Challenges and Impact for Kosovo
Deputy Ambassador, Kosovo, Mr. Jacob Webber
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (the “UK”) participates in a number of international agreements as a result of, or relevant to, its membership of the European Union (the “EU”) and which help underpin the UK's relationships with third countries and international organisations. The Government is seeking, as far as possible, to continue the effect of its current arrangements as the UK leaves the EU.
The Agreement establishing an association between the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Republic of Kosovo is the UK-Kosovo Partnership, Trade and Cooperation Agreement (the “UK-Kosovo Agreement”) and is based on the EU-Kosovo Agreement.
As with the EU-Kosovo Agreement, the UK-Kosovo Agreement is a comprehensive agreement which establishes a political and economic association between the UK and Kosovo. The Agreement covers both trade in goods, including provisions on rules of origin, preferential tariffs and quotas, and trade in services. It also contains commitments in areas often covered by trade agreements, including intellectual property, notably geographical indications and government procurement. Finally, the Agreement replicates the institutional framework of the EU-Kosovo Agreement with minor modifications.
The trade provisions aim to reduce barriers to trade and investment between countries. Barriers can be taxes charged on goods as they cross borders (tariffs), or different rules and regulations that can add to trade costs (non-tariff measures). Barriers make it more difficult and costly to trade or invest overseas. Reducing these barriers can improve the flow of trade between countries and help businesses to access new markets.
Through membership of the EU, the UK participates in around 40 free trade agreements, covering more than 70 countries. Ahead of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, the Government has committed to put in place the necessary arrangements to ensure there is no disruption to our global trading relationships. Given that Kosovo has an existing agreement with the EU, the Government has concluded that transitioning the EU-Kosovo Agreement is the best way to ensure continuity of trade.
The UK has a close relationship with Kosovo and is a longstanding supporter of their independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity. The UK’s objective is a stable, prosperous and multi-ethnic Kosovo, committed to the rule of law, and making progress towards eventual EU and NATO membership.
Today BCCK Chairman had an introductory meeting with Mr. Nazar (Nick) Mehmeti, President of the Albanian Diaspora Business Network (ADBN). In the meeting BCCK CEO and Mr. Naim Dedushaj from ADBN also participated.
ADBN President Mr. Nazar Mehmeti
The Chairman presented BCCK and informed about the “Kosovo Going Green” initiative that has been launched recently in support of EVs, Green Energy, Recycling to EcoAgriculture.
In addition, he presented two important BCCK planned activities - the Scholarship Programme and the 2022 Balkan Summit. The Scholarship Programme will be established and modelled on a similar initiative taken from BCCK in Denmark that was managed by the Chairman. The Scholarship Fund will provide scholarships for bright young students from Kosovo, who wish to carry out part of their tertiary education in the UK. This activity will be carried out in conjunction with Kosovo’s universities.
The Chairman also shared with the President that BCCK works closely with OMFIF (Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum) – a global organisation based in London and Singapore. Together with OMFIF and other key players, BCCK is planning a Balkan Summit for 2022 in order to attract serious investment to the Region.
Both BCCK and ADBN agreed to work together in developing projects that benefit the Kosova economy and the development of youth skills.
This meeting took place after the MoU signed between both organizations and the purpose was to identify the opportunities for cooperation.