Kosovo tax on Serbia proves unfavorable for Albania as exports drop

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times November 27, 2019 12:37

Kosovo tax on Serbia proves unfavorable for Albania as exports drop

Story Highlights

  • During October, imports from the Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA) countries amounted to 45.0 million euros, making up 14.3 percent of total imports and indicating a decrease by 47.8 percent

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TIRANA, Nov. 24 – Exports from Albania to Kosovo amounted to 204 million euros during the first 10 months of 2019. In comparison to the same period a year earlier, exports grew by almost 13 percent, but despite the positive start, the growth rate slowed down significantly during the remaining months. Serbia’s market gap after Kosovo imposed a 100 percent tax on its products, seems to not have been exploited by Albanian manufacturers, as exports in 2019 grew at a slower rate than during the past two years, when the annual change in 2017 and 2018 during the same period was 30 percent and 27 percent, respectively, according to INSTAT data.

On November 21, 2018, the Government of Kosovo decided to impose a 100 percent tax on Serbia and Bosnia. According to data from the Kosovo Customs, after imposing the 100 percent tax on Serbia, so far the latter  has exported 430 million euros worth of goods to the former. Moreover, since then, a total amount of 4 million euros in goods were imported from Serbia to Kosovo, while from Bosnia and Herzegovina the total was 2 million euros. Customs officials added that imports of goods from Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina have been replaced by imports from other countries in the region or the European Union.

Data from the Kosovo Institute of Statistics showed that Germany has become Kosovo’s main import partner, followed by Italy. In October, Kosovo’s imports from the EU countries were about 160.3 million euros, or 50.9 percent of total imports, increasing by 28.9 percent from the previous year. The highest share of imports belonged to Germany at 13 percent, followed by Italy (10.6 percent), Greece (3.7 percent), Bulgaria (3.6 percent), Slovenia (3.1 percent), etc.

During October, imports from the Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA) countries amounted to 45.0 million euros, making up 14.3 percent of total imports and indicating a decrease by 47.8 percent. The countries with the highest share of imports were Macedonia with 6.9 percent, Albania with 6.3%, and Serbia with only 0.1%.

The top exports in Kosovo are cast iron and steel, making up 38 percent of the total exports, followed by fuel, accounting for 13 percent of the total. During the January-October period of this year, fuel exports grew by 7.6 percent as a result of the rapid growth during the first months of the year. However, with the ARMO refinery ceasing its activity, the trend slowed down significantly. The third top export group includes lime and cement products, which make up 9 percent of the total, with an increase of nearly 10 percent on an annual basis.While exports of fruit reached a high double-digit growth of about 30 percent during the 10-month period, they still remain low, accounting for only 3 percent of total exports to Kosovo.

 

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times November 27, 2019 12:37