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Ruecker: Kosovo’s economic growth rate is 5%

Prishtina, 6 February 2007 - UNMIK chief Joachim Rücker has told BBC that as both Serbia and Kosovo aspire to become part of the European Union, they will seriously consider the strong encouragement by the European Union to engage in consultations with Martti Ahtisaari.

Talking about the economic future after the settlement of status he said that the most important thing that can happen for economic development is the creation of a business friendly environment. Ruecker added that he is constantly calling on all Kosovar authorities to create and safeguard such an environment.

“Certainly, the key is the Kosovo Development Strategy Plan, prepared by the PISG in cooperation with international partners”, he added.

Talking about the post-status economy Ruecker said that there will be positive and negative impacts and added that the positive impact that is certainly expected after the settlement of final status has to do with Kosovo being able to cooperate with international financial institutions, and to be able to get loans from them.

“Another positive aspect is that some of the investors, not all of them, which may have hesitated, will feel more encouraged to come to Kosovo if the country will continue to be a business-friendly environment. On the other hand, there will certainly be some kind of withdrawal by the international community that will have its toll on the growth and employment level. But in general I believe that Kosovo will become a country with a stable economic growth. I would like to recall that the economic growth in 2006 has exceeded all expectations; it was two times higher than the expectations of the International Monetary Fund. Now we have a growth rate by almost 5 percent. The real economic growth of Kosovo comes exclusively from the private sectors, whereas the public sector is stagnating. I think this is very good news, because this means that in the private sector we have nearly 10 percent of real economic growth. It is obvious that this is not enough to reduce unemployment and to have an impact on the labour market, but it goes in the right direction”, Ruecker said.

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