The British-Kosovar Chambers of Commerce launches in Prishtina. British Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to the Western Balkans Martin Vickers MP in attendance.


Last night the British-Kosovar Chambers of Commerce hosted dinner at Swiss Diamond Hotel in Pristina to welcome the British Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to the Western Balkans Martin Vickers MP. We were joined in welcoming Mr Vickers by Kosovo’s Minister of Industry, Entrepreneurship and Trade, Rozeta Hajdari; the British Ambassador to Kosovo, His Excellency Nicholas Abbot;  the Kosovan Ambassador to the UK, His Excellency Ilir Kapiti.

Adelina Badivuku of Total Family Coaching and Board member of the British-Kosovar Chambers of Commerce opened the dinner by welcoming the guests from over 30 British, Kosovan and British-Kosovar business who were in attendance along with representatives from the British Embassy in Pristina. Adelina gave special thanks to our guests of honour for the evening, Former President Behgjet Pacolli and Former Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj for joining us.

The founder and chairman of the British-Kosovar Chambers of Commerce, Artan Llabjani addressed the guests and spoke of his delight that so many had gathered in welcoming Mr Vickers. He thanked Mr Vickers and Minister Hajdari for their enthusiasm in seeking to strengthen economic and diplomatic relationship our home country Kosovo and our adopted home in the United Kingdom. Artan expressed that his nest is in London but Kosovo is only three hours away from the UK making it easy for Kosovo and the UK to work together and that he sees Mr Vicker’s visit to Kosovo as a clear indication that the UK is interested in trade partnerships with Kosovo and the Balkans.

The Honorary President of the British-Kosovar Chambers of Commerce spoke about the importance of the establishment of the UK based Chambers of Commerce and shared the interesting story of the Chambers’ launch event on 13 December 2021 in the British Houses of Parliament and how it was almost cancelled because of Covid-19 but thanks to Mr Vickers for speaking with the Leader of the House of Commons, Jacob Rees-Mogg MP,  who suggested we have Kosovo’s Minister Donika Gërvalla-Schwarz and Minister Liburn Alia and Mr Vickers along with the British-Kosovar Chambers of Commerce, speak from the steps of the Westminster Hall. John remarked that in his Parliamentary career he can only recall the Her Majesty the Queen, Barack Obama and the Pope as being the only persons to speak from the very same steps.

John Grogan, continued proceedings by introducing in turn each of the speakers. In his introduction of Mr Vickers, John talked of their long friendship despite being members of opposing political parties and their shared passion for sports. Mr Vickers stood to address the room and expressed his thanks for the warm welcome. Mr Vickers talked about some of the important sectors vital to trade in the future such as infrastructure development, waste management and environmentally friendly initiatives.

Next to speak was Minister Hajdari who commented on the free trade agreement which Kosovo has signed with the UK and that she  flat terms of the agreement were favourable to Kosovo and provided positive prospects for import and export trade between both countries. Minister Hajdari went on to state that there terms of the agreement were particularly favourable for Kosovo compared to similar agreements with other countries who had offered far less opportunities for agricultural exports from Kosovo. Minister Hajdari thanked Mr Vickers and the British Government for the smoothness of negotiations and the expediency in which they were able to reach and enter into the trade agreement which is currently in effect.

John then introduced both Ambassadors to speak in turn. Both Ambassadors commented on the positive diplomatic relations between the UK and Kosovo with the Kosovan Ambassador adding that the formation of the British-Kosovar Chambers of Commerce and the relationship between the UK and Kosovo as being great steps forward for Kosovo in its short years since independence which the UK had supported and was one of the first nations in the world to recognise.

The dinner hosted by the British-Kosovar Chambers of Commerce and Mr Vicker’s visit to Kosovo, both of which were supported by the British Embassy in Pristina and were scheduled to coincide with this week’s events surrounding Kosovo’s independence day on 17th February 2022. Mr Vickers has a busy agenda this week and will be accompanied by the British-Kosovar Chambers of Commerce and the British Embassy on visits to Kosovan businesses and British businesses in Kosovo followed by an evening drinks reception at Swiss Diamond Hotel with 50 businesses on Monday 14th February as well as private meetings with the President of Kosovo Vjosa Osmani and Prime Minister Albin Kurti in the coming days.