Economic growth, illusion or a reality?

Economic growth, illusion or a reality?

IBNA Special Report

Pristina, November 12, 2014/Independent Balkan News Agency

By Elton Tota

Minister of Finance, Besim Beqaj has declared that in spite of the economic slowdown in Europe and the region, Kosovo continues to have the highest economic growth in the region, amounting to 4,3%, although this is not up to expectations, as a result of the regional economic developments and political developments in the country.

Speaking in the main panel of the Berlin 2014 Economic Forum, minister Beqaj has talked about the latest developments and the reforms that have been undertaken, macro-fiscal stability and the processes that relate to the management of public finances.

“In spite of the economic slowdown in Europe and the region, Kosovo continues to have the highest economic growth in the region, although it’s not in the expected level, as a result of the economic regional developments and political developments in the country. Also, through the reforms undertaken in the tax administration and customs in fighting informal economy, corruption and economic crime, favorable conditions have been created for economic development and stimulation of investments in the country, in order to create new jobs”, said minister Beqaj.

He said that thanks to the engagement of the government of Kosovo, the country has marked significant progress in the “Doing Business 2015” World Bank report, from the 127th position in 2012 to the 75th position in 2014.

Economy experts have considered the 4.3% growth rate projection made by government officials, as an illusion.

They said that 2014 is a wasted year and that it would be a success if economic growth was 2.5 or 3%, let alone 4.3%.

Director of the Center for Strategic and Social Studies “Stras”, Ibrahim Rexhepi, says that projections for a 4.3% growth are an illusion.

“There’s no chance to have economic growth, because 2014 is a wasted year and there’s not a moment that can be singled out in the economy. The situation with national businesses has worsened and foreign investors have been lacking”, declared Rexhepi.

According to him, the institutional crisis and the failure to found institutions have discouraged the arrival of foreign investors.

Rexhepi says that with all these negative trends, it would be a success if economic growth was even 3%. “We would be happy if economic growth varied from 2.5% to 3%”, says Ibrahim Rexhepi, economy expert.

Meanwhile, Avdullah Hoti from LDK says that drastic changes must be done in economic policies in order to secure a higher economic growth.

“We’re soon expecting the creation of the new government which will implement the development program of LDK’s governing coalition”, declared Hoti. According to him, there’s still a lot of work to bring back the country to normality as far as economic development is concerned. /ibna/