The FINANCIAL — On August 2 the Minister of Finance of the Republic of Kosovo, Avdullah Hoti, and the World Bank Country Manager for Kosovo, Marco Mantovanelli, signed financing agreements for the implementation of two new projects, worth approximately €34.3 million, that aim to accelerate private sector growth and job creation in Kosovo.
The first agreement is for the €14.3 million Competitiveness and Export Readiness Project, which will help both firms and consumers in Kosovo by supporting product certification for export markets – such as the European Union – as well as strengthening the capacity of export-oriented firms and reducing the cost of business inspections, according to the World Bank.
The second agreement is a €20.80 million loan for the Additional Financing for the Agriculture and Rural Development Project, which will boost rural incomes in Kosovo through investments in the country’s agriculture sector – particularly horticulture and livestock. The loan builds on earlier investments that helped more than 700 beneficiaries receive grants to build greenhouses, barns and cow sheds, plant orchards, buy farm equipment, and make other investments.
In his statement at the signing ceremony, World Bank Country Manager for Kosovo Marco Mantovanelli highlighted the contribution of the new projects in making Kosovo’s growth more reliant on higher productivity at home and greater competitiveness abroad.
“The financing for these projects is part of the World Bank Group’s strategy that aims to assist Kosovo in moving toward more sustainable, export-oriented, and inclusive growth, so its citizens are provided more opportunities for a better life,” Mantovanelli said.
The two loans are provided by the International Development Association (IDA) of the World Bank Group. Kosovo is still a beneficiary of concessional IDA financing, which is provided on concessional terms with zero or very low interest charged and long repayment periods. These two loans have a maturity of 25 years, including a 5-year grace period. For the projects to become effective, the two financing agreements will also need to be ratified by the Parliament of Kosovo.