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Minister Besim Beqaj
Economic Development Minister Highlights Opportunities
Besim Beqaj, Minister of Economic Development, discusses how his ministry is helping to position Kosovo as an attractive investment target.
European Times: What are your ministry’s priorities?
Besim Beqaj: This is a new ministry tasked with enhancing Kosovo’s economic potential and creating more opportunities in key sectors. We want to strengthen the private sector, establish legislation that promotes private investment, and create clear strategies for sectors like mining, energy and telecommunications. We are committed to continuing to upgrade the business environment, reduce unemployment, and extend Kosovo’s economic reach. One of our major goals is to establish clear policies in the mining sector, especially concerning Trepca’s privatisation. Privatisation in Kosovo is no longer handled by the UNMIK but by Kosovo’s own institutions.
European Times: What else is your ministry doing to promote the mining sector?
Besim Beqaj: We have established 11 special mining zones and have created clear processes for acquiring exploration licenses. We believe public-private partnerships can work very well in the mining sector.
European Times: Where does most of Kosovo’s FDI come from?
Besim Beqaj: Most of our foreign investors are from Germany, the UK, Slovenia, Austria, Switzerland, Albania, Turkey, etc. Slovenia is very active in the banking, insurance and manufacturing sectors and we have recently seen an increase in Turkish investments, some of which are through international consortiums.
European Times: What are sectors with particularly strong potential?
Besim Beqaj: Mining and food-processing have excellent prospects. Kosovo is also a good choice for business outsourcing now that other locations are becoming expensive.
European Times: Why should international investors target Kosovo?
Besim Beqaj: Kosovo has a very competitive tax regime with low corporate tax, a regulatory environment fully harmonised with EU standards, streamlined procedures for launching a business, great human capital, and a level playing field for foreign investors. In addition, our new industrial parks offer well-developed infrastructure.
European Times: What are some major projects in the works?
Besim Beqaj: We have privatised electricity distribution and plan to build a new lignite-fuelled power plant in a project budgeted at more than €1 billion. We are expecting bids from four qualified companies for this project, which is supported by the EU and the World Bank.
European Times: What is your personal message to potential investors?
Besim Beqaj: Kosovo’s economy is very dynamic and growing faster than those of other countries. Kosovo will be a very attractive investment location for the coming decade and is an ideal gateway for investors looking to access the CEFTA market.