Kosovo trade war exacerbates

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times June 27, 2019 19:46

Kosovo trade war exacerbates

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  • The KCC said that domestic fish breeding businesses have been damaged in particular, but Macedonian traders who can not be supplied with fish from Kosovo also appear concerned.

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TIRANA, June 26- The Kosovo Producers’ Club (KPC) has reacted to the decision taken by North Macedonia to stop the import of fish from Kosovo, a ban on the import regulations where the third country list is banned from importing live fish that is for growing or sale, and that are originating from Kosovo.

KPC reacted by saying that no part of the regulation shows the reasons for this ban. In the reaction it was also added that Macedonia is now being added to the list of CEFTA members who do not respect the free trade agreements with Kosovo after Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Albania.

“This decision directly damages local businesses that deal with fish farming, as North Macedonia has been one of the most important markets for the sale of live fish by Kosovo’s producers. During 2018, Kosovo exported live fish in Northern Macedonia in the amount of 26 tonnes and worth 95 thousand euros. And in 2019 only in May the export value was 23 thousand euros, which is several times higher than the previous months,” the reaction wrote.

The Producers’ Club has asked the Kosovo authorities to react and request the revision of this decision from Macedonia and to show the real reasons for the ban. “But even to demand that free trade agreements be implemented and such blockades that damage Kosovar producers will not be a practice in the future,” the reaction concluded.

The Kosovo Chamber of Commerce (KCC) expressed great concern over the decision taken by the Republic of North Macedonia to ban the sale of Kosovo Fish. According to them this concern was accepted by the member business “Trofta Istog.” The decision which entered into force since June 1, prohibits the import of live fish originating from Kosovo intended for the growth or filling of ponds. The Trofta Company was informed of this decision without prior warning. The KCC said that domestic fish breeding businesses have been damaged in particular, but Macedonian traders who can not be supplied with fish from Kosovo also appear concerned.

This decision leaves Kosovo’s exports still very low. Kosovo imports 90 percent of its goods, while it exports only 10 percent.  And a tax of about 700 euros has been set for every entry of fishermen in Macedonia.

The businesses have affirmed that they are available at all times to expect inspections on their working environment and to carry out the necessary tests in a third country. In this regard, KCC addressed a letter to the Minister of Trade and Industry to take urgent steps to abolish this decision by North Macedonia. The Prime Minister of Kosovo, the Minister of Economic Development, and Kosovo’s Agency for Food and Veterinary were also informed.

But if that wasn’t enough trouble for Kosovo, tensions with Serbia have started to exacerbate. Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic has stated that countermeasures on the 100 percent tax imposed by Kosovo on Serbian goods, will begin immediately after the Vidovdan holiday, which is held on June 28 in Gazimestan. He said that a conversation with representatives of Serbs in Kosovo will take place and will decide what measures to take. Vucic said he hopes no countermeasures are needed, but according to him Serbs are forced to do so if there is no progress. He also stated that the agreement on the crossings in Jarinje and Bernjak signed in 2011 should be respected as they were signed, although he said it was the worst deal ever.

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times June 27, 2019 19:46