The businessman and philanthropist Lazim Destani took part in the Diaspora Business Forum, held in two days, May 27-28 in Prishtina. This event was attended by about 120 businesses from the diaspora and about 100 others from Kosova, there were present representatives of the Ministry of Industry, Entrepreneurship and Trade, several Municipality Mayors and USAID representatives, as well as representatives of chambers of commerce from Kosovo, Albania and Northern Macedonia.
The Forum was opened by the Prime Minister of the Republic of Kosova, Albin Kurti, who in his opening speech said, “I am pleased to open this Forum of Diaspora Businesses. I hope through the networking offered by this forum today cooperation partnerships for new investments and exports will be concluded between Kosovo and diaspora businesses ”. Further, the head of the Kosova Executive said, “As a market with two million inhabitants, exports should be the key word. I welcome the coordination of economic platforms so that we turn our potentials into real opportunities. Aiming to facilitate economic development we are working to strengthen law and order, establish a commercial court and improve the business climate.”
Lazim Destani in his greeting speech said, “It has been said many times that the role of the Albanian Diaspora for the economic development of our countries is key and indisputable. Diaspora represents the largest capital not only economical but also social and cultural as well. In addition to the investment aspect, the values of the diaspora are multidimensional, both in terms of the transfer of experiences, knowledge, innovations, cultures and why not of cooperation networks with European businesses and companies in the countries where we reside and operate. Today there is no greater patriotic deed than the growth of our exports and economies. There is still a lot of room and potential for improvement in all sectors of the economy and I think that the companies of our diaspora in Europe and elsewhere are the strongest bridges of this development.” He continued by saying, “Both in the diaspora and in our lands we have wonderful youth, young people educated and professionally trained who love work and are full of ambition to achieve success in life. This is a great pleasure for all of us, and we are the ones who have to create the space for their action. The achievement of these goals must be supported through the economic policies of our countries to facilitate these trends.”
The USAID Director in Kosova, Zeinah Salahi, during her speech in the Forum praised the role of the diaspora in Kosovo, while emphasizing that the Kosovo diaspora is a powerful combination of knowledge on markets and the great love for the country. Among other things, she stressed, “We are all working towards a common goal to help create a better economic opportunity for your businesses and people of Kosovo. The Kosovo Diaspora is often known for their great commitment to their home country. The export industry has grown in Kosovo and is meeting development standards. The Kosovo brand is developing and showing a high quality competition. The Kosovo Diaspora is a powerful combination of great market knowledge and great love for Kosovo. “It’s an extraordinary commitment of these young people.”
The President of the Albanian Diaspora Business Network in Austria, Yll Blakaj, said that the networking of their membership will expand itself wherever there are Albanian businesses in Europe. In his speech he stressed, “In our projects so far we’ve found that great progress has been made regarding cooperation between diaspora businesses and those operating in Kosova. Networking will continue in all European countries. I invite businesses from Kosova to intensify meetings with businesses of our diaspora.”
On the second day of the Forum, representatives of diaspora and foreign companies that participated in the Forum visited a number of companies in Kosova where they got acquainted with the products and their production capacities. The Diaspora Business Forum was co-organized by the Albanian Business Network in Europe, the USAID Kosovo Complete Project and the Germin organization.