The British-Kosovar Chambers of Commerce launches at Houses of Parliament

Latest News | The British-Kosovar Chambers of Commerce

The British- Kosovar Chamber of Commerce (BKCC) held its inaugural event in Westminster Palace to formally launch the chamber.

BKCC took over Westminster Hall in the Houses of Parliament and on the very steps where, historically for a thousand years, only kings and queens delivered speeches to their governments, the President of the BKCC, Artan Llabjani, welcomed, 100 guests who gathered to celebrate the launch, and also special guest speakers, the UK Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy for Balkans Martin Vickers MP and the All-Party Parliamentary Groups for Kosovo, alongside Kosovo’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Donika Gërvalla-Schwarz, Minister of Infrastructure, Liburn Aliu and the UK’s Deputy Ambassador to Kosovo, Jacob Webber.

The BKCC’s Honorary President Mr John Grogan, former MP and chair of All-Party Parliamentary Group on Kosovo remarked on the historical significance of not only the venue but also the history of it such as the Trial of King Charles the First in 1649, the plaque memorialising Winston Churchill’s lying-in-state and that the steps, from which the BKCC was launched, had previously only served as a stage for Kings and Queens of Britain to speak to their Kingdom for a thousand years.

Kosovo’s Minister of Foreign Affairs welcomed the launch of the BKCC and thanked all of those working to promote Kosovo’s investment climate and took the opportunity to express the Republic of Kosovo’s desire to establish stronger trade links with the UK. Her sentiments were echoed by the UK Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy for Balkans who likewise expressed his desire to work with the Republic of Kosovo and the BKCC to promote stronger trade links and economic relationships between the two states and businesses of both countries.

Kosovo’s Minister of Infrastructure commented on the positive historical relationships between the two countries politically and expressed his enthusiasm that a major step to also establishing a stronger economic relationship also. The Minister publicly pledged to ensure that Kosovo’s infrastructure was being developed to be reliable, environmentally friendly and sustainable which would give investors confidence to invest in Kosovo. He added that he hopes to establish Kosovo as a hub for trade in the region and was delighted that an active effort to establish trade links with the UK was underway to add to Kosovo’s plans for stronger economic links with neighbouring countries and beyond. 

The UK’s Deputy Ambassador to Kosovo added his congratulations for the launch of the BKCC alongside his fellow guest speakers and expressed his desire to encourage and support stronger economic cooperation between the UK and Kosovo.

A very welcome special guest Dukagjin Lipa, singer of the Kosovar rock band “Oda” and father of Dua Lipa, who has strong links to Britain having lived in the UK for a number of years, addressed those in attendance and expressed his delight to see that the UK and Kosovo are trying to create closer economic ties. When asked by the President of the BKCC whether his daughter Dua Lipa could attend our next event, he responded by saying “definitely” with a wide smile.  

A message from the President of the BKCC, Artan Llabjani:

“This chamber is a not-for-profit membership organisation with the objective to foster strong business links between the United Kingdom and the Republic of Kosovo. We aim to provide a professional and social environment for business people who wish to be introduced to and become part of, the British-Kosovan business culture and community. We also aim to work together with the Kosovo-based new Chamber of Commerce.

The creation of the chambers was hugely supported (and it would have been impossible to create the chambers without their support) by our Honorary President Mr John Grogan; The board of the chambers Adelina Toplica Badivuku, Labinot Zeqiri, Andre Demushi and Arbnor Zeqiri; The British Embassy in Kosovo; The Kosovan Embassy in the UK; British Chambers of Commerce; Companies House; My firm Bolt Burdon Solicitors; and numerous businesses in the UK and Kosovo.

We aim to be a loud voice for the business communities we represent, backed by our core values of credibility, integrity, professionalism and trust, to ensure that the views, opinions, priorities, concerns and needs of our members are heard by decision-makers and I personally also thank all those who attended the launch as the more of us that come together, the louder our voice will be and the more we will be heard.”