Turkey intent on signing free trade deal with Kosovo

Turkey intent on signing free trade deal with Kosovo

ANKARA - Anatolia News Agency
Turkey intent on signing free trade deal with Kosovo

Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan receives a gift from Kosovo’s Vice President and Industry Minister Mimoza Kusari Lila yesterday during his visit to Kosovo. AA photo

Turkey has invested $1.1 billion in Kosovo from its total $15 billion in overseas investments, Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan said yesterday at a meeting with Kosovo’s Vice President Mimoza Kusari Lila at the Economy Ministry in Kosovo.

The Turkish government was encouraging Turkish firms to invest in Kosovo, Çağlayan said, but the necessary legal infrastructure would need to be established. With an agreement to protect and encourage investments between Turkey and Kosovo in place such investments would gain momentum.

“We have 12 Kosovo-based firms operating in Turkey with $900,000 in capital. With the signing of this new agreement, I believe that these investments will go up and the obstacles will be removed,” said Çağlayan.

Çağlayan said he was currently not too pleased with the flow of trade between Turkey and Kosovo.
“While we invest $265 million in Kosovo, we only import $10 million worth of their goods. This shows that we need to lend more support to Kosovo’s economy,” Çağlayan said.

Turkish construction firms are currently engaged in four projects in Kosovo, worth $501 million, according to Çağlayan. Turkey is planning to sign a free trade agreement with Kosovo in the near future and is working to remove obstacles to double taxation, Çağlayan said.

Turkey was the first country Kosovo was signing a joint economic incentive and protection agreement with, Kosovo’s vice president said. The country looks forward to benefiting from Turkey’s know-how and experience Lila said. She also expressed Kosovo’s desire to sign a free trade agreement with Turkey.