Prishtina 16 November, 2016 –The European Investors Council (EIC) elected its new Board of Directors at the third General Assembly meeting held in Prishtina. The new 9-member Board will be chaired by Robert Erzin, CEO of IPKO, for the next 2 years.

The Vice President is Ilir Aliu, CEO of Procredit Bank. Albert Lumezi, CEO of NLB Banka, will be in charge of Treasury, Paul Garins, CEO of Jetoil, is the new Secretary General, while Mal Berisha, CEO of Sigal Uniqa Group Austria, is the EU Relations Director.

The Assembly also re-elected Nataliya Apostolova, Head of the EU Office in Kosovo/EU Special Representative, and Elena Petrovska, Head of EBRD Office in Kosovo, as the honorary Board members.

The European Investors Council currently comprises 22 European Investors, directly employing 5,000 people and indirectly 3,000 more. The EIC members’ current turnover is 500 million euro, with the investments in Kosovo so far amounting to 1 billion euro.

Speaking at the occasion, Ms Apostolova thanked the former Chair and the Board of Directors for their work and contribution to the European Reform Agenda which was launched last week by Commissioner Hahn and Prime Minister Mustafa.

“Businesses in Kosovo are confronted with lack of rule of law, informal economy, non-functioning judiciary, ad-hoc decisions by the Government, lack of energy supplies and lack of skilled labour. At the same time, lack of economic perspectives triggers political instability, migration, radicalisation and ethnic divisions. The idea behind the EIC was to establish an advocacy body which would enter into constructive dialogue with Government of Kosovo and other relevant institutions in order to jointly solve issues hindering EU investments in Kosovo, leading to more jobs created for Kosovo people”, said Apostolova.

Kosovo Minister of Trade and Industry, Hykmete Bajrami, expressed full support to the work of the European Investors Council and to future joint cooperation, especially in working to improve business environment in Kosovo.

“Through task forces created within the National Economic Development Council, the Government will soon launch a new process of economic reforms open to all businesses, including the EIC, the work of which in Kosovo is greatly appreciated”, said Minister Bajrami.

The newly elected President of the EIC Board, Robert Erzin, said he was grateful and honoured to take up the new post.

“I hope we will strengthen the European Investors Council as an active and trusted partner which knows how to point to problems, but also propose solutions for an improved business environment in Kosovo.”

The participants were also greeted by Ms Petrovska and by the first Chairman of the Board, Emmanuel Mitsou. The EIC Assembly thanked Mr Mitsou for significantly advancing relations between business partners in Kosovo and in the EU.

IPKO welcomed the election of its CEO, Robert Erzin in the position of the Chairman of EIC Board of Directors and wishes Mr.Erzin a lot of success in representing EU’s major investors in Kosovo.