Businesses complain that the Government is not cooperating enough with them, Rukiqi: They must accept the crisis
The President of the Kosovo Chamber of Commerce, Berat Rukiqi stated that he is concerned about the negligence of Kosovo institutions to address more seriously the crisis that has affected the entire globe, including our country. And while talking about inflation, he raised the question of what if it goes to stagflation. (situation in which the inflation rate is high, the economic growth rate slows down and can worsen unemployment).
At the end of his term, Rukiqi spoke to KosovaPress about the challenges that businesses are facing, cooperation with institutions, the issue of oil prices and agreements between Kosovo and Albania.
Asked about the current situation in which the country is going with rising inflation, which is already 11.2 percent, Rukiqi said that the current government is not acknowledging that the country is in poor economic condition.
According to him, Governments of other countries and businesses have sat down together to discuss the problems of the latter, but this has not happened in our country, which can create irreparable damage.
“We are a little worried about the negligence of the institutions to treat this crisis more seriously, to address that there is a crisis, we must first admit that there is a crisis, there is a little reluctance of the government to address it as a crisis and, I think this is the nature of the problem, then to the specifics of the problem or how a crisis can be handled, there are many mechanisms in the first place it would be a mechanism between the private sector and the government to discuss on a regular basis what is happening and it is being done practice in all countries, downsize companies, downsize important market players, downsize business associations, downsize government and discuss modalities of how to get out of a situation, which can create irreparable damage, for now is inflation, “What if it goes to stagflation and then to jobs,” he said
Regarding the increase in the price of oil, Rukiqi has stated that businesses are not to blame for this, as the government is saying, but according to him, the importer with an increase in price is to blame for this.
“I think that the Government should accept it as a crisis, not as a crisis caused by this Government or it, as a crisis of external circumstances and factors, but if it is not treated as a crisis, then it is a problem to take adequate measures and often times In such situations, it is attempted to place the blame elsewhere, for example, as in the case of oil, the behavior is as if the traders are to blame for the fact that this is not a problem of another nature. It is not a problem of traders, it is a problem of import, import is expensive, much more expensive now, meanwhile at the same time, in our country what charges the import, for example, VAT, or the part that charges the price of excise oil, are not on the table, so a part that is the responsibility of the Government is not on the table, as if trying to talk about the benefits of traders but at the same time is not the nature of the problem, the nature of the problem is that we have a global crisis. “Other countries have acted with fiscal instruments to alleviate the burden not for traders but for the citizen,” said Rukiqi.
This year, unlike other countries, Serbia is leading with the highest imports in our country. According to Berat Rukic, institutions need to do more work to increase local inputs by seeing which products we need.
“We will need especially with Serbia but also with other countries, without the possibility of where we can replace imports with our products, some products are simply irreplaceable, maybe there is a lack of local inputs to produce them, I think There is room to work and reduce the trade deficit with Serbia but also with other countries.
As for the cooperation between the Government-Chamber of Commerce and businesses, according to Rukuqi, Prime Minister Kurti turns out to be more closed to look closely at the problems that the country’s businesses and organizations are going through.
“It is still a year since they took office but of course, there is a slowdown, or rather there is a decrease in the intensity of cooperation between business and public institutions in this term, I hope this will improve like any government that comes at first it’s a bit of a headache but nevertheless hope that over time they can also improve, i will give my thoughts in another constellation and i will talk concretely what should be done and what can be done and “What has not been done by this government, as well as by other governments,” said Rukiqi.
He also commented on the agreements signed days ago between Kosovo and Albania.
“This time I had singled out the agreement for the railway, I am thinking of the feasibility study, since we have to look at the feasibility study without seeing if there is economic rationality, this project and what was presented, ie. a new development in terms of transport and in terms of logistics. There are two important sectors for any economic development and that is related to the seaport Porto Roman Albania and the Dry Port or what is being known as a port as annex Porto Romanesque in Kosovo “said Rukiqi
After fourteen years in various positions in the Kosovo Chamber of Commerce, Berat Rukiqi has shown his experiences over the years. He says for KosovaPress that the change of governments and the situation with the pandemic, have been the most extraordinary moments for him.
“It was extraordinary for another reason because the country passed into non-political stability when I came, I found a government, then there were elections, another government came. The Kurti 1 Government, then was a Government, after the overthrow of the Government led by Mr. Kurti, and in the end then again the elections of another Government or a prime minister who has been but still with a different government constellation. In this our work we do in this leadership of a business organization, requires regular communication with the public part or public institutions, in this case in the first place with the government, this is one of the main challenges because there are frequent changes, “We are assuming that we start a good fiscal reform with one minister, then if the reform is not completed, another minister will come”, he said.
He also spoke about the elections which will be held in a few months for the head of the Chamber of Commerce.
“There has to be someone who knows the nature of the functioning of business organizations, someone who can balance between different interests, because there are interest groups here and you have to be more balanced, you can not take sides, they do not always reach perfect balance but at least to ensure a high rate of balancing interests, should be focused on establishing relations with the institutions of the country, as far as possible, maybe on this side there is will but there is no will on the other side but there should be maximum effort, there should be a mix team “said Rukiqi.
At the end of the interview for KosovaPress, Rukiqi announced that there are two weeks left until the selection of delegates, where the candidates for president of the Chamber of Commerce will be announced.