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Kosovo, N. Macedonia agree on trade deal

Kosovo, N. Macedonia agree on trade deal Marina Mikhaylova/All rights reserved.

PRISTINA (Kosovo), August 20 (SeeNews) – Kosovo’s trade and industry minister Endrit Shala said on Tuesday he has agreed with North Macedonia’s economy minister Kreshnik Bekteshi that the two countries resolve outstanding bilateral trade issues this week, as this would lead to removing recently introduced barriers to trade.

Kosovo’s veterinary services will provide to North Macedonia information on the country's fish and roe monitoring programme in order to guarantee that safety standards are being met, Shala said as quoted in a press release, following an official visit by his counterpart from North Macedonia.

The move will enable free export of fish and roe from Kosovo to North Macedonia, and consequently Kosovo will remove the ban on imports of honey and potatoes from North Macedonia, Shala added.

Last week, Kosovo decided to ban imports of honey and potatoes from North Macedonia after in June the government in Skopje introduced custom duties on imports of fish and roe from Kosovo.

Bekteshi has said that the tariff on fish and roe concerns imports not only from Kosovo, but from all countries that have not implemented monitoring standards and cannot provide guarantees on the safety of these products.

In November, Kosovo imposed a 100% tariff on imports from Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Kosovo's decision has resulted in direct damages estimated at 46.1 million euro ($51.6 million) for the Serbian economy between November 21 and December 31, Serbian trade minister Rasim Ljajic said earlier.

Serbia and Bosnia do not recognise the independence of Kosovo, the former southern province of Serbia populated predominantly by ethnic Albanians.

Kosovo, considered to be a potential candidate for EU membership by the European Commission, unilaterally declared independence from Serbia in 2008 and has so far has been recognised by more than half of the 193 UN member states.

($ = 0.9015 euro)