Creating employment through export promotion

Project description

Title: Creating employment through export promotion 
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) 
Co-funded by: Kosovo Ministry of Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Country: Kosovo
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Economic Development (MED)
Overall term: 2018 to 2021

Workers sorting raspberries on a production line. Photo: GIZ/Dirk Ostermeier


Kosovo’s economy has made significant progress in recent years. Nevertheless, unemployment remains high and the level of skills is for the most part low. Many people are living on the verge of subsistence. Poverty and migration are particularly prevalent in rural areas and among disadvantaged population groups. The lack of competitiveness among rural companies means that they have only limited capacity to generate profits and are barely able to create income and jobs.

Poor product quality, limited access of companies to funding, a weak rule of law and a low level of training make the country unattractive to foreign investors. Products and services are not very competitive, either domestically or on international markets. Until now, micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) have barely been able to exploit the potential offered by international markets. The efficiency of state institutions such as ministries, agencies and local authorities is poor. The medium to long-term political goal of the Republic of Kosovo is to become a member of the European Union. Over the next few years, the country needs to implement substantial economic policy measures and structural changes to meet the convergence criteria.


MSMEs exploit the potential of international markets, create jobs and provide opportunities for income. People returning to Kosovo also benefit from these measures.



The project promotes service providers in the public and private sectors that work in areas of the economy that are important in terms of employment and exports. [BCG1] The activities of the project are geared toward the needs of companies from the information and communications technology sector, manufacturing and agriculture (production and processing).

GIZ and its partners provide the companies with business information that is relevant for EU markets, including information on procedures, product regulations and certifications, so that they are able to export to the EU. In addition, the project concentrates on market-oriented services for corporate development, for instance by strengthening the organisational capacities of associations or by developing improved business models for service providers. The project also supports individual companies in the introduction of product or process innovations that are relevant for export markets. Furthermore, the project enables public sector and private sector stakeholders to promote the export of goods and services.

To this end, the project uses existing partnerships with the public sector and the private sector that were established in a previous project. The most important cooperation partners are the Kosovo Investment and Enterprise Support Agency (KIESA), chambers of commerce and associations. In the area of agriculture, GIZ’s Regional Office South provides support with regard to export promotion. The Kosovar Ministry of Innovation and Entrepreneurship is cofinancing the project in the area of innovation, support for start-ups/MSMEs and export promotion.