Remarks by the President of the Republic of Kosovo, Madam Atifete Jahjaga, at the 16th Eurasian Economic Summit in Istanbul

The Eurasian Economic Summit provides an opportunity to communicate and exchange ideas and experiences in the function of economic development and prosperity of our countries. This summit is also a testimony to this age of integration, to our willingness to cooperate and find solutions.

Dear participants of the Summit,
Your Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Eurasian Economic Summit provides an opportunity to communicate and exchange ideas and experiences in the function of economic development and prosperity of our countries. This summit is also a testimony to this age of integration, to our willingness to cooperate and find solutions.

The countries of the Western Balkans that are also represented in this forum are in the process of reforms, as a need to transform their social and economic system to be part of the global changes. This is also important precondition for our economic and financial integration with the European Union.

There is much that the Western Balkans countries in the period of transition can learn from the experiences of other countries which have already gone through this path.  We are demonstrating with our overall engagement our commitment and the political will to make the necessary steps forward to consolidating our democracies and transforming our economies towards stability and prosperity. 

Regional countries, although less affected by the economic and global financial crisis, are faced with problems of developing economies and in those in transition, and if we don’t develop a right system of economic policies, that enables production, export and lowering unemployment then they risk entering in a period of crisis.

Dependence on foreign aid and the impossibility of access to third markets, especially in European countries, have locked the economy of the Balkan countries, which also do not have a model of mutual cooperation and common access to third markets. In all this, regional cooperation is a strong basis of common development, but foreign investments and capital will enable to competitive and export our products.

All regional countries have a common goal of membership into the EU, where the interests and common aims, for developing democratic societies, of advancing human rights and freedoms, of creating comprehensive mechanisms, overcomes ethnic antagonisms and avoid animosities between the countries.
   
It is the will of all the citizens of my country to integrate into the Euro-Atlantic institutions, and my country has a clear perspective for membership into the European Union, and we have the support of all EU countries, although 5 member states have not yet recognised Kosovo’s independence declared 5 years ago.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Kosovo has made significant progress in setting up institutions and steadily strengthened law enforcement mechanisms and it has designed and enforced sound macroeconomic policies, which ensure the stability of the economic system.

We have also committed to structural reforms through the privatisation process. We have made significant progress in improving the business environment, by legislative guarantees and other administrative procedures for doing business for local and international investors.

Since the declaration of independence, broad reforms and their successful implementation have resulted into economic development.

All required criteria have been fulfilled and we will start very soon the process of the Stabilization and Association Agreement with European Union, which will bring important advantages to our country, by offering predictability and stability and a real perspective for economic growth.

Kosovo is a small country that has declared its independence based on the free will of its citizens and supported by the international community.

Kosovo has a young and dynamic population which represents a major source of knowledge and potential for innovation. Our development is based on this young workforce and our mineral resources that are considerable in the regional context.

As we move forward, we will continue to create a strong economy, diversified, interlacing foreign and domestic capital and creating a favorable environment for direct investment and free movement of capital.

We believe, the revenues generated from natural resources should be channelled to increasing and improving education and advancing the skill base of the workforce. A well-educated, work force is an essential precondition for sustainable development. 

As a country and as a region we have a lot to do in the field of economic development and promotion of regional cooperation, because we are oriented and inter-twinned with each other, by creating appropriate infrastructure.

We also face huge challenges as our transformation and reform process happen in the context of a global recession. The high unemployment rate, especially among youth and women, is a real cause of concern in finding solutions and transforming our economy by creating necessary conditions, production capacities that ensure development and enables creation of new jobs.

As leaders, societies and business community we need to be prepared to provide the leadership for change. It is important for countries in transition to stimulate capital investors to enhance economy, trade and growth.

Distinguished participants of the Forum,

I am pleased that the Summit’s program addresses the role of women in sustainable development. The research around the world indicates that the level of women’s participation in a society is directly linked to the level of a country’s development.

When involved in politics, with women as active decision makers, we help create an inclusive society and a more meaningful democracy. Strengthening women’s role in the economic, political and social sectors of a country is fundamental to future economic growth and to generating new and innovative ideas.

Women are an equal part of society, have shared responsibilities for its development, they are co-carriers of the processes and the societies are advances when women are treated equally.

Ladies and Gentlemen:

Distinguished participants of the Forum,

We have come together to find solutions to these pressing questions. Our societies deserve to live in prosperity and we must demonstrate courage and willingness to see this vision through.

Thank you!