The presence of Kosovar products in international markets is shrinking

Kosovar businesses have suffered a decline in their presence in international markets during the past year. The trend of declining exports continued in January of this year. Unlike exports, Kosovo had more imported goods in 2023. There was an increase in imports in the first month of this year as well.

The presence of Kosovar products in international markets has shrunk by 100 million euros last year, compared to 2022. There was also a decrease in exports in January of this year by 3 percent.

However, Prime Minister Albin Kurti, in almost every appearance, both inside and outside the country, has stated that since he came to power, exports have doubled.

"In these 3 years, we have doubled both exports and foreign direct investments", said Kurti.

Export growth started rapidly in 2021, when the Kurti Government came to power, and continued at a higher pace in 2022.

Kurti did not talk about which government policies may have influenced this increase, but, according to economist Edison Jakurti, it happened because of disruptions in the supply chain.

"The spaces created as a result of disruptions in the supply chain, which has influenced both the change in the volume and the composition of trade in goods between different countries and the increase in demand after the removal of restrictive measures, as a result of COVID- 19, has had the greatest impact on the increase in the export of goods. Different industries or companies from Kosovo have used these spaces by selling their goods in markets outside Kosovo", Jakurti said.

He emphasized that if you compare the differences between the nominal value and the real value of exports in goods, it can be seen that part of the increase is due to the increase in prices.

According to data from Customs, during 2023, Kosovo exported goods worth 820 million euros, while a year ago exports reached a record value of 920 million euros.

As for imports, they were worth 5.7 billion euros in 2023 and 5.6 billion euros in 2022.

Even the energy crisis, as a result of the war in Ukraine, has influenced Kosovo to export more electricity during 2022.

There was also a decrease in exports during the first month of this year. According to the data of the Statistics Agency for Foreign Trade, goods worth 60.3 million euros were exported in January, or 3 percent less than in the same period last year.

The opposite has happened with imports. They increased by 7 percent in January, namely 380 million euros.

The government only in the middle of last year approved the Industrial Policy 2030, where the objective is to reduce the trade deficit.