Two decades after the privatization process started in Kosovo, many of the factories that once symbolized the country’s industrial development are no longer functional. Despite promises of investment and revitalization, after privatization Kosovo’s factories often face closure or demolition, or occasionally they are turned into supermarkets or spaces for other uses.
For the vast majority of former factory workers, privatization meant losing their jobs and having to struggle to find their path in the new post-socialist economy. In total, it is estimated that in all sectors of the economy, over 75,000 people lost their jobs as a result of privatization.
Not long ago, K2.0 published the multimedia story “Landscapes of Industrial Ruin” featuring the experiences of long-time heavy industrial workers in Kosovo, who were forced to leave their jobs after the privatization of factories.
By failing to revitalize existing industrial potential in the post-war year, critics claim that the privatization process is one of the key factors that led to the deindustrialization of the country’s economy.
In May 2021, the Government dismissed the previous board of the Privatization Agency of Kosovo (PAK) as a first step in the process of closing the agency and initiating the establishment of a Sovereign Fund, which is slated to manage strategic state assets such as Trepça, KEC, Kosovo Telecom, the Post of Kosovo. The new PAK board has already identified the assets that they plan to transfer to the Sovereign Fund, and in March this year the government approved the concept paper for the establishment of the Sovereign Fund.
To talk about the impact of two decades of privatization on Kosovo’s industry and the next steps regarding the formation of the Sovereign Fund, we will be joined in discussion by:
- Avni J. Jashari, Deputy Managing Director at the Privatization Agency of Kosovo
- Besnik Pula, the head of the working group to establish the Sovereign Fund
- Ruhan Kadriu, former employee of the Construction Rebar Factory in Podujeva
- Nita Luci, anthropologist
The discussion will be moderated by Lirika Demiri, K2.0 journalist and author of the multimedia article “Landscapes of Industrial Ruin.”
The discussion will be held on March 21, starting at 17:30, in the small hall, on the first floor of the Grand Hotel. Translation to English and Serbian will be provided.
Guests are expected to wear masks and respect social distancing during the event.
Feature Image : Ferdi Limani / K2.0
This discussion is supported by the “Balkan Trust for Democracy,” a project of the German Marshall Fund of the United States and the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Opinions expressed in this discussion do not necessarily represent those of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Balkan Trust for Democracy, the German Marshall Fund of the United States, or its partners.
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