Economy is the main topic of the electoral campaign in Kosovo

Economy is the main topic of the electoral campaign in Kosovo

IBNA Op-Ed/”Apart from electoral visits in farms and enterprises in order to show off for the media, political parties are not showing anything concrete as to why the level of Kosovar exports is so low, why Kosovo’s products are not competitive, why Kosovo doesn’t have a positive business climate, why foreign products are successful in the market of Kosovo and why do they cost less and have a better quality”

By Elton Tota

Political parties in Kosovo continue their political campaign for the early parliamentary elections which will be held in the country. In contrast to past campaigns, the war effort of KLA by PDK and the figure of Ibrahim Rugova by LDK, as the two largest parties in the country, have been left aside.

Now, political parties have mainly focused on economic programs copied from member countries of the European Union, while rallies and party slogans have been clearly copied by American electoral campaigns.

But, on the other hand, besides opening new jobs and allocating funds for employment, there’s little talk about the true components of economic development and integration of the country.

Apart from electoral visits in farms and enterprises in order to show off for the media, political parties are not showing anything concrete as to why the level of Kosovar exports is so low, why Kosovo’s products are not competitive, why Kosovo doesn’t have a positive business climate, why foreign products are successful in the market of Kosovo and why do they cost less and have a better quality.

This campaign doesn’t even make reference to concrete issues, such as their measures and methodology to help the Kosovar business come out of this serious crisis, if they have the right and concrete mechanisms to support enterprises of the country with subsidies, in order for their products to successfully penetrate in the region’s and international markets.

A campaign focused on the economy is the right thing for the situation that Kosovo is currently going through, but in order to offer the country a way out of the crisis, there must be concrete plans for economic development.

Currently, Kosovo needs a competitive market economy in order to face the pressure coming from the markets that are being opened. Every day, businesses  in Kosovo are facing difficulties with competition and  find it hard to survive.

The integration, that political parties are promising, cannot be made possible without a strong market economy. Kosovo has now finalized negotiations with the EU for the signature of SAA and it will soon be obliged to apply a number of provisions about the free market and the state must take measures and increase institutional capacities in order to protect competition. Domestic enterprises and their produces will be much more exposed to competition as a result of the opening of the market.

The government of Kosovo must draft a clear strategy for the economic development of the country, in order to subsidize agricultural produces, forestry and mineral products, something which will have an impact in the development of the country.

In our industry, it’s really important not to export only raw materials, but to create final products which would compete in international markets. The state must help Kosovo producers to be equipped with certificates for the quality of domestic produces and the promotion of the products in new markets.

Nevertheless, this electoral campaign will be interesting not in terms of the promises, but of the quality of promises. It will have nothing to do with the differences in terms of ability to govern and what the citizens expect from political parties.

This campaign seems interesting due to the political subjects that participate in it. It’s clear that we are seeing a mobilization of opposition parties to win the elections at any cost. We must wait and see if these elections will be won by the “New Mission” of the current government or opposition front.

*The opinion of the author doesn’t necessarily represent IBNA’s editorial line