The World Bank reported a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate of 3.6 percent in 2015, among the highest in the region. The World Bank attributes this growth to domestic consumption and diaspora revenue. The Central Bank of Kosovo estimated that diaspora contributions totaled €693.7 in 2015, which is over 12 percent of GDP. Leading domestic industries include agriculture, metals and mining, and construction materials. The country’s narrow export base has resulted in a significant trade deficit requiring an increase in local manufacturing and investment. Kosovo’s largest exports are scrap metal, nickel, and lead.
The following is a snapshot of Kosovo’s economy broken down by business sector:
|Sector||No. of Businesses||Share (%)||Initial Capitalization (in €)|
|Processing / Manufacturing||526||6.82||151,603,510.22|
|Transport and Hotel||504||8.03||178,473,998.00|
Kosovo’s highly pro-American population welcomes U.S. investment in various sectors, including:
Energy: Kosovo’s vast lignite-coal resources and strategic regional location, along with the substantial power deficit in Southeastern Europe, provide opportunities for energy-generation projects.
Mining: Historically an important contributor to Kosovo’s economy, mining has declined in relevance due to a lack of investment in equipment, facilities, and development of new mines. The sector has significant foreign investment potential, and the Independent Commission of Mines and Minerals (ICMM) has issued over 500 exploration and mining licenses since 2007. Serbia claims ownership of one of Kosovo’s largest mines, Trepca, despite its location in Kosovo. The Privatization Agency of Kosovo plans to draft a restructuring plan for Trepca by November 2016, which will identify core assets, address outstanding creditor claims, and allow for privatization of the complex.
Telecommunications: Kosovo’s telecommunications operators are transitioning to 3G and 4G services. Opportunities to provide support services for 4G networks may exist in the near future. Opportunities to support Kosovo’s transition to its own the country code may develop in the coming year. The Independent Media Commission is initiating a tender to move from analog to digital broadcasting in 2016. The Government of Kosovo is working to position the country as a regional hub for information technology (IT)-related products and services, building on the strong IT and English-language skills within the workforce. There are a growing number of IT companies focused on outsourcing for European and U.S. companies, and the number of inbound and outbound call centers is growing.
Health: Kosovo has an urgent and growing need for quality basic and specialized health and medical services, facilities, and products. The sector is dominated by public-sector services, but private-sector investment has recently increased. Many Kosovo citizens travel to other countries to meet their health-care needs, and local solutions present a potentially lucrative opportunity for outside investors.
Infrastructure Development: Kosovo is in vital need of infrastructure development, including modern roads, housing, healthcare, water, and sanitation projects. The GoK and the private sector are seeking project designers, engineers, and managers, as well as high-quality production inputs, machinery, and tools. The concession of Adem Jashari Pristina International Airport to a French-Turkish consortium resulted in the construction of a new 42,000-square meter terminal, control tower, parking lot, runway, and access road improvements. Following the completion of the Route 7 (Pristina-Albania) Highway in 2013, construction of Route 6 connecting Pristina with the Macedonian border by an American-Turkish consortium began in 2014. Further improvements to road and railway infrastructure connecting Kosovo with its neighbors are planned as part of the Western Balkans 6 initiative
Food Products: Considerable demand exists for U.S. food products, such as frozen meat, chicken, canned goods, cereals, and alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Kosovo’s first American food franchise is expected to open in late 2016, and there is significant demand for other U.S. brands. Demand for fresh and organic products from the region is also growing.
Other Services: As Kosovo’s economy develops, the need for expert financial, legal, architectural, engineering, public relations, and graphic design services will grow.
For more information see our Kosovo Country Commercial Guide (PDF 1,114 KB)