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Tall Order for Kosovo's Assembly: A Buzz Interview with Visar Ramaj of RPHS Law

Tall Order for Kosovo's Assembly: A Buzz Interview with Visar Ramaj of RPHS Law

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The healthcare industry is undergoing reform and the renewable energy sector is shifting to foreign-investment-friendly auction-based strategies, while the new Civil Code and large investment projects – including healthcare digitalization and infrastructure development – are on the books in Kosovo, according to RPHS Law Partner Visar Ramaj.

“The healthcare sector in Kosovo is currently undergoing significant reforms, with a new legal framework taking shape,” Ramaj starts. “The Assembly has passed the first laws, starting with a law on the pricing of pharmaceutical products. This law is expected to come into effect by the end of July.” Additionally, there are drafts for new laws on pharmaceutical products, the healthcare system, and the health insurance fund. “These draft laws have been prepared by the government and passed to the Assembly for parliamentary procedure, to be passed by the end of the year,” he reports. “With the adoption of the new laws, there will be an increased need for legal services to ensure compliance not only for local players but also for marketing authorization holders of foreign pharmaceutical manufacturers.”

Turning to the energy sector, Ramaj outlines that there has been a shift “from feed-in tariffs to auction-based strategies for increasing renewable energy sources. The government recently published the first project for a 100-megawatt solar energy project, with allocated land plots and grid connection agreements, utilizing a competitive auction,” he says. According to him, this has generated a lot of foreign investor appetite. “We anticipate the government establishing practices to increase the scope of such projects.”

Furthermore, according to Ramaj, “the auction sets the stage for future energy projects in Kosovo. The country aims to have 35% of its energy from renewables by 2030, which is quite ambitious.” Continuing, he says that “the auction offers a guaranteed 15-year power purchase agreement and a minimum 30-year land lease.” The opening of bids is expected to take place by the end of August.

Additionally, Ramaj reports that “private projects in the area of renewable energy are also underway, with two projects currently in the development phase. These projects are still confidential, but negotiations, development, and financing are all ongoing,” he elaborates. 

On a different note, Ramaj says that a new Civil Code is expected to enter into force later in 2023. “This will be the first time Kosovo has a unified Civil Code, replacing dispersed laws. The plan is for the Civil Code to be passed by the Assembly by the end of the year, which is quite an ambitious goal,” he explains. Given the ongoing reforms in the healthcare and energy sectors as well, he expects a “continued high demand for legal services in Kosovo.”

Finally, Ramaj reports that “Kosovo is expecting several big investment projects, including the digitalization of healthcare, infrastructure projects, and the development of tourist resorts.” However, many of these projects are still pending, with their timelines yet to be specified. “The government has been primarily focused on political issues with Serbia in recent months, which has overshadowed other projects. Still, Kosovo needs to unlock the potential of these pending projects,” he notes.