Country Economic Memorandum

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    Removing Regulatory Barriers to Competition
    (Washington, DC, 2021-11) World Bank
    Competition can drive productivity growth in Kosovo, especially in the context of the post-Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) recovery. As the economy rebuilds, it is key that markets function smoothly, and that anticompetitive firm behavior or government intervention do not constrain the path to recovery. Competitive product markets can help a country recover from economic shocks more quickly. Competition in product markets can also prop-up economic recovery in a more inclusive way for the poorest households. Kosovo has made significant progress towards pro-competition regulation of product markets but there is still significant room for improvement. Although the product market regulation (PMR) indicators are limited in scope and should therefore be considered as an entry point for further analysis, this assessment allows to identify potential constraints to competition and possible policy reforms. Kosovo can increase competition by: (a) eliminating public owned enterprise (POE) - related barriers to competition to ensure a level playing field for private and public operators in markets where they compete, (b) improving the regulatory process and facilitating business registration to boost market entry, and (c) introducing policy reforms in network sectors and professional services to eliminate regulatory barriers to competition and avoid anticompetitive practices.
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    Boosting Export Performance
    (Washington, DC, 2021) World Bank
    Improving Kosovo’s export competitiveness can help to catalyze growth and reduce poverty. As a small economy, Kosovo will benefit from integration, both globally and regionally, to exploit scale economies from access to a larger market. Higher exports will not only contribute to growth and lower current account deficits but can also help heighten productivity due to more innovation and learning by exporting. Exporting firms, which are more competitive, will also be able to create better jobs and economic opportunities for Kosovars. This background note examines export dynamics in Kosovo over the period 2010-19, benchmarking Kosovo against relevant comparator countries. It overviews Kosovo’s trade structure, export dynamics at the firm level, trade policy and regulatory framework, and constraints to trade in goods and services and identifies policy options for consolidating trade growth in growing sectors. The note also spotlights digitalization and digital trade. It analyzes the enabling environment and suggests policies to enhance digital connectivity, improve the regulatory environment for digital trade, and encourage the use of e-payments.