Kosovo is a landlocked country, but one that enjoys a strategic geographical position. Located in the central Balkan Peninsula, Kosovo forms a crossroad between the Western Balkans, Central Europe and the Adriatic, Aegean and Black Sea. Kosovo’s immediate neighbourhood provides a potential consumer market of approximately 30 million people.
The road network in Kosovo compromises of 630 kilometer of paved roads, suitable for the development of different business activities. Two major pan – European transportation corridors (corridors VIII and X) are close to the vicinity of Kosovo. In 2013, a newly constructed major highway (E851) opened between Kosovo’s capital Pristina and Lezhe, Albania. Ultimately, the E851 will connect the Adriatic Sea ports of Durres and Shengjin in Albania, with the E75/Corridor X near Niš, Serbia via the E80 Pristina-Merdare section highway as part of the South-East European Route 7.
Several ongoing projects – including the renovation and upgrading of the Mitrovica-Pristina highway and the construction of a new connection between Pristina and the capital of Macedonia, Skopje – aim at opening Kosovo to all the major North-South / East-West routes.
The railroad network in Kosovo consists of 330 km covering all the territory of Kosovo by connecting the north to south and east to west. There is a direct train running between Macedonian’s capital Skopje and Pristina. The railway system in Kosovo provides for both passengers and different goods for commercial purposes.
Kosovo has one airport, the Pristina International Airport ‘Adem Jashari’, managed and operated by the consortium Limak and Aeroports de Lyon. The consortium took over the airport after a Public Private Partnership Agreement signed in August 12, 2010, for a 20 year-period.
In October 2013 a new terminal of 42,000 meters square opened. 25 airlines fly to and from the airport. More than 1.6 million passengers used the airport in 2013.
Since 1999 Kosovo has experienced a remarkable development in the field of ICT. The telecom industry is liberalized and operates in correspondence with European standards that includes tariffs, quality of services, technical standards and the promotion of competition.
Fixed phone lines are being provided by three different companies: the Post and Telecommunication of Kosovo (PTK), IPKO Telecommunications LLC and KONET. Mobile telephone use in Kosovo has been steadily increasing for several years now. Two licensed network mobile operators, IPKO and Vala, are offering their services in competition with two mobile virtual network operators, Dukagjini Telecommunications sh.a. (D3 Mobile) and Dardaphone.net LLC (Z Mobile). In late 2013, 3G was established in Kosovo. 2014 saw the introduction of 4G/LTE.
Roaming is offered to the majority of international mobile service providers. However, for longer stays in Kosovo the purchase of a local pre-paid number or subscription to a local network is recommended.
Kosovo is not a member of the International Telecommunication Union, and therefore does not have its own country code and the network operators use one of three options:
A request to the ITU (International Telecommunications Union) for the approval of the international telephony code for Kosovo has in the meantime been submitted.
Internet services in Kosovo are provided by a total of 38 licensed companies. The majority of the market share is owned by private operators. Broadband internet access accounts for the majority of internet connections, with ADSL, cable and wireless available. WIFI has become increasingly popular in Kosovo, mainly in the larger cities (restaurants, bars, educational institutions etc.) offering free wireless access to their customers.
The energy sector of Kosovo is reliant on coal-fired power plants. Kosovo possesses the fifth largest lignite reserves in the world. Kosovo’s electricity operating capacity is about 700 MW, most of which is generated by two, antiquated coal-fired power plants, Kosovo A and B, operated by a public company: Korporata Energjetike e Kosovës (KEK).
Besides Kosovo A and B, the country has a small number of hydro power plants, with a generating capacity between 10 MW to 30 MW.
The Kosovo Energy Distribution and Supply Company (KEDS) is responsible for electricity supply and the distribution of electricity in Kosovo. In May 2013, the KEDS split from KEK and started its operational activities as a joint stock company. KEDS is owned now by the Turkish companies Çalık Holding and Limak.
Regulation and control of activities in the energy sector in Kosovo is the responsibility of the Energy Regulatory Office (ERO).
Kosovo is striving towards a sustainable development of the energy sector. The Kosovo government has planned to rehabilitate the Kosovo B power plant and to bring it into compliance with relevant European Union Directives. Secondly, a new, more efficient, lignite-fired power plant should replace the Kosovo A power plant. It is expected that the Kosovo government will decide on the awarding of the concession for this project in the first half of 2015.
Kosovo is part of the Regional Energy Community. The country is connected to the regional system through interconnections with Serbia, Macedonia, Montenegro and Albania.
Sources: Kosovo Energy Distribution and Supply Company ; Kosovo Energy Strategy ; Kosovo Investment and Enterprise Support Agency ; State Portal; Republic of Kosovo; Pristina International Airport ‘Adem Jashari’ ; Stromectol 3 mg tablets TRAINKOS ; World Bank