Kosovo enjoys influx of Croatian businesses
More than 80 Croatian companies are competing for tenders and other business opportunities in the newest European capital, Pristina. Some already enjoy success. By Natasa Radic for Southeast European Times in Zagreb -- 10/06/08
Kosovo's capital, Pristina, is undergoing major development. [Robert Herschbach]
After Zagreb officially recognised Kosovo in March, the Croatian business sector was initially apprehensive about possible economic reprisals by Serbia; however, there were none. Croatian companies returned unhindered to the Kosovo market, where they had previously achieved a measure of success.
"Kosovo offers great opportunities for investors and businessmen in different fields," says Iliriana Shehu, a Croatian Chamber of Commerce representative in Pristina, in a recent interview with the Croatian weekly Nacional. She helps her country's companies to begin operating in Kosovo and says the business benefits both countries.
Those companies seek to expand in Kosovo, while Kosovo needs investors who bring essential skills and charge reasonable prices. More than 80 Croatian firms are operating there in different fields, such as construction, insurance, banking and financing, fashion and food, including Ledo, Croatia's regional ice cream giant.
In addition, Austrian, Turkish and Slovenian companies are starting to invest in and organise joint ventures with young Kosovo entrepreneurs. Kosovo authorities tried to facilitate the process earlier, but it still takes 23 days and five legal steps to start a business.
The Croatian company Konstruktor, based in Split, just won the contract to build the Balkans' highest skyscraper in Pristina. Over the next six years, it will rise to a height of 165 metres, accompanied by a business centre, residential area and shopping mall. Planners envision it as the biggest business project in modern Pristina, worth more than 300m euros.
Croatian construction firms developed a strong reputation in Kosovo through the reconstruction of the Pristina airport by the Zagreb-based company Ingra. Its work received positive reviews, thus opening a path for other Croatian companies.
Subsequently, another construction company from Zagreb, IGH, won a tender to build one of the major roads in Kosovo, the Pristina-Urosevac road. The European Investment Bank will cover the cost of the project. Completion is expected in three years.
Kosovo enjoys influx of Croatian businesses (SETimes.com)
Unter anderem werden von einer kroatischen Firma die Autobahnstrecke von Prishtina-Urosevac gebaut.
Auch die Renovierung des Flughafen in Prsihtina wird von der kroatischen Ingra betrieben.
Und wie schon lange bekannt wird das größte Hochhaus des Balkans in Prishtina ebefalls von einer kroatischen Firma aus Split gebaut.