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Investors confidence

FDI in the Western Balkans, Kosovo

Total FDI inflows in the last 18 months amounted to EUR 383mn (EUR 272mn in 2018 and EUR 111mn in the first six months of 2019). The largest portion of investments in the last 18 months comes from European countries: Switzerland (EUR 100mn), Germany (EUR 96mn), Great Britain (EUR 48mn) and Austria (EUR 23mn). High inflow comes from the USA (EUR 54mn) and Albania is a relatively large investor (EUR 34mn). High negative inflow was recorded with the Netherlands (EUR -44mn).

Regarding the economic activities, a lion-share of all investments was related to Real estate, renting and business activities (EUR 310mn). Attractive sectors were also: Construction (EUR 34mn), Electricity, gas and water supply (EUR 29mn) and financial intermediation (EUR 18mn). Negative inflows have been recorded in Transport, storage and communication (EUR 17mn), Manufacturing (EUR 17mn) and Mining and quarrying (EUR 10mn).

Illyria sh.a.

Located in the middle of the Balkan, Kosovo serves as a connecting bridge between the South Eastern European countries. Through its unique geographical position, Kosovo has access to the growing markets in Balkans and Central Europe that covers 28 million potential customers. The road network, consisting of 630 km of main roads, has been rebuilt to a large extent over the past years, with the addition of some completely new roads. With the construction of a highway connecting Albania and Serbia directly through Kosovo, it is becoming an important gateway in the corridor connecting the Adriatic Sea to Western Europe. Kosovo has the youngest population in Europe with 70 percent of the population being under the age of 35, etc.

Strengths: Availability of skilled labour, Low labour costs, Quality of Life, Existing foreign investor’s experiences.

Weaknesses: Country legal framework, Political stability.

We would recommend to the Government to further focus on vocational education, skilled workforce,- Visa liberalisation, implementation of industrial standards,Investment in- and improvement of Quality of our products / services,Financial support, e.g. Export loans, co-finance of marketing, quality assurance, export activities, etc.

Integration into EU market should be the only agenda for the region.

Country of origin/ headquarters Size of investment so far (approximately) Date of market entry Number of employees Regional presence if applicable (which country besides base country in the region – production or distribution)
Slovenia €3.2 M Aug 2008 100 NA
Teuta Abdullahu Bunjaku, Head of HR

Ipko

We invested in Kosovo as there were no competition. Combining unique experience in a dynamic and emerging market with dedication to provide cutting edge technology to Kosovars, IPKO has established firmly itself as a fundamental pillar of the new economy in Kosovo. What we see as the weakness of the market is implementation of the laws.

Kosovo is considered as a country with a young population. About 35% of the population is unemployed, whereas youth unemployment is 61%. The high unemployment rate reflects the low production/services level, but also the gap between the skills of the labor force and market requirements. According to the World Bank, students in Kosovo are often left unprepared to enter the labor market.

We would advise to the Government to improve inter-border flow of goods and people (customs procedures, police and customs border systems).

We see the region to remain being interesting for labor-intensive investments if no bigger political turmoil occurs.

Country of origin/ headquarters Size of investment so far (approximately) Date of market entry Number of employees Regional presence if applicable (which country besides base country in the region – production or distribution)
Slovenia €50 million July 2013 250 NA
Robert Erzin, Manager

KIVO LLC

In June 2016, KIVO Kosovo was ISO 9001 certified and since April 2017 the site was BRC certified as well. In the same month a new regenerating line for production waste was installed.

Entrepreneurship requires courage, patience, resilience and often a little bit of luck as well. KIVO and the Kosovar company VM3 were each separately investigating possibilities to invest in a production facility, when, through a match-making program, they came into contact and decided to join powers.

Thanks to the intense and warm cooperation, fast learning and hands-on mentality of the team in Kosovo under management , all original plans that were developed in 2013 and onwards have been realized successfully. The successful project implementation has led to more chances and possibilities. This is demonstrated by the fast expansion to double the capacity.

Governments of the region should learn from Kosovo example to further improve competitiveness of the region.

We see region bound to EU only.

Country of origin/ headquarters Size of investment so far (approximately) Date of market entry Number of employees Regional presence if applicable (which country besides base country in the region – production or distribution)
Netherlands €9 million Jan 2015 110 NA
Maliq Gjyshinca, Manager

Partners

Ebrd

Strategic partner

Karanovic Nikolic

Content partner

Confida

Content partner

I&F McCann

Communications partner