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With the stroke of a pen, the leaders of the Republic of Kosovo, one of the world's newest countries, have formally integrated their nation's economy into the global financial system, a move that will have a positive influence on the economic and financial development of Kosovo and the wider region.
In a ceremony at the U.S Department of State, Kosovo's President Fatmir Sejdiu and Prime Minister Hashim Thaci signed Articles of Agreement of the International Monetary Fund, or IMF, and the World Bank’s International Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Thus, 16 months after it became an independent state, Kosovo became the 186th member of the Bretton Woods system of rules, institutions, and procedures that regulates the international monetary system.
Upon accepting the documents, U.S. State Department Deputy Secretary James Steinberg congratulated the two leaders and the people of Kosovo on this important step, and noted that the newly signed accords "are documents to two of the most important international institutions that we have. The World Bank and the IMF reflect the cooperation of the broader international community to address the economic challenges that we all face, and they will be important partners for you, as you continue the journey that you’ve embarked on over the last decade to build a stronger and more capable Kosovo for all of your people.”
Kosovo's entry into these institutions, said Deputy Secretary Steinberg, "represents its growing integration into the international community, which is something that we all welcome and are delighted to see happen."
In its 16 months of independence, Kosovo has made building a strong economic framework that will encourage development and investment a priority. Building on the country’s successful privatization process, Kosovo has received expressions of interest from international investors for projects offered in the areas of energy, telecommunications, civil aviation and infrastructure. Kosovo’s trade relationships are continually expanding, and the nation’s entrepreneurial spirit has enabled many local businesses of all sizes to grow successfully both through domestic production and distribution, and through international trade.
The United States congratulates Kosovo on its accession to the Bretton Woods multilateral institutions, and looks forward to our cooperation both in the IMF and the World Bank in the days and months ahead.