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Gjakova’s Mayor Cites City’s Advantages as Business Base
Mayor Dr. Pal Lekaj points out why Gjakova is an excellent choice for foreign investors today.
European Times: Can you describe Gjakova’s business climate?
Pal Lekaj: Gjakova is known for its culture, forward-thinking people and agriculture. We have some successful companies, including one producing construction materials and another one involved in trade. We also have a few state-owned companies which we expect to become very successful once they are privatised.
European Times: What opportunities does Gjakova offer foreign investors?
Pal Lekaj: During the Yugoslavia years, Gjakova had 57 very successful large enterprises. As a result of the transition, almost all of these companies were closed and their employees lost their jobs. This means that Gjakova has highly skilled workers ready to be employed in the industries that once existed here. In addition, we have a technical high school where students are trained for factory work. Moreover, we have built an industrial zone which we have equipped with all the necessary infrastructure for businesses, including electricity, roads and water. We offer building land in the zone at special rates or even free. We anticipate that this zone will eventually provide around 2,000 jobs.
European Times: What makes Gjakova a good base for business?
Pal Lekaj: We are doing everything we can to make Gjakova an ideal business base. We have streamlined administrative procedures for registering companies and obtaining licenses. Investors can benefit from Gjakova’s very strategic position within easy access of Montenegro and Albania as well as the ports at Shengjin and Durres. Gjakova’s location makes it the perfect choice for trade-oriented companies.
European Times: Can you single out some high-potential sectors?
Pal Lekaj: Around half of the municipality’s land area of 586 sq km can be used for agriculture, so food production and food-processing have the greatest potential here. In addition, our local labour force is trained to work in metal-processing, textiles and other industries.
European Times: What is your personal message to potential investors?
Pal Lekaj: Gjakova was very well developed in the past, and now we are doing everything in our power to repair the damage caused by war and the transition to return the municipality to its former prosperity. Gjakova offers investors a welcoming population, a skilled labour force, an excellent location, and a very supportive municipal government.