take any loans", declared Jowet.
According to RWE, the construction of Kosova C capacities can start in the middle of 2008. The 2000 megawatts giant will be built within four years.
Besides, Manfred Kehr, vice president of the RWE Company for TC project planning, promised employment of local labor force, where in the works’ culmination will be hired around 6.000 local employees.
The Ministry of Energy and Mines has not composed the final project yet, while the Leading Committee has already been provided with help from consultants, who have international reputation. The tender was supposed to end at the end of this year, when it was supposed to announce the winner, who would start workings at the end of 2008. But, the tender is not ready even to be announced, as a consequence of final project.
Apart from RWE, other competitors are also the CEZ/AES consortium from Czech Republic /USA, EnBW/WGI from Germany/ USA and Enel/Sencap from Italy/Greece and USA.
Prishtinë, November 3, 2007 (Express) – Because of the general and local elections that will take place on 17 November, the tender announcement for the project Kosovo C will be postponed. According to the Kosovar Daily Express, the elections might change the managers of the project and can be considered as one of the main obstacles for the project implementation. According to officials of the Project Steering Committee (PSC), chaired by Minister of Energy and Mining (MEM) with participants from other Ministries, UNMIK, KTA and donors, the undefined status of Kosovo does not present any problem for the tender to be announced as planned.
Officials from the World Bank in Kosovo, said the PSC has given good signals, that there will be no postponement of the project. But, according to them, the representation of the Government will depend on the elections and on how fast a new Government will be formed.
“Meanwhile, the office of the project will continue to work with consultants on drafting the technical and transactional materials to be reviewed by the PSC,” said Edon Vrenezi, operations official in the World Bank Kosovo.
Forming the new Government does not exclude the possibility of changing the PSC group, since there is a possibility that the new Minister of MEM will be someone else, not Ethem Çeku.
“The possibility can not be excluded,” said Lorik Haxhiu, from PSC. He added that the works are continuing with the same dynamic. If everything goes as planned the tender will be announced by the end of the year, eventually beginning of next year.
Officials of the pre-qualified companies believe the tender will be announced as planned.
Sounds like a very ambitious project. Just to put into perspective, the closed Chornobyl power plant produced 1000 megawatts, so this will be twice as powerfull. However, would this power plant be able to alleviate Albania's energy porblems?RWE has 3.5 billion Euro ready for Kosova C