RSM has opened its first office in Europe’s youngest country, Kosovo. RSM Kosovo Sh.p.k is headed up by former Grant Thornton Kosovo Managing Partner, Visar Morina. The new firm, based out of the Kosovan capital, Pristina, is comprised of three partners, three managers and seven staff.
Can you tell us about your venture? How did the idea for your business come about? Visar Morina: We’re tax and audit consultants who have been working together as a team for 15 years. The idea of starting a new firm and becoming part of a larger, global network had been at the forefront of our minds for several years but, for one reason or another, the circumstances were never right or the timings were off.
Last year, we decided it was time to move forward with our plan. We established RSM Kosovo Sh.p.k with the knowledge that by combining our local expertise with the experience and support of the global network, the benefits would be two-fold. Firstly, it would help the sustainable and rapid growth of our firm and, secondly and more broadly, raise awareness of the RSM brand in the region.
What are the benefits of doing business in Kosovo? Morina: Kosovo is a young country with a very international community, so there is a great deal of opportunity for offering professional expertise across a wide array of sectors.
There are significant benefits to doing business in Kosovo. Firstly, Kosovo’s economy has been one of only four countries in Europe that recorded positive growth rates in every year since the GFC, with an average growth rate of 3.5 percent per annum. Looking forward, Kosovo is a potential candidate for EU membership, and with the signing of the Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA), this integration process has been accelerated. Once this comes to fruition, it will have an immense impact on Kosovo’s economy, bringing new possibilities and opening new markets for local businesses.
Business processes in Kosovo are straight forward as it is fully compliant with EU legislation, has a favourable tax system compared to its neighbours, and its currency is the Euro. Kosovo’s workforce is young – seven out of ten Kosovars are under 35 – qualified and multilingual. There are potential opportunities in all sectors of the economy but particularly in energy and mining, agriculture, textiles and IT. It even has a blossoming wine industry!
What are the challenges for businesses based in or working across Kosovo and how can you help? Morina: As a young economy with a relatively underdeveloped enterprise sector, there are challenges that businesses must overcome. Sourcing adequate funding is the primary obstacle. Many businesses are lacking in proper governance structure, financial information management and financial reporting. This is where we can make our contribution: we are committed to helping our clients improve their financial information management, adding credibility to their financial reporting processes and helping them maximise their potential.