Despite our “efforts” to have a kind of domination in the Kosovo market, following the construction of the new highway in 2009 and the advantages of being the same nation, the results are not that impressive. Last year, 14.8 percent of Kosovo’s imports were from Serbia, 12.4 percent from Germany, 9.6 percent from Turkey, 9 percent from China, 6.5 percent from Italy, 5.1 percent from Macedonia and 5 percent from Albania.
Encouraged by the national motivation, the former Berisha government, built about 10 years ago the modern Milot-Morine highway. Other neighbors of Kosovo, Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia, meanwhile, had cemented their positions due to the legacy of the former Yugoslav federation with rail and road connections and a strong trading tradition.
After the construction of the Nation’s Highway, Albania-Kosovo’s trade volume increased by 188 percent during 2009-2017, but the low base from where trade began did not make the figures more enthusiastic and today Albania has the lowest dominance in the Kosovo market.
But, apparently, the race in the future will be hampered, due to the switchover tax on the Nation’s Road and the large infrastructure investments that Kosovo is making with other countries in the region. This year, the new Pristina-Skopje highway becomes operational, shortening the distance only 60 kilometers between countries, while Kosovo businesses can reach the Thessaloniki Port for only three hours, paying only 7.5 euros at the Kledi Toll Plaza station.
Serbia, on the other hand, has planned to launch this year the construction of the Nish-Merdare highway, 70 kilometers long, which will shorten the distance between Belgrade and Pristina. The project costs 650m euros and half of it will be funded by the Berlin initiative. Currently, Kosovo is the largest share of trade volume with Serbia, so with the construction of the road, trade will expand.
Montenegro is in talks to build a new rail line with Kosovo, which has received support from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). The project will take place in the next five years.