USAID Kosovo - Private Sector Engagement - YLL BLAKAJ

Speeches Shim

Private sector is essential to Kosovo’s democratic and economic progress. Innovation, technology, employment, are only few of avenues that drive and sustain outcomes capable of moving Kosovo toward its journey to self-reliance.

Video Transcript 
00:00:04,880 --> 00:00:07,656 <i> How is the private sector shaping Kosovo's future? </i> 2 00:00:08,578 --> 00:00:12,312 I think the private sector is developing continuously, 3 00:00:12,328 --> 00:00:14,946 particularly the manufacturing sector 4 00:00:14,963 --> 00:00:18,665 and food production. 5 00:00:18,690 --> 00:00:24,384 And of course, we as businesses need to focus on production, 6 00:00:24,388 --> 00:00:27,757 since production is the pillar of a state's economy. 7 00:00:28,404 --> 00:00:31,966 I believe new businesses are on the right track, 8 00:00:31,982 --> 00:00:36,364 in their expansion as producers 9 00:00:36,381 --> 00:00:40,492 in the Kosovo market as well as in the European market 10 00:00:40,584 --> 00:00:42,640 where we engage in our activities. 11 00:00:43,870 --> 00:00:46,573 <i> What is the contribution of the private sector in the development of Kosovo? </i> 12 00:00:47,670 --> 00:00:53,865 The private sector certainly needs to play the leading role at this point, 13 00:00:53,890 --> 00:00:58,613 and it is continuing to rise, as we are a young economy, 14 00:00:58,647 --> 00:01:01,828 so, I believe it is on the right track. 15 00:01:01,867 --> 00:01:06,168 We need to focus more on the quality of products, 16 00:01:06,193 --> 00:01:12,044 we need to focus more on expanding capacities, 17 00:01:12,069 --> 00:01:14,724 as well as on human capital, 18 00:01:14,749 --> 00:01:18,710 which certainly is crucial for the private sector. 19 00:01:19,476 --> 00:01:23,335 <i> How are you influencing the development of Kosovo and how is your work contributing to a better Kosovo? </i> 20 00:01:24,055 --> 00:01:27,340 We as the diaspora but also as businesses 21 00:01:27,365 --> 00:01:31,078 have, since 2013, organized in many countries 22 00:01:31,168 --> 00:01:32,905 as business networks, 23 00:01:33,114 --> 00:01:35,315 whose main focus is cooperation 24 00:01:35,341 --> 00:01:40,804 with Albanian businesses in Kosovo, Albania, North Macedonia, and Montenegro. 25 00:01:41,266 --> 00:01:45,625 We are largely focused on two things... 26 00:01:45,650 --> 00:01:51,820 Primarily to enable the export of our products in the Diaspora, 27 00:01:51,891 --> 00:01:55,864 that is, towards Albanian consumers in the Diaspora 28 00:01:55,889 --> 00:01:57,062 who are numerous 29 00:01:57,129 --> 00:02:02,919 but to the native population in Europe as well. 30 00:02:03,233 --> 00:02:07,953 This focus has gained momentum recently, 31 00:02:08,016 --> 00:02:10,593 Through the online platform "Ekena", 32 00:02:10,743 --> 00:02:13,492 which is a fairly well organized platform 33 00:02:13,525 --> 00:02:16,205 by members of the business network. 34 00:02:16,230 --> 00:02:22,580 With over 350 products that are already present in Austria, 35 00:02:22,605 --> 00:02:25,139 and which are available through the online platform 36 00:02:25,195 --> 00:02:32,359 so Albanian consumers can have them shipped within 24 hours. 37 00:02:32,768 --> 00:02:37,656 Secondly, the focus of the business network is our youth 38 00:02:37,744 --> 00:02:41,015 who have received good education in their respective countries in the Diaspora, 39 00:02:41,117 --> 00:02:43,905 and who run our businesses, 40 00:02:44,148 --> 00:02:49,728 can expand their activities into Kosovo and Albania, 41 00:02:49,753 --> 00:02:53,132 and have subsidiaries of their businesses over there 42 00:02:53,212 --> 00:02:57,230 in order for Kosovo and Albania to become productive countries 43 00:02:57,255 --> 00:03:00,609 and be able to meet their their own needs first and foremost. 44 00:03:00,634 --> 00:03:04,455 We know that both Albania and Kosovo do a lot of importing, 45 00:03:04,480 --> 00:03:09,231 but to also have Europe as a target for their exports 46 00:03:09,256 --> 00:03:12,898 since we are only about 1,000 km away from the European market. 47 00:03:13,697 --> 00:03:16,763 <i> You have been identified as a change maker, what is your main achievement? </i> 48 00:03:17,170 --> 00:03:23,161 I believe that our collective or group achievements 49 00:03:23,209 --> 00:03:26,273 are far more valuable than personal achievements 50 00:03:26,298 --> 00:03:28,359 that an individual has in their life. 51 00:03:28,549 --> 00:03:36,112 Therefore, I believe that the establishment of the business network and its spread across Europe, 52 00:03:36,137 --> 00:03:38,747 is the greatest achievement so far, 53 00:03:38,788 --> 00:03:41,718 however, the intention is to continue to strengthen the network 54 00:03:41,938 --> 00:03:48,859 but also individual businesses in Europe, America and Kosovo 55 00:03:49,016 --> 00:03:53,625 so they can function as one in the large European and world market. 56 00:03:54,367 --> 00:03:59,429 <i> Are there any messages you would like to give to other private sector representatives or even to the enthusiastic youth? </i> 57 00:04:00,029 --> 00:04:05,031 To the enthusiastic youth I say, starting from the latter, 58 00:04:05,236 --> 00:04:08,306 that Kosovo is a place of opportunity, same as Albania, 59 00:04:08,331 --> 00:04:10,703 they should stay here, be well educated, 60 00:04:10,840 --> 00:04:14,632 to prepare themselves for the labor market, 61 00:04:14,783 --> 00:04:17,337 to invest, to meet challenges, 62 00:04:17,362 --> 00:04:23,634 because the possibilities are there, Europe is here, in both Kosovo and Albania. 63 00:04:23,659 --> 00:04:27,696 The private sector should be seen as more important, 64 00:04:27,721 --> 00:04:31,862 as in western economies it is considered the most important and holds a key position, 65 00:04:31,895 --> 00:04:36,118 not just for work and production, 66 00:04:36,143 --> 00:04:40,327 but also in contributing to good state policymaking, 67 00:04:40,352 --> 00:04:42,796 which has an impact on the future of the private sector.

Last updated: September 22, 2022

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