In the most recent edition of the roadshow to the DACH countries (Germany, Austria, Switzerland), the Innovation and Training Park Prizren (ITP) and the NGO Germin presented the vision and potential of the ITP Prizren to an interested audience in Frankfurt. The event welcomed more than 25 diaspora entrepreneurs from the German State of Hesse in Frankfurt as well as important stakeholders such as the Minister of Industry, Entrepreneurship and Trade of the Republic of Kosovo, head of the Albanian-German Businesses Union (UB), and Kosovo’s General Consulate in Frankfurt. About 25 thousand Kosovans live in the German State of Hesse, and an important share of them own prosperous businesses. ITP Prizren is trying to tap these businesses’ potential by offering them a stable environment to bring knowledge, capital, and access to advanced markets to their home country of Kosovo.
In addition to being recognized as the source of significant resource flows to Kosovo through remittances, Kosovo Diaspora should also be seen as significant socio-economic investors in Kosovo’s development. Usually, diaspora investors are more likely to invest in their home country than non-diaspora investors. They have a better understanding of the governance and in-country business and may therefore have a differing understanding of risk from other investors. In addition, diaspora investments are channeled into underdeveloped sectors of the economy, which do not impact the crowding out of domestic resources. Lastly, it is argued that diaspora investors are not only interested in financial returns but also have non-financial motives, which carry positive effects, especially in regard to employment and technology spillovers.
Nevertheless, the Kosovan diaspora faces a range of barriers to investment such as fear of bureaucracy, lack of lasting partners in the country of origin. Due to such factors, diaspora investment patterns often appear to be conservative. ITP Prizren is a great model for attracting diaspora investment in Kosovo since it has been created to provide special regulations and conditions not offered elsewhere throughout the country. The park aims to create ease accessibility of land for investments, presents new research, technologies and skills development, and more job opportunities.
As the newly appointed Managing Director of ITP Prizren, Mr Hans-Jürgen Cassens, pointed out in Frankfurt, the strategically located park aims to support Kosovo’s development goals, and the staff of ITP Prizren is working hard in that direction. The Minister of Industry, Entrepreneurship and Trade of the Republic of Kosovo, Mrs Rozeta Hajdari, also stressed that the diaspora is one of the main contributors to Kosovo’s economic growth. The minister also encouraged all entrepreneurs at the event to consider investment opportunities in Kosovo, especially on ITP Prizren, which offers a stable investment environment for businesses, start-ups, training, and innovation.
During this meeting, Mr Nazmi Viqa, head of the Albanian-German Businesses Union (UB), said that the union would continue to support the ITP Prizren among the diaspora and German investors because all these investors look for such great opportunities with excellent German-build infrastructure. In addition, Consul Gezim Gashi from Kosovo’s Consulate General in Frankfurt mentioned that they would continuously promote investment opportunities in Kosovo, which undoubtedly includes ITP.
ITP Prizren advisor, Muhamed Rexhepi, presented a detailed presentation about the park and its mission. After the presentation, a Q&A session helped diaspora stakeholders to understand the park better. The following cocktail reception offered a great opportunity for networking and exchanging contacts with ITP representatives and learn more about the park’s investment possibilities.
The interest in the ITP’s potential shown during the two events indicated a great signal for the future! Therefore, more editions of the roadshow will take the ITP management and Germin to successful diaspora entrepreneurs in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
For more information on the ITP, please visit www.itp-prizren.com.