Prishtina, 14 November 2012 Cooperation between central and local authorities is very significant for sustainable economic development and the success of local authorities can not be fully accomplished without cooperation and implementation of reforms and policies at the local level, said the Minister of Economic Development, Besim Beqaj, while adding that MED remains dedicated to the economic development of all municipalities, ensured through the implementation of sustainable development policies.
Minister Beqaj made these comments today at the roundtable on Role of municipalities in sustainable economic development, attended by mayors, Regional Development Agencies, representatives of the Ministry of Local Government Administration, Ministry of European Integrations and heads of Publicly Owned Enterprises and held in the premises of Kosovo Government.
Beqaj said that local economic development, respectively improvement of quality of living of all residents of our municipalities requires a clear line of communication and cooperation between local and central authorities.
Local economic development is accomplished through the promotion of small and medium enterprises; efficient utilization of natural and human resources and potentials; improvement and development of local infrastructure and new investments from within the country or abroad, all of which influences on the creation of new jobs and subsequently on the diminishment of unemployment, which is considered a priority for authorities of both levels, said the Minister.
Beqaj said that MED remains dedicated to supporting economic development in municipalities through the creation of a foundation of sustainable development policies, enticement and growth of economic activities, stimulation of economic cooperation and foreign investments, ensuring competitiveness and safe market conditions, efficiency in administration of publicly-owned enterprises and their transformation.
MED supports further intensification and cooperation between MED and municipalities, encourages the implementation of projects in municipalities through foreign and local capital, encourages municipalities to compile local development strategies and provides financial support to LPOEs.
Head of MED underlined the role of the municipal economic development directorates and donors from USA, European Union countries, Japan, Scandinavian countries, World Bank and UNDP, in the implementation of capital projects in infrastructure, agriculture, education and science, healthcare, local administration, transport, etc.
For his part, Naim Ismajli, President of the Association of Kosovo Municipalities, assessed that municipalities have a very serious partner in ensuring sustainable economic development, supporting investments and creating policies based on competencies and responsibilities at hand.
Through their activities, municipalities managed to improve the doing business index; also, we influenced the amendment of the Law on Public-Private Partnerships to decrease the term of 40 years, in order to enjoy a scale of flexibility depending on the scale of investments, he said, adding that they are trying to improve the conditions for their residents pursuant to their abilities, while underlining landfill management as a challenge.
On the other hand, Adriana Hoxhiq, head of the Administrative Office in Mitrovica North, said that plans are being made to tackle all problems faced, while adding that investments in this part of the country are insufficient.
In relation to economic development in the context of small and medium enterprises, Hoxhiq mentioned two major obstacles: lack of experience in promotion of products and illegal structures which hinder the functioning of small and medium enterprises.
Roundtable participants considered that it is necessary to meet in order to identify problems, address and find solutions for them as soon as possible and in conformity with the legal and institutional framework.