Arberi

Mehmeti: Kosovo still does not have a diaspora database

Governor of CBK, Fehmi Mehmeti

The former governor of the Central Bank of Kosovo, Fehmi Mehmeti, says for "Ekonomia Online" that remittances in Kosovo should be oriented more towards investments, as they largely go to consumption.

Mehmeti, who leads the Research Institute for Economics and Finance (IHEF), says that they have a database ready that would enable the identification of the entire diaspora. It says that it would provide more complete information about their activities in the countries where they operate.

"Remittances continue to be a very important source of financing for the economy of Kosovo. If we take the last three years as a reference, we have an increase from year to year. In 2021 we had about 1 billion euros, then in 15 they were about 2022 billion and this year we note over 1 billion euros of remittances that have come to Kosovo and there is an increase of 22 percent. Therefore, to a large extent, I emphasize that it is an extremely important source of financing for the economy of Kosovo", says Mehmeti.

Mehmeti emphasizes that remittances mainly affect the liquidity of the banking sector. He mainly says that it is observed during the summer season when the diaspora comes to Kosovo to a large extent.

"Mainly, remittances are oriented towards consumption, consumption is one of those categories that is largely affecting economic growth in the country, and according to an analysis we have made, it can be seen that remittances also largely affect the liquidity of the banking sector , this is especially noticeable in the period when the diaspora is in Kosovo in the summer season. What needs to be worked on is that this money that comes and is oriented towards consumption should be worked on in the direction of what is oriented towards investments. I am not saying that consumption is one of the main categories that today finance economic growth in the country, but in any case, it is good to work more in the direction that these remittances that come in this form are more oriented towards investments where we really need it", says Mehmeti.

In addition to the orientation of remittances, the ex-Governor of the Central Bank of Greece demands a better orientation of foreign direct investments. To a large extent, says Mehmeti, they go into real estate, while the rest go into financial services.

"Kosovo still does not have a diaspora database. We as an Institute are working, we have a project ready to create a database of the Kosovo diaspora where it would be possible to identify the entire diaspora, where they are located and what are their most successful businesses and this will largely gave us more complete information about their activities which they have in the countries where they operate and work", said Mehmeti. "When we talk about foreign direct investments, they continue to grow. In 2022, there were approximately 756 million and it is certain that there will be an increase this year as well. The problem is with the structure of foreign direct investments. If we look at the structure of foreign direct investments, somewhere around 64 percent of them go to real estate, the rest of the overwhelming part is in financial services, so here we have a problem with the structure of foreign direct investments. If we look at the two main categories of the economy in the country, one of them is construction, which is growing and continues to have a positive impact on economic growth in the country, but we need investments in sectors that we consider can be promoters of the economic development of the country, which give added value to the country's economy", he emphasized.