President Jahjaga’s address to the Kosovar-Austrian Economic Forum

This week we can easily call the week of strengthening of the Kosovo-Austria relations. Last Monday I participated at the celebrations in honour of the 60th anniversary of independence and declaration of permanent neutrality of Austria. Yesterday I held intensive meetings with His Excellency President Fischer, during which we praised the dedication of both our countries to peace, democracy and stability in the region. Above all, we discussed our bilateral relations and expansion of economic, investment and trade cooperation between the two countries. And now, I am pleased that together with you, we are taking other steps to concretize our relations through stimulation of private sector and increasing Austrian investments in Kosovo.

Honourable President Fischer,
Honourable Minister Hoti,
Minister Bajrami,
Minister Rrahmani,
Mayor Ahmeti,
Ambassador Brieger,
Ambassador Ukelli,
KCC Chairman Gërxhaliu,
Deputy Chairman of the Austrian Chamber of Commerce,
Ladies and Gentlemen

This week we can easily call the week of strengthening of the Kosovo-Austria relations. Last Monday I participated at the celebrations in honour of the 60th anniversary of independence and declaration of permanent neutrality of Austria. Yesterday I held intensive meetings with His Excellency President Fischer, during which we praised the dedication of both our countries to peace, democracy and stability in the region. Above all, we discussed our bilateral relations and expansion of economic, investment and trade cooperation between the two countries. And now, I am pleased that together with you, we are taking other steps to concretize our relations through stimulation of private sector and increasing Austrian investments in Kosovo.

Kosovo is a relatively new destination for foreign investors.  Irrespective of this, my country offers vast opportunities for investments and an ever more favourable investment climate.

In general terms, our economy has continued to grow, since the declaration of independence. Facing the effects of transition, of the global economic and financial crisis and internal structural challenges are a priority of ours today. Our institutions are dedicated to carrying through the continuous reforms in elimination of bureaucratic barriers, to the rule of law and improvement of the infrastructure and business climate.

Traditionally Austria has always stood by the aspirations of the people of Kosovo for peace, freedom and progress. Vienna is the gateway of our region to EU, and EU’s gateway to the region.  Today we are happy that we were able to attract serious Austrian investments, especially in financial sector as well as in the insurance sector. Presence of these companies in Kosovo has brought new experiences to our market and has created an appropriate infrastructure for local business and for foreign investments.

However, the level of our trade cooperation and low presence of Austrian companies in Kosovo shows that still much potential remains unutilized. We are aware of the reservations that many Austrian companies have in respect of investing in Kosovo.  We are also aware that a certain number of them, with potential for foreign investment, are currently at a stage of internal consolidation, in lieu of global economic crisis.

But, sometimes, it is these very moments of consolidation and reorientation which can serve as a thrust towards new initiatives. I am very encouraged by your large presence here today. I hope that during your stay you will be able to elaborate on all the opportunities, ideas, concerns and chances, with your local partners as well as with institutions of Kosovo, before you reach a possible decision. I assure you that my door is always open to you and my engagements shall be maximal in order to facilitate your undertakings in realization of your investment projects with mutual benefit.

President Fischer, our friend, please allow me to express my strong gratitude for visiting Kosovo with a number of well known Austrian businessmen, to see for yourselves the opportunities for the expansion of cooperation in the field of economy and investments; a stable economy and healthy wellbeing of citizens will further strengthen the foundation of our state and wellbeing of our citizens.

Thank you.