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The closing ceremony of the "Increase of Competitiveness and Export Promotion" project (ICEP), funded by the European Union and supported by the Kosovo Investment and Enterprise Support Agency (KIESA) and the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI), was held yesterday 8 May 2018, in Pristina.
The two-year journey, which started in May 2016, aimed at contributing to the economic growth and employment in the private sector by strengthening the competitiveness of Kosovo's enterprises and promoting Kosovo's integration into the world economy.
Among others the ICEP project has supported KIESA in implementing the Company Development Programme (CDP), providing practical-advisory assistance and management training to 29 Kosovo companies. Also through this programme it was accessible the necessary guidance for manufacturing enterprises in the sectors of metal processing and wood, textile and leather products and plastic and rubber processing.
The closing ceremony was attended by the Representative of the EU Office in Kosovo, Luigi Brusa, who is the Head of its Cooperation Section, the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry Mr. Faton Thaqi, the General Director of KIESA Besian Mustafa and also representatives of civil society and donor community, as well as beneficiaries business executives of the project.
The Representative of the EU Office in Kosovo, Luigi Brusa, mentioned that this was one of the best projects developed in practice. Through it 29 Kosovar companies were supported and therefore Kosovo is able to increase its competitiveness in the European Market.
The Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry (MTI), Faton Thaqi, said that the ministry have continuously harmonized legislation on the development of SMEs. The Ministry, has developed a strategy in order to increase the quality of products and make the businesses more competitive on the European market.
The implementation of the ICEP project has been made possible with the support of KIESA, the government agency under the responsibility of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, whose mission is to promote and develop the private sector in Kosovo by providing quality services and international networks.
Besian Mustafa, the General Director of KIESA, emphasized the lessons learned from the ICEP project and highlighted the opportunity for KIESA to implement similar programs in the near future.
Mr. Mustafa also thanked the collaborators who have been fully committed in the project implementation and mentioned that the main goals have been the internationalization of Kosovar companies and their access to the European market.
The Manager of the Export Development Program (EDP), Hamez Morina, has presented the new pilot project EDP, which is the last component to be implemented by ICEP. He mentioned, that the project has been successfully completed with, being given expertise according to their needs. Following the successful completion of support of the first 29 Kosovar manufacturing companies the Export Development Program (EDP) will further support a maximum of 12 manufactures to export their products to the EU Market.
Meanwhile, despite of many challenges faced by the ICEP project, Juergen Mendritzki, the ICEP team leader, was extremely delighted about the results achieved and the way the companies benefited from the support offered to them.
“The overall objective of the project was to support the economic development and to increase the competitiveness of the private sector in Kosovo for the EU Market. Through this project, we have managed to increase exports of products and services generated in Kosovo, as a means of reducing the trade deficit” said Mendritzki.
During the ceremony, 5 testimonials of Kosovar businesses that benefited directly from CDP were shown.
They voiced the fact that the services provided by the project positively influenced their competitiveness, encouraging that similar project should continue in the future.
The project was funded by the European Union and implemented by International Development Ireland (IDI), while the event and videos were organized and produced by RedMill Agency.
The direct beneficiaries from the project are the following Kosovar businesses:
Proton Cable L.L.C
A B –Coating SH.p.k
N.T.P Cadi Komerc
Euro Commerce Sh.p.k
Solid Shoes Sh.p.k
N.T.P Wear and Go
N.P.T Endriti - D
Tefik Canga Sh.p.k
ANB Baliu Sh.p.k