The biggest Diaspora event of the year was held on May 24th and 25th, 2019, in Prishtina. The Economic Conference of Albanian Diaspora from Europe – B2B gathered and connected Kosovo businesses with Diaspora businesses, with the aim of creating new business deals to increase exports of Made in Kosovo products and services. Over 144 Diaspora companies from Austria, Germany, Finland, Italy, Norway, Switzerland, and Belgium and more than 47 Kosovo companies took part in the Conference.
The two-day event was opened by the USAID Economic Growth Office Director, Brian Martalus, and the Chair of the Albanian Diaspora Business Network branch in Austria, Yll Blakaj. They emphasized the importance of creating linkages between Diaspora and Kosovo businesses for the economic development of Kosovo.
“The reason why you came here today is not just about coming and visiting your motherland Kosovo…but is about creating real business linkages with your country and helping Kosovo in the long run. For Kosovo companies, it is not just about making sales but is about getting new ideas and innovation you can use to improve yourselves.”- Brian Martalus, USAID Kosovo Economic Growth Office Director.
Over 250 B2B meetings were held between Diaspora and Kosovo businesses from the wood processing, apparel, energy, information and communications technology, food and beverages, and other sectors. The B2B meetings were pre-arranged through an online platform, as well as with the aid of the 2019 edition of the business catalog containing the profiles with photos of 116 Kosovo export-ready businesses, which were both developed specifically for the event by EMPOWER Private Sector.
The B2B meetings reportedly resulted in three signed contracts and one cooperation agreement, six deals and offers initiated, and around €400K in new sales reported, with more deals and offers to materialize in the following months.
The second day of the event consisted of panel discussions and site visits to EMPOWER Private Sector beneficiary companies Ciao Berto and Tiki Mosaic and concluded with a cocktail closing event, hosted by EMPOWER beneficiary Binni, also a Diaspora-invested company.
The Economic Conference of Albanian Diaspora from Europe – B2B was organized by the Albanian Diaspora Business Networks from Europe, in cooperation with USAID’s EMPOWER Private Sector project in partnership with Sida and the Ministry of Diaspora and Strategic Investments of the Republic of Kosovo.