Chargé d’Affaires Colleen Hyland’s Remarks at the Kosovo Apparel Industry Convention

Chargé d’Affaires Colleen Hyland’s Remarks at the Kosovo Apparel Industry Convention, November 14, 2018

Good morning,

Prime Minister Haradinaj, other distinguished guests and speakers.

It is with great pleasure that I am here today to help launch the second-annual Kosovo Apparel Industry Convention.

To USAID EMPOWER and the Kosovo Apparel Marketing Association: congratulations on organizing this convention for the second year.  Hopefully, it is the beginning of a very long tradition.

By collaborating on this event, you are helping to cement an industry launch pad – a place where entrepreneurs can showcase their creations, share innovations, and attract investors and buyers.

To the apparel industry representatives who are here today: bravo!

Your ideas, energy, business acumen have helped build Kosovo’s reputation as a producer and exporter of quality goods.

USAID has been a proud partner of apparel-sector businesses over the past four years – helping them to acquire new equipment and obtain certifications.

To leverage these investments, USAID has provided assistance and helped producers make connections to new markets. This support, coupled with the grit and gumption of Kosovo’s business leaders, has helped the apparel sector to thrive.

Today, apparel companies – invigorated by rising popularity of Kosovo’s products – are forward-looking and fired up. They are refining their operations, investing in and upgrading their technology, diversifying their products, and increasing outputs and exports.

And, importantly, this sustained growth has helped create 450 new jobs across this industry.  As exports grow, so will the number of new jobs in Kosovo.

Kosovo’s apparel-sector companies should be very proud of the achievements and the success of the “Made in Kosovo” brand.  Through prominent partnerships, including deals with Max Mara and Havep, the Kosovo apparel sector is now exporting the high-quality products throughout the region and to the EU.

This bodes well for Kosovo’s economic development and the future of this important industry. The convention agenda is bursting at the seams with everything that is planned.

I hope that the networking, discussions, and agreements that emerge today will fuel continued growth for Kosovo and its entrepreneurs in the years to come.

Thank you again for allowing me to join you today!